The ONE Campaign!

blank blank blank
Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 8th 2010

Click here to go back to the Howzat! archive

This has probably been the biggest year yet for local music books. Here are four more titles to consider for Christmas:

It starts with a suicide attempt and many of the following 320 pages deal with Rick Springfield's depression, which he calls "the Darkness". But Rick's memoir ($35, Simon & Schuster) is also strangely life-affirming and a celebration of being a musician. "We are all still 15 year olds at heart," Rick writes, "committed to the path of 'girls, guitars and glory'." He starts in Melbourne as Richard Springthorpe, but is re-named by bandmate Pete Watson. "No one will ever understand 'Springthorpe'," said Pete, who was also a member of Mike Brady's MPD. After stints with the woefully-named Wickedy Wak, and the Zoot, Rick relocates to the US at the start of the '70s, where he becomes a poor man's David Cassidy. By 1979, he's in a cover band, thinking of becoming a professional stained-glass master. He falls for a woman at the glass class, the partner of a man named Gary. He writes a song about her, but changes the male's name to "Jessie", "because 'Gary's Girl' doesn't have enough of a rock 'n' roll ring to it". A friend recently asked Paul Kelly: What's harder to write about, heroin or infidelity? "I don't choose to write about infidelity," Paul replied, "I don't write about it in the book." But Rick's memoir is a roll call of rooting, including affairs with Australian pop stars Lynne Randell and Allison Durbin. It's a fine book, filled with good advice ("Don't listen to all the people who say they know the path you should be taking," Rick writes. "They are most likely full of shit"). Rick should be in the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Brian Cadd has had a remarkable career. How's this for starters: He auditioned for the David St Hubbins' role in Spinal Tap. He made an album with Shel Talmy, who produced My Generation, You Really Got Me and Friday On My Mind. He was asked to join the Bee Gees band. He produced an album for Daryl Somers that was never released. He was the musical director for the "French Elvis", Johnny Hallyday. He was a latter-day member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. And he was responsible for a song that haunted me during my youth, Robin Jolley's Marshall's Portable Music Machine, a staple on the only radio station in my hometown. Brian also wrote A Little Ray Of Sunshine (which he performed at Carl Williams' daughter's christening), Don't You Know It's Magic, Elevator Driver, Ginger Man and Woman You're Breaking Me. He's Australia's Leon Russell, though Molly once introduced him to Elton John, saying, "Brian is probably to Australia what you are to England." Brian's book ($33, New Holland) is unfortunately marred by the misspellings of many major stars' names, but it's a fun read.

Dannii Minogue's autobiography ($35, Simon & Schuster) also has some inexplicable spelling mistakes: Ramsay Street is written as Ramsey Street, while her former Home and Away co-star Craig McLachlan becomes Craig McLaughlin. But this is not the book's biggest failing. "What kind of girl do you think I am?" Dannii asked on her debut single, 1990's Love and Kisses, "is it the plain Jane type?" There's been nothing plain about Dannii's life - which has included a Playboy shoot, a boob job and more UK club chart-toppers than any other female artist - but, sadly, the book doesn't dig much deeper than this sentence, the start of Chapter Four: "Being a regular team member on Young Talent Time was heaps of fun and a dream come true, but it was also incredibly hard work." Sure, Dannii covers her feud with Sharon Osbourne, and mentions how her first mother-in-law, Lady Sonia McMahon, didn't like her. She even writes about her first kiss (with Young Talent Time co-star Vince Del Tito). But My Story is simply too nice, lacking any real spice.

No, this book ($30, University of Queensland Press) is not the titillating tale of what goes on behind the scenes at Brian Wise's RRR show. It's a compilation of articles from Australia's oldest street press publication, Brisbane's Time Off (now part of the Street Press Australia group, publishers of Inpress). From Hunters & Collectors in 1986 to Angus & Julia Stone in 2010, the writing is strong and informative. But I'm not sure if the format - a conventional novel size - is right for such a dynamic book. I would have loved a Time Off scrapbook, reproducing original pages and covers.


Guy Sebastian leaps from 11 to two. And Perth hip hop star Drapht - who sold out the Prince of Wales last Friday - makes his Top 40 debut.

Who's That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number two)
Somewhere In The World ALTIYAN CHILDS (11)
Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (16)
Planets SHORT STACK (30)
Freefallin' ZOE BADWI (35)
Rapunzel DRAPHT (37, debut)

Hamish & Andy have a Top 10 debut.

Celebrating 50 Glorious Years HAMISH & ANDY (number six, debut)
Twenty Ten GUY SEBASTIAN (10)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (16)
Get Closer KEITH URBAN (19)
He Will Have His Way VARIOUS (20)
Vegas Songs From Sin City HUMAN NATURE (21)
The Great Tenor Songbook MARK VINCENT (22)
This Is Bat Country SHORT STACK (24)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (31)
Little Bird KASEY CHAMBERS (34)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (39)

Everything You Need NICK BATTERHAM
Rapunzel DRAPHT

Click here to go back to the Howzat! archive

Got something for us? Email it to  |  Site design by Catnip Design

blank blank blank