Passings: Buster Stiggs of the Models (1954 - 2018)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Buster Stiggs, the drummer for New Zealand’s The Swingers and then Australia’s Models, has lost his battle with multiple myeloma at age 63.

Mark Hough, aka Buster Stiggs, kicked off his career with New Zealand band After Hours featuring the then 17-year old Neil Finn. At the time he was still known as Mark. He became Buster Stiggs in 1977 in his next band Suburban Reptiles.

Suburban Reptiles featured members Phil Judd (ex-Split Enz) and Wayne ‘Bones’ Hillman (not quiet yet Midnight Oil). Their first recordings were produced by Tim Finn. In 1979 as Suburban Reptiles dissolved Stiggs, Judd and Hillman formed The Swingers and recorded the number 1 hit ‘Counting The Beat’.

Buster attended Midnight Oil’s show in Perth in October in a wheel-chair. Hillman wrote on Facebook today,

I awoke this morning with a mist surrounding the LA Hills and as the sun began to break through revealing the city, I sadly got word that Buster Stiggs / Mark Hough had finally passed away after a long battle with health issues and over 20 operations during the last 7 years.

We all loose people in our lives its a sad reality, but this bugger was a seminal part of the journey which has lead me to where I am today.

We first met in 1977 he was a dashing art student and I was a pimply faced western suburbs teenager with a burning desire to be a musician.

I was in a band called the Masochists and he played drums in The Suburban Reptiles, The Masochists had a rehearsal space on K rd and our own gear and the Reptiles had the look the press and no gear.

We caught a glimpse of them lurking on the street listening to the awkward out of tune covers and original songs we were trying to master.

On mass we all ran down the stairs yelling fuck off and chased them down the road, like a protective gang trying to own a turf.

Buster joined Models after being sacked from The Swingers. “In 1981 we fired Buster from the band, not due to any musical issue but because Phil and I were living in a flat in Melbourne burning our furniture to keep warm, and Buster was living in a house with carpet and Sunday roasts, once again the gang mentality prevailed.

We continued on for another couple of years without him but the magic had vanished and we became known as one hit wonders,” Hillman said.

Stiggs was with Models for their first EP and debut album.

Mark ‘Buster Stiggs’ Hough died on Sunday. He is survived by son Ash.

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