Australian News 6/13

Michael McMartin lauded, AC/DC drummer avoids jail, Pink sets record, Tori Amos and Heaven And Hell head downunder,…


Michael McMartin Lauded

Talent manager Michael McMartin was announced as recipient of the Ted Albert award for lifetime contribution to the Australian music industry at the 25th Australasian Performing Right Association awards.

He received a standing ovation from the 600 attendees.

Managers John Woodruff and John Watson presented Sydney-based McMartin the award at the June 5 event at the Melbourne Town Hall.

McMartin’s Melody Management handled the Hoodoo Gurus since 1985, as well as producers Charles Fisher, Tim Whitten and Steve Connolly.

McMartin moved from Canada to Australia in 1971 and started Trafalgar Studios.

Its offshoot label signed acts as Radio Birdman. He is international director for the Music Managers Forum (and instrumental in the formation of its Australian chapter) and founding member of the Association of Artist Managers.

"Managers were never accepted as professionals but that has changed," he said in an impassioned speech that included an acknowledgement to his late wife Elizabeth, who was his partner in his studio, label and management operations.

Augie March won the song of the year for "One Crowded Hour" and Wolfmother took the award for songwriters of the year.


AC/DC Drummer In Court

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleaded guilty to common assault against his former partner in Tauranga District Court in New Zealand.

It followed an argument between the two at the Mount Maunganui marina over their children, aged 10 and 4, who witnessed Rudd holding a clenched fist against her face and pretending to push her over (Rudd claimed he stopped her from falling over).

He was discharged without conviction after his lawyer argued a criminal conviction would stop him from entering some countries and affect his career.


Pink Sets New Brisbane Record

Pink’s five shows at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre set a new record for the venue.

Her dates on May 4, 5, 25, 26 and June 8, booked through Michael Coppel Presents, drew 54,000 fans.

This exceeded figures by John Farnham, and Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton.

Nationally the tour shifted 307,000 tickets over 35 dates, now the biggest tour by a female artist.


Tori, Heaven And Hell Head Downunder

Michael Coppel Presents is bringing Tori Amos back for seven theatre dates September 10-27. Her last visit, in 2005, sold out eight dates.

Andrew McManus Presents is bringing Heaven And Hell, the Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, for seven arena stops August 2-14.

Blue Murder, Slingshot Touring and High Fi Present teamed for "death rap" pioneer Neco’s first visit August 30 to September 3.

Russian-born, New York-based piano troubadour Regina Spektor makes her Aussie debut for Frontier Touring with four theatre dates July 9-18.

Welsh power trio Budgie will also make its first trip in October, for Cossac Entertainment.


Levi Taps Valdez, Wagstaff For New Label

Jeans company Levi Strauss Australia set up a development record label, called Levity.

Levi tapped former Channel [V] and Max marketing manager Andrew Valdez to run it through his marketing company Rodriguez.

Doing A&R is Todd Wagstaff, who discovered acts including You Am I (whom he managed for a while), The Vines and Mercy Arms. Label manager is Mel Nahas.


Aussies On The Road

A number of major Aussie acts are on the road.

R&B diva Kate Ceberano is set for seven theatre dates September 14-28. Having recently won the TV competition "It Takes Two," Ceberano is bringing along her dance partner John-Paul Collins onstage for some dance routines.

The Ghostwriters, which includes members of Midnight Oil and Hoodoo Gurus, will stride the boards from June 16 to July 18.

Mick Hart, who has lived in France for the past 18 months, will return to promote his 17-track album Finding Home with 18 dates starting in late June.

He’s finished dates through Europe (coupling with the John Butler Trio in France and Germany) and Japan, and opened for his hero Van Morrison at the Olympia in Paris.


Short Notes

Veteran performer Billy Thorpe was posthumously awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, announced June 11.

Thorpe, 60, who died of a heart attack in February after a 40-year career, was among 524 Aussies from all walks of life who were honoured.

Pop duo The Veronicas are launching a range of their children and teenager clothes through Target stores August 25.

Local promoters might be interested in bringing California’s Coachella and U.K.’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals to these shores.

R&B vocal act Human Nature will be recording with Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier in Los Angeles.

Ciel Fuller of Book’em Agency has teamed up with Nick Smethurst of In Finland music to re-vamp Rosie’s as a live music venue in Brisbane. It is expected to open July 1 after renovations.

The Adelaide Entertainment Centre grossed $25 million in the current financial year.