Australian News 5/23

Wheatley Starts Home Detention

Music manager Glenn Wheatley began the remaining eight months of his jail sentence in home detention May 19.

He was sentenced July 2007 for tax avoidance of $318,000.

He has to wear an electronic tagging ankle device, cannot drink alcohol or conduct interviews with the media.

His wife Gaynor told local media he planned to get back to work and "spend a lot of time redeeming himself in everybody’s eyes."

During his jail time, Wheatley advised indigenous hip-hop inmates on how to crack the business and recommended Pollstar.


Promoters Face Aussie Support Push

In its budget handed down May 13, the Australian government made a provision that international concert tour promoters must hire an Australian support act.

Artist managers were enthusiastic about the move, pushed for by arts minister Peter Garrett, one-time singer with Midnight Oil.

They say support slots put young acts before new audiences and often get them mainstream radio airplay.

In the past, acts have also been invited to join the headliner on other global treks. These include The Waifs (invited by Bob Dylan to play the U.S.), Jet (The Rolling Stones) and Vanessa Amorosi (KISS).

Managers also want the Australian support act’s name included on all tickets and promotional material.

They warn that promoters could get around the new rule by hiring a string quartet or folk duo and having them perform in the venue’s lobby.



Highly regarded sound and studio engineer John Villani died in Perth from cancer, a few weeks before his 55th birthday.

Working in an audio store, Villani started to build his own PA systems. He quickly acquired a reputation as a top-notch live sound engineer, working with acts including The Tourists (later Eurythmics), B.B. King, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Marcia Hines and Johnny O’Keefe.

Villani set up Northbridge Sound Studios in 2005.Jessica Jacobs, 17, actress and singer with The Saddle Club, died after falling in front of a train at a Melbourne station.

Queensland radio presenter Tonky Logan died aged 56. He lived much of his early life as an alcoholic vagrant, and then found work as a volunteer radio announcer with Townsville’s 4K1G.

His country music program, "Tonky’s Country Country," grew from a two-hour request program to a four-hour national show that ran for 14 years.


Short Notes

Paul Weller, who fronted iconic British acts The Jam and Style Council, will make a five-date theatre run August 13-23 for Michael Coppel Presents, his first shows downunder in 20 years.

San Diego’s Jason Mraz will return with his full band August 6-14 for Michael Chugg Entertainment.

Andrew McManus Presents is bringing Chaka Khan for three theatre dates June 13-17. Australia’s R&B diva Marcia Hines opens.

Melbourne’s Vodafone Arena becomes Hisense Arena effective July 1, after the Chinese electronics and home appliance company won the naming rights in a six-year deal. Hisense, headquartered in Qingdao, recorded $7 billion in sales income last year.

Jimmy Barnes will undertake his first theatre tour in a decade, joined by his R&B singer daughter Mahalia Barnes and her Soul Mates. Fresh off new album Out In The Blue, which debuted at No. 3, Barnes and Barnes are set for 11 dates June 25 to July 19. The soul singer will make a three-week European trek come September.Vanessa Amorosi, who made a Top 10 comeback with a new rock-soul sound this year, is locked in for a tentative 15 dates May 24 to July 22, with more dates being negotiated.

The University of Tasmania’s music venue, Uni Bar, escaped closure by the Liquor Licensing Board. Police recommended its license be revoked after a hip-hop concert attended by 800 went out of control, leading to arrests when violence broke out.

The board found the Tasmanian University Union, which leases and operates the Uni Bar, had not contravened responsible service of alcohol.

Rock band Dragon and singer/songwriter Russell Morris were the first two names announced for ARIA’s Hall of Fame. The awards ceremony takes place July 1 at the Melbourne Town Hall and will broadcast on VH1 July 5.