Shake Some Action: My Life in Music (and other stuff)By Stuart CoupePenguin Books
“You’re talking to Stuart Coupe?” remarked my wife excitedly, after I told her I’d catching up with Stuart at the tail end of an impending work trip to Sydney. “Tell him I used to read his column in ‘Dolly’ all the time! We all did!”
To thousands of teenagers – especially teenage girls – in the 1980s, Stuart Coupe was the guy who wrote that column in Dolly, championing music he liked, dissing commercial dross he didn’t, and offering various observations and advice on various non-music topics, including kissing and the art of romance.
Not being a reader of the magazine, I wasn’t familiar with Coupe’s work with “Dolly”, though his by-line did appear in regular dispatches in music magazines and newspapers. Decades later I interviewed Coupe for my Spencer P Jones biography; one thing led to another, and he became instrumental – in fact, was the critical force – in my obtaining a publishing deal. So, full disclosure, I consider Stuart Coupe a friend and sincere supporter of all the best things in music.
“Shake Some Action” tells Coupe’s story, from his childhood in Launceston, to his formative years in Adelaide as a music writer, to syndicated columns (and "Dolly"!), the chaotic world of band management, the heady, drug and alcohol fuelled world of music industry largesse and the harsh economic reality of tour promotion and label ownership.
Wasteland Blues – O.C. Rippers (Ruined Records)
Ocean County, New Jersey, is a 40-minute drive from the Ashbury Park foreshore of Bruce Springsteenand a million miles from his $5000 concert tickets. The same goes for the music of O.C. Rippers,whose 16-song “Wasteland Blues” album is a million times more exciting.
It’s the vinyl version of the 2021 debut CD and if you hang around the I-94 Bar you’ll know the modus operandi: Equal parts Dead Boys, Stoogesand Candy Snatchers (especially) with songs that mostly last less than two minutes and are spat out at breakneck pace (for the most part) with venom.