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Howzat! Archive - May 18th 2016

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UP THE DUFF, JEFF'S GOLDEN ADVENTURES
It's like a Little Golden Book, except it has adult themes and it's not little. Welcome to the remarkable life of Jeff Duff. His book is called This Will Explain Everything, which is an apt title because he has got a lot of explaining to do. It's not always pretty - "My life reads like a fractured fairytale, where the fractures become more relevant than the fairytale" - but it's compelling, big-hearted and hilarious. The book opens with Jeff arrested in Ballarat in 1976 for supposedly masturbating on stage while fronting the band Kush. "But, Your Honour," he tells the court, "it wasn't my penis." Molly Meldrum provides the foreword, calling Jeff - who once hosted Countdown dressed as a sausage - "flamboyant, eccentric, cheeky, charming. Unique is an over-used word in showbiz, but Jeff Duff is unique." He sparkles and shines, dabbling in drugs, loving cricket and worrying that he's possessed by the Devil. He also performs on Ray Martin's Midday Show with a rather obvious erection. Molly adds that "not surprisingly, Australia wasn't big enough for Jeff", so he relocated to London where he signed to Beggars Banquet and hung out with Andy Warhol, Britt Ekland, Paul McCartney and Sid Vicious, and was arrested for supposedly being naked outside the Prime Minister's house. He also has an explosive encounter - literally - with noted UK music journalist Tony Parsons at a pub. Jeff offers the scribe a joke smoke. "The cigarette exploded loudly in his mouth, the power of the impact spattering the shattered end of the cigarette over his top lip, just like in a Looney Tunes cartoon." Beautifully illustrated and presented - a credit to publishers, Melbourne Books - This Will Explain Everything is also poetic and poignant. Jeff, who looks like a cross between David Bowie and Iggy Pop, dedicates the book to Bowie, saying: "Your music always leads us back to a better world your world." Jeff Duff's world is pretty cool, too. "I guess I've never really grown up, never deviated from my childhood dreams," he writes. Long may he celebrate the child inside.


SPIRIT OF THE AGE
Happy Birthday to Midnight Oil's Jim Moginie, who is 60 today (18 May). And we remember the great Lobby Loyde, who would have been 75 today.


HOT LINE
"An insipid and compliant press in lockstep on the beat, splashing three-word slogans neither them or us believe" - Bernard Fanning, Belly Of The Beast.


CHART WATCH
Delta Goodrem was shooting for her 10th number one single, but Dear Life debuts at three. It's Delta's 14th Top 5 hit.

Dear Life DELTA GOODREM (number three, debut)
Say It FLUME (eight)
Cheap Thrills SIA (16)
1955 HILLTOP HOODS (23)
Never Be Like You FLUME (25)

Keith Urban scores his third number one album.

Ripcord KEITH URBAN (number one, debut)
Classic Carpenters DAMI IM (seven)
Together MARINA PRIOR & MARK VINCENT (eight)
Anthology KATE CEBERANO (nine, debut)
Molly Soundtrack VARIOUS (14)
This Is Acting SIA (19)
Hard Light TRAVIS COLLINS (20, debut)
Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung HILLTOP HOODS (22)
60 Summers GRAEME CONNORS (27)
Bloom RFS (28)
Chrome THE SCREAMING JETS (30, debut)
Telluric MATT CORBY (33)
All I Know CONRAD SEWELL (40)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Belly Of The Beast BERNARD FANNING
Start Again MIA WRAY
Gangs of Fools THE EVENING CAST
Mariachi Wind MELODY POOL
Give Me Back Me Brain JEFF DUFF

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