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The Rock-itt : August 2011
In my capacity as head of the department I went regularly to our State offices and it was a great privilege to see this country at EMI‟s expense! During my time with EMI in Australia I got to continue to work with EMI‟s Internation- al stars including Coldplay, Norah Jones, Kraftwerk, Moby, Janet Jackson Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones and I also got to get acquainted with the local roster including Alex Lloyd, Silverchair, The Liv- ing End, Kasey Chambers, Paulmac and the wonderful Paul Kelly to name but a few. I got to spend time with Slim Dusty and one memorable night after a day of interviews we sang George Formby songs together at the tops of our voices as I drove him home to St.Ives I reckon my thirty year career with EMI was partly down to the fact that I had nev- er been politically anyone‟s “guy” during my time with the company . I always gave 100% and was completely reliable but no one “owned” me. In 2002 the MD of Aus- tralia who brought me down to Oz was poached by Sir Richard Branson to run his V2 record label in Europe and I had be- come his „guy‟ because he brought me to Oz. A bloke from Sony took over and the writing was on the wall for me. Even though I had come to Australia for a much reduced salary I was still expensive for EMI Australia. The record business was well into it‟s decline and with more and more people stealing the business from under us cuts had to be made. Ultimately it wasn‟t a huge problem for me, I had been careful in saving for a pension and had thought I might try to retire in 2005 anyway. EMI making me redundant in 2004 just hastened it a little. I had to push EMI a little to get the settlement I thought I deserved and I will be forever grateful to the Pet Shop Boys who went into bat for me with EMI‟s hierarchy and helped get me the right deal. I miss the business a lot, the good times really were great but the few bad times were unbelievably awful. I am enjoying being retired in Sydney, espe- cially when the Sun is shining. I still miss my local pub back in the UK and a pint of „warm‟ beer. These days I‟m on the board of Manly United and love being connected to a really great team. Just a pity that more people on the peninsular don‟t realize what a great set up we have at Cromer Park. I used to do a radio show on Northern Beaches FM and I may well give that a go again and of course there is the Rock-itt , which helps keep me and you connected to the vibrant music sce- ne we have here. I still get hauled off the substitutes bench occasionally, I have a very good promoter friend and if she‟s stretched she will let me babysit her acts. I‟ve spent time with Loudon Wainwright and the legendary Jimmy W ebb in the last couple of years. I know I‟ve dropped a lot of names and I know Aussies don‟t like tall poppies but I was just a bloke doing his job. Turned out for the most part to be a great job! I had worked with Jamelia in the UK and it was a pleasure to have her visit Sydney for a promotional tour and receive an award Visiting Triple J with Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hutter when they toured in 2003. It was a tough job but not everyone gets to cuddle Baby Spice!!! Kasey Chambers was also great fun to be around. With the Rolling Stones on the Hot Licks tour, media at the front, us workers at the back!!