Michael Gudinski, the larger-than-life founder of Mushroom Group, is immortalized with a statue in his hometown, Melbourne.
The late independent music great is honored with a life-sized sculpture, presented Thursday morning (March 24) as part of the group’s “MG Day,” a celebration of Gudinski’s life and legacy.
Dan Andrews, premier of Victoria; rocker Jimmy Barnes; family members and Mushroom staff were on hand for the unveiling of the Michael Gudinski AM Statue, which captures MG with his familiar “No. 1” salute.
Created by local artist Darien Pullen, of Meridian Sculpture, the statue stands outside of Rod Laver Arena, a spot where Gudinski produced countless concerts during his lifetime.
Indeed, Gudinski was remembered last March with a state memorial at the 15,000-capacity arena, part of the Melbourne & Olympic Park precinct.
“Michael Gudinski made a unique contribution to Victoria’s cultural and economic life,” comments Andrews at today’s presentation. “This tribute, in this location, will remind all Victorians of his lifelong passion for our state and honor his significant contribution to the Australian music and entertainment industries.”
The company Gudinski built is now led by his son Matt Gudinski, Mushroom Group CEO. “My family and I are humbled by this great tribute and recognition of my late father that acknowledges his contribution to the Australian music scene and the city of Melbourne,” he explains, “and will stand as a permanent tribute to his legacy and importance to making the Australian music and entertainment landscape what it is today.”
Gudinski passed away on March 2, 2021, aged 68. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from the global music industry and artist community, with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Kylie Minogue and many others paying their respects. Springsteen and Sheeran took their admiration one step further, by dedicating songs to the late entrepreneur.
Gudinski was posthumously recognized as Billboard’s International Power Player of 2021, while labels body ARIA paid tribute to MG by renaming the Breakthrough Artist ARIA Award in his honor, starting with the 2021 ceremony.
“To have a statue of Michael up here surrounded by the very venues that made Melbourne the home of everything to him seems perfect,” comments Barnes, the Cold Chisel frontman and two-time ARIA Hall of Fame inductee. “From here he can hear the roar of the crowds from the MCG. He can see and hear the punters leaving the Rod Laver Arena, or AAMI Park shouting about being at the best show they’ve ever seen. I think that would put a smile on his face. Especially if it was a Frontier show.”
Its full-steam ahead at Mushroom Group, which spans 20-something businesses reaching into all areas of music and entertainment. In the past month, the company has announced the launch of an artist management division, Mushroom Management; a partnership between Mushroom and Virgin Music, the label and artist services division of Universal Music Group; and several massive tours through Frontier Touring which, earlier this week, unveiled a new leadership structure.