Up From Down Under: How Australian Music Changed the World.
This is a book I'd been hoping to write for years, a big, broad panorama of what it takes to reach the top of the pile — and the challenges that come with trying to stay there. But in no way is it meant to be definitive. Instead, I've gravitated to the stories that I think are classic case studies in riding the pop culture rollercoaster. I've written about acts that I believe to be trailblazers, such as the Little River Band, Air Supply, Men at Work and Keith Urban. And Gotye, in more recent times.Peter Allen may not have sold as many records as Kylie Minogue or Natalie Imbruglia, that's true — and he was a world away from AC/DC's hell's bells — but to me, a writer, his story is in its own way more fascinating — and unlikely. It was a long way from Tenterfield to Broadway, in more ways than even the Boy from Oz could have imagined. Elsewhere, I chose Rick Springfield because his story hasn't been told in great detail before, and again it was fascinating to chart the former Richard Springthorpe's struggles as he scaled that slippery slope called stardom. Same goes for Helen Reddy, among many others.So please don't view this book as exhaustive, or the last word in Australian music to the world. I'd need a few thousand pages for that. Instead, sit back, crank up the stereo, crack the spine (or charge your e-reader) and lose yourself in some of the more unique and intriguing Australian success stories — and discover what price has to be paid in order to go global.
Here's a podcast of a chat with Nicole Dyer from ABC Brisbane. And this Q&A is with the Potts Point Bookstore in Sydney. You can see me talking about the bookhere. And hear me talking with Red Symons of ABC Melbourne.