Live sound engineer Moray McMillin has died after a long battle with cancer. A prominent member of the touring sound community for several decades and latterly EAW Application Support Group Representative for the EMEA region, he was 58.
‘We are all just devastated,’ says EAW President, Jeff Rocha. ‘Moray was one of the unforgettable characters that make up this industry and a consummate professional. He was a true friend, one of those people you can’t help but want to spend time with. So full of life… I’m heartbroken.’
A statement form EAW describes his career and character:
Born in 1953, in England, Moray McMillin begasn his audio career with as a ‘school leaver’ with the Kinks and then with UK sound rental company Tasco, where he earned his on-the-road stripes working for Tasco’s Joe Brown. By 1980, he had relocated to Los Angeles, honing his production skills for the English hard rock invasion of Black Sabbath, Saxon and a solo Ozzy Osbourne. His formative and learning years culminated with his appointment as front-of-house engineer on Motörhead’s Ace of Spades tour. He returned to the UK as a freelance engineer and took up front-of-house duties with bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and Whitesnake. However, it was as Deep Purple’s engineer over a ten-year period that Moray made his indelible mark, touring the planet with an EAW loudspeaker system and making many industry friends along the way.
It was this affection for the EAW brand that convinced him in 2005 to take a seat in the UK sales office, selling EAW loudspeaker systems and visiting the companies for whom he once worked. A few years later, he joined EAW’s Application Support Group as EMEA representative. This more technical role suited him well, and he flourished designing sound systems for a variety of venues that were familiar to him from his touring days. Moray loved meeting customers and discussing their systems. A skilled linguist, he often communicated in their native tongue, something that always made them remember him.
Moray was a tireless worker and his attention to detail was legendary. He could make an impression with his personal charm or his professional abilities, but more often than not, it was both. In fact, just this year Moray charmed his way into and out of France without a passport, just to get to attend the ISE trade show in Amsterdam.
He was diagnosed with cancer in early 2010. He fought it both homeopathically and also through traditional methods, drawing strength from his friendship with fellow cancer sufferer and Black Sabbath band member Ronnie James Dio. Moray was proud he could attend Dio’s funeral in Los Angeles last year and reconnect with many of his old touring friends. He was closely involved in Dio’s funeral arrangements, including a live concert by Queensrÿche in the cemetery in front of 1,200 fans. He was also honored to be one of the pallbearers when the fans had gone and his dear friend was laid to rest.
Moray’s joy for life was at all times apparent, and he was particularly fond of dancing (despite his hard rock heritage). He was a true gentleman who never ceased staying strong against his ailment. Whether attending a trade show, visiting a dealer, working a concert or just hanging out with a FOH engineer, Moray fought the disease privately and with great dignity. With a complete absence of self-pity, Moray never let his illness affect anything he did for EAW, and he was always a motivating and driving force to everyone around him. At each stage of Moray’s treatment he wouldn’t rest until he found the information or person that could help him fight his cancer. And in typical Moray fashion, he got his responsibilities for the UK’s big tradeshow Plasa out of the way before he passed.
Moray is survived by his wife Antonella and two sons. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be sent to:The Hospice of Saint Francis, Spring Garden Lane, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3GW.
His funeral will take place on Wednesday28 September at 2:30pm. The service will be held at The Church of St. Nicholas, Church Green, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2TP