LAKE Macquarie's one-time AC/DC bassist Paul Matters has been remembered as a "charismatic musician."
Matters died of heart disease at his Toronto home last Wednesday, his 68th birthday. While mental illness prevented him from playing music in recent decades, Matters was a prominent figure in Newcastle's fertile '70s rock'n'roll scene.
In 1968 he formed blues-rock band Armageddon with fellow Toronto friends Pete De Jong, Les Gully and Steve Cowley, and they became one of Newcastle's most popular acts. In 1974 Matters left Armageddon over "musical differences" and soon after was recommended to AC/DC by music doyen Ian "Molly" Meldrum.
Matters was a member of AC/DC in 1975 for several months following the release of their debut album High Voltage. During the album tour Matters roomed with singer Bon Scott and the pair became close friends.
However, Matters was soon sacked by band leaders Malcolm and Angus Young and replaced by Mark Evans.
"I'm not sure if he fitted in," Mr Gully said. "He was taller than them, better looking, blonde and had ideas of his own. I don't think the Young brothers would of put up with that. He seemed to get on with Bon Scott quite well."
Matters' twin sister Gaye McDonald described him as "a natural" at both sport and music and a loving uncle.
News of Matters' death has spread across the globe due to his brief association with the Australian rock megastars.
Ms McDonald said despite being sacked from AC/DC her brother remained a fan.
"He thought they were awesome," she said. "Nearly every day we'd hear about it. He was very happy about the whole thing."