Chugg’s Homecoming

Michael Chugg received a hero’s welcome when he returned to the island state of Tasmania for the Amplified conference October 5-8 at Hobart’s Wrest Point casino.

Chugg is the conference’s patron. At its awards night, he urged young musicians to not be daunted about finding success. More than half the acts he tours don’t have a radio hit, but have created a community through the Internet and by going on the road, he said.

He impulsively announced he would give a $2,000 prize at next year’s awards to whoever did the most for marketing Tasmanian music.

Chugg was part of “Bald And The Beautiful,” an on-the-couch interview session.

He had the audience in stitches about his run-ins with various stars, including the time Frank Sinatra wanted to cancel a tour after Sammy Davis Jr. got better reviews, and how his early start as a teenage horse race caller in the early 1960s came to an abrupt end when he got excited and dropped the magic word during a radio broadcast.

– Bryan Jones