The long-awaited Jeff Duff autobiography has finally been published—to be released in May 2016.
Crafted by Duff over many years, dubbed, for a time, “The Naked Singer”, this new release from Melbourne Books now has a provocative promise as its title: “This will explain everything“.
That should catch all cats looking for answers to the nature of things (mee-ow), and so the Duffological. And nobody will be disappointed (everyone’ll be enlightened) once giving this 248 page tome a finger-flick, let alone cherishing it, bosom-wise. And real humans will do that for sure, once espying the foreword, for a start …
From the Foreword byMolly Meldrum:
Jeff Duff once hosted Countdown dressed as a sausage. Unique is an over-used word in showbiz. But Jeff Duff is unique.
When I first met Jeff, he was wearing a wedding dress. That was just a usual day in the unusual life of Jeff Duff. He’s been arrested in Ballarat and outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, banned by Ray Martin’s Midday Show, appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, and sung some unforgettable songs.
And no man looks as good in a leotard.
Flamboyant, eccentric, cheeky, charming …
Jeff Duff is one of the greatest entertainers Australia has produced. —Molly Meldrum
This handiwork of Duff’s is beautifully presented: hard cover printed on gold foil, 248 pages all silver-gilt, with colour throughout.
Darren Sanders was joined on his TV show recently by the Australian Music Legend Jeff Duff —screened on 28 Feb, including performance of “Vampire Lover” and chat about 70’s Glam Rock and his other career d’amour … in cricket.
Jeff Duff’s Ziggy: The Songs of David Bowie show returns to NSW venues in June 2016—as reported by noise11.com.
5 dates announced so far—from Newcastle to Wollongong—including a station to station dash from the Thirroul show down south on a Friday up to the Enmore Theatre, Newtown, on the Saturday. See the “Hot stuff” sidebar for dates.
Going by previous Ziggy shows, Duff might well lead the band and feed the crowd with performances of Ashes to ashes, China girl, "Heroes", Let’s dance, Sorrow, Space oddity, Starman, Young Americans and the ever-astounding rendition by Duff of Wild is the Wind à la Bowie.
With Brydon Stace on board for the high-top singing, he might also pull out Under pressure. And with Steve Balbi on board, there’s a good chance of burning off on a blistering Moonage daydream.
There are plenty of ‘tubes out there to get an early fix of the show, as performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Enmore Theatre, et al., in previous years. See the duffstuff catalogue of Duff tubes here—links to 17 tubes from the Ziggy Shows, + 31 from the Bowie Unzipped shows. For example, for starters:
the dada-esque approach to Warholian themes in Sandy’s Drum:
and a stylish reflection on James Dean:
Duff’s invitation to "Come drown with me":
And there’s more …! VIZ: a contemporary version of Walk on the Wildside, and a more recent video of Duff’s Hide-and-seek, all re-released via Laneway Music.
See all Duff tubes from most recent to earliest, on youtube and vimeo, catalogued here. That’s all of about 190 tubes, or about 14 hours of viewing.
As of tonight, they’ve collectively had 270,102 views (as calculated by the Duff Rover). That’s over 60,000 down from late last year when the original Easy Street video (performed by Kush, live on the Paul Hogan Show) was pulled by youtube due to copyright issues (presumably related to a Paul Hogan retrospective on mainstream TV). Sadly, because this was by far the most viewed Jeff Duff video on youtube. But ~ an alternative copy of that vid still lurks on youtube …
Jeff Duff is to appear in Polymorphia—a film by Sydney-based film-maker Edward Inchbold to be released in 2016. It’s a film of the short genre in which "an insane man meets the man in his head who makes his dreams". Duff plays the role of "Albert".
That’s according to IMDB, which also notes that the film stars one Felix Johnson as "Mr A B C", and one Nerida Bronwen as "The Dancing Girl", with music by Steve J. de Souza, among other seasoned artists of cinematography, production and costume design, etc.
Inchbold—this film’s writer, director and producer—also has the 2014 film Hard lines behind him. See also his early profile at the film-maker’s share-site mutinee.
Film director Edward Inchbold, selected me to play one of the rather spooky characters in his new short movie called ‘Pollymorphia’. We filmed the movie in Sydney in September. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed film … apparently the aim is to have it screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Pending more details, let’s ponder the above woodprint from 1618 of a burning hermaphrodite, which seems to fit in with the theme and perhaps even style of this new Duff project.
