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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Eagle Ross (Ross Wilson)

2005
Tessa Jones

oil on canvas (support: 180.0 cm x 177.5 cm)

Ross Wilson (b. 1947), musician and producer, started playing in bands as a schoolboy, fronting the Pink Finks and the Party Machine in the late 1960s. In early 1970 he and Ross Hannaford formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother, which evolved into Daddy Cool. Daddy Cool played 1950s rock & roll songs with a 1970s attitude, and the mix electrified live audiences. 'Eagle Rock', released in June 1971, sat at number 1 for 11 weeks. Soon after, Daddy Who? Daddy Cool broke all previous sales records for an Australian album. Wilson split from the group in 1972 to form Mighty Kong; when they disbanded, he produced the first three albums for Skyhooks, while rejoining Daddy Cool in 1974-1975. Later, he produced albums for Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, The Sports, The Dynamic Hepnotics and his own very successful band, Mondo Rock. As a musician, Wilson has toured almost incessantly from the 1970s to the present. In early 2001 'Eagle Rock' was voted the second-best Australian song ever (behind the Easybeats' 'Friday on My Mind'). Rock historian Ian McFarlane wrote that over his career of some four decades, Wilson 'has given more to the institution of Australian rock and pop than can ever possibly be repaid'.

Tessa Jones incorporated lyrics from 'Eagle Rock' and a more recent song of Wilson's, 'Xmas Card', in this work, leaving a space, she says, 'for songs yet to be created'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005
© Tessa Jones

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Tessa Jones

Ross Wilson (age 58 in 2005)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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Now Listen...

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2005

Artist Tessa Jones recalls creating her portrait of Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock singer and music producer, Ross Wilson.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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