“The Ghost has left the building”
Melbourne underground music veteran and legendary radio presenter Stephen ‘The Ghost’ Walker passed away on Wednesday July 3 following a long battle with multiple sclerosis and a short one with cancer.
Walker was a volunteer at Melbourne radio station 3RRR for 37 years and was its program manager for 17 years. During his time with the station, he hosted a number of shows including Skull Cave, From The Bunker, Survival Talkback and Ghost in the Machine. Skull Cave grew to become a beloved radio program airing every Friday from 4pm to 7pm. Walker handed hosting responsibilities of the program over to Woody McDonald in 2018.
Walker was the first radio presenter to be inducted into The Age Music Victoria Awards Hall of Fame back in 2011 for his contribution to Melbourne’s culture. When he passed the milestone of 30 years at 3RRR, a concert was held in his honour at Forum Theatre and featured the likes of Nick Cave, Dirty Three and more.
In a statement, 3RRR said “his on-air presence was something truly special” and he was instrumental in shaping the station’s sound during the late ’80s and ’90s.
“We’ll miss Stephen’s wise words, cheeky ability to shock, heartfelt support for and interest in all things Triple R, incredible vision and deeply philosophical nature. We celebrate Stephen’s contribution to Triple R, Melbourne underground culture, music and community broadcasting.”
Check out some highlights from Stephen Walker’s 3RRR program, Skull Cave.
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We are deeply saddened that Stephen ‘The Ghost’ Walker passed away on Wednesday 3 July 2019. Stephen was Triple R’s Program Manager for 14 years and a volunteer presenter with the station for 37 years. He was instrumental in shaping the sound of Triple R during the late ’80s and ’90s and forever more. His on-air persona as the Ghost Who Talks in the Skull Cave every Friday between 4pm to 7pm established a huge following over more than three decades. The Ghost as a broadcaster has most often been compared to John Peel, and for many really set the standard for the status a community broadcaster could achieve. Skull Cave continued to be one of the most popular programs on the grid up until Stephen handed over the reins to Woody McDonald in 2018. The Ghost was the thinking person’s music guru and a true cult figure in Melbourne’s underground – the sound of the jungle drums that opened Skull Cave every week, the show promos, his catchphrases such as, ‘Hey there, you there, it’s me here’, ‘Trust the energy’, and ‘Plant you now, dig you later’ have taken on iconic status. The Ghost remained committed to discovery till the end and his adventurous taste was pushed the boundaries of popular music while still celebrating his heroes, like Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Leonard Cohen. He was a tastemaker who launched many radio and music careers, and informed, broadened and inspired many people’s lives and listening. Beyond his contributions on air, we’ll miss Stephen’s wise words, cheeky ability to shock, heart-felt support for and interest in all things Triple R, incredible vision and deeply philosophical nature. We celebrate Stephen’s contribution to Triple R, Melbourne underground culture, music and community broadcasting. It’s time for us to plant you now, dig you later – and whatever you do, make sure you take it and trust the energy, ’cause the energy says you’ll be deeply missed and forever remembered. Stephen passed following a short battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Stream some of Stephen’s broadcasting and read the full tribute via the link in bio. Rooftop pic of Stephen by @ilanarose_docophoto #3rrrfm #stephenwalker