Gungi Paterson at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom,
during A Perfect Circle's 2001 spring tour.
By Clive Young.
New York (September 29, 2009)--Gordon "Gungi" Paterson, a mainstay of international touring sound since the 1980s, died yesterday morning in Seattle after a three-year battle with Cancer.
Standing 6'11", the Scotsman cut an imposing figure that was immediately undercut by his disarming smile and friendly nature. An FOH engineer, tour and production manager who was always in demand, Gungi first began mixing in the UK, working with classic metal acts such as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, forming the base for a career that found him on the road for OzzFest as well as tours with Megadeth, System of a Down, A Perfect Circle, Tears For Fears, Steve Vai, Live and Fiona Apple, the latter who performed a benefit concert for the engineer a few years ago.
Paterson was diagnosed with cancer in August, 2006 and chose to aggressively explore holistic remedies to treat the disease. A donation fund and website, www.friendsofgungi.com, was created to help support his family and defray the costs of treatments.
The site's creator, tour and production manager Raymond Amico, wrote, "According to Gungi's wishes, there will be no singular memorial with family and friends in Seattle, as he and [his wife] Bridget felt that they went through all of this over the past couple of months. The whole summer has been a wake / remembrance where Gungi was able to take phone calls, emails, postings, etc. and we were all able to celebrate his life with him. Instead of a singular memorial, Gungi will be cremated and his ashes will be spread over St. Andrews in Scotland--his wishes were to be back in his beloved Scotland where his family is from."
Curt Smith of Tears For Fears memorialized Gungi on his blog, writing, "The giant Scotsman touched the lives of all those who worked with him. He was one of the unsung heroes, the ones who make tours sound great and run smoothly. As our sound engineer and tour manager, he made every day on the road easy for us but rarely got the recognition he truly deserved," adding at the end, "R.I.P big man, and thanks to all those unsung heroes that work with us each day on tour."
On a personal note, I only had the opportunity to meet Gungi once, when I interviewed him on A Perfect Circle's 2001 spring tour. Our chat was unremarkable, but I was struck by how calm and upbeat he was, despite the fact he was obviously having a rough, hectic day that would have left most engineers growling. It was easy to see why his peers looked up to him (both figuratively and literally), and likewise, why he will be missed.
Gungi leaves behind his wife and two sons; donations to help support the family can still be made via PayPal at www.friendsofgungi.com.