John Woodruff Retires

Veteran Australian manager and publisher John Woodruff received a standing ovation when he delivered a keynote address Feb. 25 at the Fuse Festival in Adelaide.

It was also his farewell to the music industry, he said. He plans to head to Europe to do more sailing.

In a witty and irreverent speech, Woodruff recalled his college days when he set up a pirate radio station, promoted a little known AC/DC and set up Dirty Pool booking agency in the ’80s, looking after acts including Icehouse, The Angels, Cold Chisel and Baby Animals.

He is best known in the United States for discovering Savage Garden, mortgaging his house to pay for their two albums, which sold a combined 23 million copies after 12 labels turned them down.

He told delegates, “Fascination is the key in this business. Someone either fascinates you or they don’t. Full stop.”

Woodruff also helped set up the Music Managers Forum in Australia, while his passion for radio lead him to publish radio tipsheet “The Music Network.”

He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007 and received an Order of Australia medal for his services to the music industry.