Reading the Introduction of this truly fascinating look inside the Australian Music Industry is like a crash course on Antonio Tati’s life, on speed.
Tati could perhaps be best described as the print version of Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, with his almost obsessive love of the music industry, the sound, the vibe and the people who have made it what it has become; an industry rich with incredible talent that just keeps on giving of the best, year after year.
Right from a young age, Tati realised he was a ‘hopeless case’ as far as music was concerned. He lived, breathed and schemed his way toward his next record purchase, and as he grew older his next concert and then his next nightclub. Over the years he built up a sound reputation for being able to deliver the best in interviews for magazines and papers such as X-Press magazine, the go to paper for what was happening in the Music world, at least in Perth.
From there he got a job presenting on the late night TV show The Pulse, for Channel Seven, along with contributing to the The West Australian, Australian Style and interviewing everyone who was anyone in the music and theatre scene in Perth. Perth began to lose its attraction as he had basically done the music scene to an excessive degree. Fresh fields were required, so after some thought he decided to move to Sydney and see what would transpire.
Much did as it turned out. In 1977 he stablished the much loved and revered pop cult mag, Cream, a magazine which specialised in telling it like it was, but honestly. Rather than rely on gossip Tati has always traced the rumours to the source, to get the real story to present to readers who were referred to as ‘opinion-leading’, which proved beyond a doubt to be huge success, backed of course with hard, unrelenting work.
Tati describes this work as an anthology of all the years before this one; a carefully chosen selection from all the interviews with just about every name performer who every came and performed in Australia, to the ‘home grown’ people such as Kylie Minogue, Andrew Stockdale, Delta Goodrem and of course the iconic Dame Edna Everage to name just a very few, as well as some of the many stories which have entertained and informed for more than twenty years.
At the conclusion of some of the chapters there are endnotes or postscripts on the interviews which are equally, if not more so, entertaining than the interview. Delightfully interspersed to add a light touch there are some memorable quotes from the star being interviewed, or rather pierced, poked and prodded for their story, which shows that behind all the glitz and glamour of what is perceived to be ‘fame’, they too are people who, like everyone else, live life as they find it, and often day by day!
In the Afterword, Tati changes pace a little by discussing in brief a little of the issues considered by today world such as bullying, those held up as ‘role models’ who should not be, anti-vaxers, corruption, fakery and the like. He encourages those who are curious to go out and ask the hard questions of politicians and society in general, to be brave and confront rather than to simply accept the very ordinary that has become synonymous with ‘a world rapidly going mad and being run by crashing bores.’
In a marvellous quote from the indomitable duo of Kath and Kim, they perhaps sum up the entire roadshow known as the entertainment industry with…….
‘Dippy Bics are actually very nutritious, they’ve got good stuff in ‘em. They’ve got emulsifiers, they’ve got ACID 329……’
The industry has always been mad, bad, flamboyant and hopelessly, romantically insane in a totally outrageous manner, all of which has been captured between the pages of ‘There’s your quote, mate’, by the dauntless Antonio Tati.
|Publisher||New Holland Publishers|
|Distributor||New Holland Publishers|