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The Rock-itt : July 2011
damn promotion man I’ve ever worked with.” I nearly collapsed, good to have friends in high places. Meeting with Crowded House in LA was another major moment for me. At the time it was just Neil, Nick and Paul and they were- n’t even definitely called Crowded House, they were The Mullanes. It took sometime to break Crowded House in the UK, primari- ly because they were committed to breaking America and the UK and indeed Australia did not get to see what a fabulous live act they were for a while. Inevitably they con- quered Britain and I had the great pleasure of being involved with them from the mid 80’s right up to today. I was very honoured when EMI asked me to do the sleeve notes for the re-issue of their Greatest Hits album just before last Christmas. The Crowdies were a large part of me moving down to Australia, indeed I took a month of work in 1998 to do the Australian leg of Neil’s tour in support of his first solo album, “One Nil”. I did this primarily so I could see some more of Oz and be sure I wanted to move here. It worked, I’m in Frenchs Forest! Back to the early 90’s. EMI decided to re- vive their Parlophone label, styling it as their label for new and emerging talent, Queen however insisted that they be on it along with some major acts from Capitol Records. I was offered the chance of going back into Promotion as Director Of Promotion for Parlophone and grabbed the opportunity. It probably dates right back to when I worked as a DJ with my school band, I’ve always liked to work with creative people. I’m no dummy and I recognize genius when I see it, it’s a great thing to be around. In my time at Parlophone I got to work with some of the World’s finest tal- ents. The wonderful Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt, Queen, Coldplay, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker and of course Australia’s own Kylie Minogue. It used to make me laugh inside when I heard people saying that Kylie was just an average actress who got lucky, an airhead who had been moulded into a pop star. So funny and so far from the truth. My first encounter with Kylie was at a meeting around September 1999 ap- proximately nine months before her first Parlophone album, “Light Years” was to be released. She was present and she had the plan. She has a great manager in Terry Blamey but Kylie is always in the driving seat. She played us demos of the songs destined for the album and we laid down our strategy. From then on she was in every meeting and worked with us to make her first album the massive suc- cess it was. The album does contain “Spinning Around” a perfectly crafted pop record and we had “On a Night Like This” as the follow up single so we really couldn’t go wrong. I first worked with Tina Turner and her Aussie manager Roger Davies as mar- keting manager on her second come- back album “Two People”. The fact that it wasn’t as successful as Private Dancer was probably a spur to get me back to being a promotion man. Roger was and is a superb manager and I enjoyed work- ing with him, he taught me a lot. The decision to leave the UK was a hard one, my wife Julie wasn’t as keen as I was about Australia and my then 14 year old daughter Lauren absolutely hated the idea! It was also a real wrench for me to leave the exciting job I had in the UK working with a handful of extremely good acts knowing that my job in Australia would be very different. I would be expected to work with dozens of acts across all gen- res, I knew it would be hard and it was. I’ll tell you about my time with EMI Aus- tralia next month. Presenting Queen with Platinum Discs at the video shoot for the single “Breakthru” off The Miracle album in 89, I liked a loud shirt! With Neil Finn at The Vanguard in Syd- ney in 2003 Neil Tennant one half of the Pet Shop Boys and Dee McLoughlin my mate and Crowded House tour manager at the party EMI threw for me when I left