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Howzat! Archive - November 25th 2015

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It's Christmas time, as Paul Young sang, which means some big music books:

John Farnham: The Untold Story by Jane Gazzo
This book, by Triple M's Jane Gazzo, is unauthorised but never nasty. "There are few better terms to describe John Farnham," Jane writes, "than, simply, as a 'good bloke'." He starts life in the delightfully named Dagenham in the UK, with no sense of direction (which perhaps explains his music career until Whispering Jack). Farnham fans will dig the depth of research. Jane reveals that a soundtrack song John recorded in the US in the '80s, Innocent Hearts, was later sampled by gangsta rapper Ghostface Killah. She also reveals that one of the Sadie writers has now written a Sadie movie. Farnham, responsible for the biggest-selling album in Australia, deserves a great book and Jane Gazzo has delivered.

Big Blue Sky by Peter Garrett
It's a unique story: rock star becomes government minister. Coincidentally, Peter Garrett's music journey starts in Canberra when his band, Rock Island, supports Skyhooks. "Keep at it, there's something good happening up there," Hooks bass player Greg Macainsh tells them. "These few words of encouragement were all the fuel I needed to stoke up the fire in the belly," Peter writes. When Rock Island is winding down, he spots an ad: a band called Farm is looking for a singer. They eventually become Midnight Oil (chosen ahead of other ideas, including Television, Southern Cross, Sparta and Schwampy Moose). As a band, the Oils did things their own way. As a politician, Peter Garrett had a go. But this is a story more personal than political. Peter's mother, who died in a house fire, would tell him to make the most of life. "And that is what I've tried to do. Because no matter what befalls you along the way, in the end it is all you have."

Live Wire by Mary Renshaw, John D'Arcy and Gabby D'Arcy
Howzat! had a hand in this Bon Scott bio, helping the authors put the story together. Darce was the roadie for Bon's '60s band, The Valentines; Gab was a fan who married Darce, while Mary was described by AC/DC's Mark Evans as Bon's "soulmate and companion". The authors depict a wild rocker with a soft side, who is loved by family and friends. But it's also a tragic tale. After 13 years on the road, Bon dies, cold and alone in London, with AC/DC on the verge of conquering the world. Mary is proud that her friend has become a legend, "but I'd rather he be alive and be less of a legend".

"If I could just unmeet you" - Wilsn, Unmeet You.

The Amity Affliction score their first Top 20 single.

The Trouble With Us MARCUS MARR & CHET FAKER (number eight)
Black & Blue GUY SEBASTIAN (17, debut)
Shine On THE AMITY AFFLICTION (19, debut)
Who You Lovin CONRAD SEWELL (26)
Alive SIA (27)
You're The One That I Want JESS & MATT (30, debut)
Fire And The Flood VANCE JOY (35)
I'd Go With You Anywhere BIRDS OF TOKYO (38)

A Top 5 debut for Sydney rapper Kerser.

Next Step KERSER (number five, debut)
Kylie Christmas KYLIE MINOGUE (seven, debut)
All I Know CONRAD SEWELL (nine, debut)
Triple J Like A Version Vol. 11 VARIOUS (12)
Our Christmas Wish THE TEN TENORS (18)
Eleven TINA ARENA (21)
Sounds Good Feels Good 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (22)
Playlist BIRDS OF TOKYO (23)
The Perfect Crime COLD CHISEL (25)
Currents TAME IMPALA (26)
The Den Tapes SLIM DUSTY (27, debut)
Songs Of Soulitude DREAM ON DREAMER (29, debut)
Eternal Return SARAH BLASKO (32)
Pristine Alley JACKIE ONASSIS (40, debut)

Cold Burger, Cold Fries HENRY WAGONS
Funny Little World ALYCE PLATT
If You Want To Wear That Crown THE WOODLAND HUNTERS
Unmeet You WILSN

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