Jeff Apter header-graphic
Jeff Apter
Jeff Apter

In a career spanning more than 20 years I've written (and ghostwritten) 20 commercially and critically well-received books, including biographies of 'Shirley' Strachan from Skyhooks and Dragon's Marc Hunter. Australian sales of my books are well in excess of 100,000 copies. Most of my books are held in the official collection at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

My work and my good self have been profiled by such broadcasters as the ABC's Adam Spencer, Robbie Buck, Geraldine Doogue and Dom Knight, and in various newspapers, magazines and websites, including the Sun-Herald. I've appeared on various TV shows, including ABC's 730 program, Channel 9's Mornings and SBS's Insight.

I co-wrote the Kasey Chambers memoir, called A Little Bird Told Me, and worked with Mark Evans of AC/DC on his bestseller, Dirty Deeds. Kasey's book was part of the '50 Books You Can't Put Down' / Get Reading program in 2011, while Mark's book reached NPR's best music books of 2011 list.

In 2005, I worked with test cricketer turned commentator Michael Slater on his book, Slats.

My other books include studies of Jeff Buckley (which has been adapted for a feature film), the Finn brothers and Keith Urban. My books have been translated into numerous languages. I was ghostwriter on a project called In Harm's Way, the story of a former Australian soldier and his attempts to emancipate two children in Lebanon. I helped Michael Browning with his great memoirs about his life with Billy Thorpe, AC/DC, INXS and others, entitled Dog Eat Dog (published by Allen & Unwin in October 2014).

My biography of Johnny O'Keefe was published by Hachette Australia and has been really well received. It was the Sydney Morning Herald's Pick of the Week in their August 10 2013 issue; likewise The Age and the Canberra Times. It was also selected as one of Dymocks key books for Father's Day 2013. I'm taking with 3AW here about the book.

Up From Down Under: How Australian Music Changed the World was released in November 2013 and has been both a critical and commercial success. Click here for an exclusive extract. And here to listen to an interview with Red Symons about the book. Dymocks made it a featured book, while it's been given a five star review at My most recent book is called The Coaches: The Men Who Changed Rugby League.

Here's a Fairfax piece regarding the books that have had a big influence on my writing.

I'm currently working on a biography of the Gibb brothers, along with several ghostwriting projects. I'm also involved with an exciting Jeff and Tim Buckley musical event, due to be staged in Australia and New Zealand during September 2015.

I'm a senior writer for Oz Rolling Stone (where I was on staff for several years) and also write for the Sydney Morning Herald. I was the music reviewer for The Bulletin for many years and was a senior writer for Vogue. I have contributed to on-line mag the Hoopla.

Here are two recent profiles of yours truly, one from the Kiama Independent, the other the Illawarra Mercury.

I'm a member of the Australian Society of Authors and am part of their non-fiction writers' mentorship program.

For any enquiries, contact my agent Jo Butler at Cameron Creswell.

Photo credit: Sabina Mayer

Click here for full bio

radio interviewClick here to hear Jeff interviewed about A Pure Drop.

Watch an interview with Jeff talking about Chasing the Dragon:

Kasey chambers

acdc dirty deeds

New Projects

Up from Down Under.
How Australian Music Changed the World.

up from down underThis is a book I've 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.

I launched Up from Down Under at Writers Unleashed in Sutherland on November 17 and spoke about it at the NSW State Library on November 5.

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 book here. And hear me talking with Red Symons of ABC Melbourne.

It's available through the Five Mile Press. The Kindle edition can be purchased through Amazon, where it's been given a five star review.


Jeff Buckley TV interview
I was interviewed by ABC's 730 program, talking about the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley's Grace, filmed amidst Merri Cyr's great photos of Jeff.

Up From Down Under
An exclusive extract of my latest book is available here. Anyone near a K Mart, Big W and / or Target store can find the book at a very affordable price.

WSFM Book Club
Read my review of the recent Johnny Cash bio, for the WSFM Book Club.

Stating my piece
A couple of my opinion pieces, published by Fairfax, can be read here. And I also wrote this SMH feature on the Mavericks and another on Tumbleweed. I wrote the recent Rolling Stone Oz cover story documenting the Stones' 1965 Australian tour. Just like being there!

Ebook versions of my biographies of Silverchair, Keith Urban, JO'K and the Finn brothers, among others, are now all readily available. Details for each can be found here. Ebooks of Shirl and Chasing the Dragon are also available through iBooks.

Jeff Buckley goes French
The French version of the book is now available. There's also plans to make a movie based upon the book, as recently mentioned in Mojo magazine.


Current Releases

jokJohnny O'Keefe
Rocker. Legend. Wild One.
Softcover / Ebook / Buy it / Facebook

The life of legendary larrikin Graeme Shirley Strachan

Softcover / Ebook / Buy it / Facebook

SilverchairChasing the Dragon
The Life and Death of Marc Hunter

Softcover / Ebook / Facebook
November 2011

SilverchairTogether Alone
The Story of the Finn Brothers

Softcover / Buy it / Ebook
June 2010

SilverchairFortunate Son
The Unlikely Rise of Keith Urban

Softcover, 314 pages,
January 2009 / Buy it / Facebook / Ebook

Jeff BuckleyA Pure Drop
The Life of Jeff Buckley

Hardcover, 256 pages,
North America, March 2009 / Buy it / Ebook
For details of non-English language versions, click here.

Jeff BuckleyA Pure Drop
The Life of Jeff Buckley

Hardcover, 256 pages,
Published in UK, Australia and Germany, September 2008; North America March 2009

SilverchairA New Tomorrow -
The Silverchair Story

Paperback, 360 pages,
December 2006 Ebook
Click here to read a Q&A about this book 

Gwen StefaniA Simple Kind Of Life:
Gwen Stefani & No Doubt
Hardcover, 232 pages, July 2007 Ebook

chilli peppersFornication:
The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Hardcover, 360 pages,
July 2004,
Paperback August 2005
Also published in German, Dutch and Italian

Cure - never enoughNever Enough:
The Story Of The Cure

Hardcover, 338 pages, September 2005,
Updated Paperback April 2009

Also published in German, Italian, French, Greek and Polish; Ebook

Dave GrohlThe Dave Grohl Story
Hardcover, 277 pages,
January 2006,
Paperback April 2008
Also published in German

Michael SlaterSlats: The Michael Slater Story
Published 2005

In Harms WayIn Harm's Way
Paperback, 288 pages,
September 2008


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