For more info about Duff in film and theatre, there’s:
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby—background info about Duff’s appearances, alongside Leonardo Di Caprio, here, with screenshots of Duff’s cameos here, and the whole movie via amazon here for streaming or here by hard-copy
Andrée Greenwell’sThe Hanging of Jean Leehere, being a post-punk opera about the last woman to be hung in Australia, Duff playing her victim
The cult Oz science-fiction/heavy-metal movieSons of Steel in which JD sprightfully plays the role of a hyper-glam nerd of body/mind science, Secta
For samples/purchases, go the links on the Jeff Duff Stuff TRACKS page. Just note that (1) Amazon MP3s are not generally available for purchase via Australia; (2) Google Play links are fine for both ample preview and purchase.
The two Kush albums Snow White and the Eight Straights and Nah, Tellus Wh’t Kush Means Yer Great Sausage are there (via Amazon and Google Play):
There’s also Jeff Duff Orchestra’s Alone & Paranoid album, and the two albums with Joseph Calderazzo.
The two late Duffo UK albums are finally available: that’s Bob the Birdman and Lexicon.
Sadly, only, as Duff goes streaming, cats will need to find another source of boxes to go strange in.
In the article, Duff comments on several Walker albums/tracks. There’s also info on how Duff’s preparing a Walker-inspired show, collaborating with the producer of Walker’s Nite Flights album.
Which brings us to another of Duff’s inspirational associates: Bowie, who spoke in awe of this album, and recorded its title track, with a vid where mime beats paparazzi, and art survives (exploits?) its survey:
The Norton Street Festa of Italian culture in Sydney this October 25 did not miss a Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr rat-pack. Short of the Festa being all pasta workshops, pizza, screaming bambini, screaming Mammas, groaning Pappas, beautiful people and cheesy French Fries, the Festa sported its own Rat-Pack in the form of Jeff Duff, Glenn Rhodes and Jess Ciampa on its mainstage from 1:00 p.m.
Well, at least the water-carrier was thanked by Duff for the vodka, and an appointment was made for whacky-backy with some happy bearded man in the crowd. All in good humour, of course, given Duff’s a totally clean machine. And that was really the extent of the rat-packery. The mood was merry, charitable and festive.
Some samples follow of the songs, complete with the festive sounds of the merry crowd.
Among the songs performed by the Duffo Trio were Walk on the Wildside, Walking in Memphis, Sorrow and Sailing ….
Sailing is the Chris Cross track. It’s not usually of a cool calibre. Specifically, if you were into Duffo when Chris Cross’ Sailing first came out in 1979, you’d’ve surely missed it, maybe even sneeringly. But if you’ve since expanded your tastes, thanks especially to Duff’s own evolving catalogue, it’s a cool beauty as performed by the Trio. Sure, Chris Cross’s own version is pretty nasal; he abbreviates and just about squanders every meaningful potential of his own song. In Duff’s hands, in His Master’s Voice, and the keys and beats of Rhodes and Ciampa, this song is now a musical experience of genuine and graceful optimism—primed with Duff’s elegant elocution, and the artful way he expresses melancholy as he offers hope. There is nothing so bombastic as Walt Whitman’s claim to “sing the body electric”. There is more of the angelic hope of Keats, ready to die in the wake of the nightingale’s sweet song. Optimism that soars while being deeply anchored. Sailing, indeed. Try it at the bus-stop (I did, in Blacktown, and never lived longer).
Love the one you’re with
The Trio of Duff, Rhodes and Ciampa was popular, driven to two encores, kindly over time. Amid these encores came the only really Italian track by the trio, given its association with "Dino Martino":
The song was recorded by Duff for the 2007 So Quiet album (available on iTunes), and Duff performed Sway on the popular nationwide Kerrie-Anne Show on Channel 9 TV:
Hard to get a shot let alone a vid at the Italian Festa without the various body parts of festival goers cavorting through every circumstance. So many of the shots from this occasion miss out on Duff’s feet. One tried hard to get a shot of what looked like a pair of particularly special Duff shoes; but whenever one got a frame on them, the Maestro’s mercurial spirit took him flying off left or right, and so on, over and over again.
For another experience of the Trio: Sun 29 Nov at St Leonards Park, Miller St, North Sydney, at the Spring into Jazz Festival from 3:00 pm. Read about Duff at last year’s Spring into Jazz here.
Congratulations on the JDS site. It really is amazing, comprehensive and accurate … and very well written. Your research is sublime … Thank you for all the hard work … / You continue to impress me with your handsomely constructed and informative insights into ‘Duffoworld’— J. Duff [ 2011/07/07 & 2012/05/17]