Surviving members of the legendary Astranotes remember fellow band member Wilf Stephens.
Surviving members of the legendary Astranotes remember fellow band member Wilf Stephens.

Sad note for legendary band



A BULLET in the heart led to love and the establishment of Lismore's best known band of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

The story emerged last week as a group of former band members of the legendary Astranotes gathered to share their memories and drink a toast to band member Wilf Stephens, who died last Saturday week, aged 70.

The former Nimbin and Lismore resident died in Darwin of a heart attack decades after he was accidentally shot in the heart while working on a copra boat on the New Hebrides island of Santos.

Fellow band member Bob Pearce said Wilf had been working on deck when two young boys playing with a rifle in the cabin below accidentally discharged the firearm.

It took days to transfer him by ship and plane to a Brisbane hospital, where he met and fell in love with his first wife, Gwen Callaghan, of Nimbin. He moved to Nimbin to marry his sweetheart, working in her dad's butcher shop there and starting the Astranotes with Bob, his newfound Nimbin mate.

The band grew to five members and regularly performed in Lismore and Casino from the 1960s to the 1980s.



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