24.3 C
Byron Shire
September 25, 2022

A tribute to Michael Vider, aka Astro Boy

Latest News

West Byron flooding

All east coast communities are now daily regularly warned by the ABC radio/TV, by the Bureau of Meteorology, to...

Other News

Flood 2022 – Kingscliff emergency housing failure

Kinglscliff housing-pod fiasco – emergency flood housing anticipated to be available in early 2023 to house displaced residents from teh February 2022 floods.

U/12s win NSW country rugby championships

The Far North Coast U/12s rugby team won the NSW junior country championships earlier this month in Coffs Harbour. It’s...

‘No body, no parole’ laws coming to NSW

Offenders who refuse to provide information or assistance to locate their victim’s remains cannot be granted parole, under proposed 'no body no parole' laws.

WAR wins another rugby premiership

WAR’s Dan Damen shoots through the Bangalow defence to claim a try in Saturday’s grand final. Photo Vicki Kerry Wollongbar...

Deadliest year for coastal drownings in NSW

In their latest safety report, Surf Life Saving NSW says that the 2021/2022 season had the highest number of coastal drownings on record.

West Byron flooding

All east coast communities are now daily regularly warned by the ABC radio/TV, by the Bureau of Meteorology, to...

Astro Boy has left the Earth.

Suzanne Bourchier

Byron Bay has lost its brightest cosmic body, who blazed across our skies and dancefloors for nearly thirty years: our one and only Astro Boy has left the Earth.

Who in this town could forget his performances as he flashed across stages, festivals and a thousand dancefloors in full robot suit, mirror ball helmets, Cossack boots, big earrings, airconditioning ducting, psychedelic geegaws, foot-high platinum mohawk, white-tie tuxedos or whatever he felt the event needed?

Trails of bright sparks

And the event always needed him; he brought trails of bright sparks of joy and energy in his wake, and laughter.

So much laughter, as he was always the funniest, sharpest and arsie-est man in the room.

As Michael, he was also a master gardener and landscaper, made exquisite paintings, could imitate any bird or animal (the angry dog… OMG!), made every child laugh, had a love and affinity for Indigenous ways, cared for homeless and mentally ill people living rough around the town, and was the best and most loyal of friends who made and did beautiful things just to make you happy – over and over.

And he never, ever, forgot a birthday. And he had literally dozens of really close friends, including children.

Sadly, there was a deep pain in him that was never far away.

A deep well of darkness he struggled with, sometimes successfully, sometimes not successfully, and his dark despairing days were tortuous to watch.

The struggles intensified over the past few years, in which time he moved to beachside North Queensland and made a successful life there, surrounded by friends, his art, a stream of lovers and an abundance of nature.

He died there, aged 52, beautiful to the end. Vale, Astro

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Thank you Suzanne and the Echo.
    It’s taken 7 months to finally read this.
    He was so much more to me than just my brother. ❤️


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Odd row of lights

Just following up the letter from Sarah Smith in the August 31 issue. It was a Starlink satellite train. My webcam captured the scene. Michael...

Trampling of the graves of the murdered: reply to Will Liley

As I read Will Liley’s response to my article in dedication to my late uncle, I recalled the poem in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel Clandestine in Chile:

Murwillumbah mega-school merger public meeting on Monday

Opposition to the merger of the four Murwillumbah Schools, which includes two primary and two high schools, remains strong. Monday will see Leader of the NSW opposition MP Chris Minns and local MP Janelle Saffin joining concerned parents, students and community members at a town hall meeting in Murwillumbah on Monday at 5.30pm.

Byron Council looking at rain damage

Byron Shire Council says they have staff out and about across the Shire today assessing damage from the rain.