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.