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Playing To Win

Original release date: October 2016 - New edition January 2023 Woodslane Press

Release Date:

Jan 2023

For quite some time now I've been writing about, and with, iconic Australian musicians. (OK, the odd Kiwi, too, but you know we claim the best ones as Australians.) So it's odd I haven't already written a biography about John Farnham, in some ways our most iconic singer of all — certainly our most popular. Foolishly, I got entangled in matters of 'coolness', something John has never been accused of, nor pursued. But once I started to dig into the life and career of John / Johnny / 'Farnesy' Farnham, I learned what a rich and lively story it is, how a regular guy took a punt on a career in pop, peaked very quickly, and found himself washed up and seemingly done — all before the age of 30. Then, with the faith and tireless support of several key people, and a reborn belief in his own ability, John's career reached the type of supernova heights he hadn't even approached during his 'Sadie' days. And then — and here's the kicker — John managed to not only prove that Whispering Jack was no fluke, but maintain a second coming that continues 30 years on.

I say this about every book I write, admittedly, but I'm incredibly proud of what I've emerged with, a very Australian story about an iconic Australian character. (OK, I know, I know, he was born a Pom, but let's not get too picky.) Hope everyone enjoys reading Playing to Win as much as I did writing it. It's out through Nero books in beautiful hardcover. It's also available as an audio book; you can hear a sample of Rob Meldrum (Molly's brother) reading the book.

A softcover edition of the book will be available in October 2017 through Nero Books. You can order the book through Booktopia and get a sneak peek inside the book here. It's also been creating a bit of controversy.Thanks to everyone who attended a series of talks I gave about the book in Brisbane during March 2017.