It is with great sadness that we share the news of Arthur Baysting's passing in Auckland today.
Arthur was an inspirational and beloved figure in our music community, and will be greatly missed. He leaves behind him an incredible legacy of advocacy and tireless work on behalf of New Zealand songwriters and musicians. He was the NZ Writer Director on the APRA board from 1992 to 2010, and was an original co-director of the NZ Music Commission. He also lead the Green Ribbon campaign for more local content on TV and radio in NZ, and of course was a wonderful creative force, as a musician, writer, comedian, and children's songwriter.
In Australia, his children's songs were popular through their performances on Play School, and their recordings by Justine Clarke. in 2014 he achieved a Platinum sales award for Justine's Clarke's album I Like To Sing. Other artists who recorded his songs include Anne Kirkpatrick, Boh Runga, the Cafe at the Gate of Salvation, Dragon and Jenny Morris ('Tears' in 1980).
"Arthur was unique … a unique spirit, a unique thinker, a unique man. He had a moral compass and a cheeky attitude. He cared and put that caring into practice over and over. He was not above the ‘middle finger’ response (mostly metaphorical) to a bad government decision or a bureaucratic bungle but beyond this, Arthur was a dreamer. He dreamed often and he dreamed big and that’s what I loved most about him. He was a kind, sweet and true human being and the world will be a little more lacklustre without him," said APRA Chair, Jenny Morris.
“Arthur was a valued APRA Board member for 18 years. He was enormously well regarded as a passionate advocate for music creators, and in particular music education. A laconic character with a dry Kiwi wit. He will be much missed by all of his APRA whanau. Our love and condolences to Arthur’s life partner, Jean, and family,” said APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston.
We send our condolences and warmest wishes to Arthur's family and friends. Rest in peace Arthur.