Thrice-crowned Rock Brain of the Universe, Australian journalist Glenn A. Baker, has recouped his often-quoted observation that Jeff Duff, had he been born in the northern hemisphere, would long have been cushy, in popular minds, alongside Bowie, Reed and Iggy Pop — noting "the presence about him … the astonishing voice … the capacity to fit into any environment …"
That’s in this exciting and informative vid with generous quotes from the Southern MainMan Himself [3 views as of posting]
Actually, listening to Duff here, we hear the limits of Baker’s thesis. Duff admits he was “too way out there” even for British audiences. Yep, the data available to the Institute for Duffological Studies do not exactly gel with GAB’s proposition that Duff, alienated from Oz, found a perfect home in punk UK. Duff was gob-smacked and punched-up at his UK first gigs, abandoned by execs at a publicity stunt, and encountered groaned out enthusiasms from UK TV presenters even as he offered them masterful live performances—to(Russell Harty on ITV, and Annie Nightingale on the Old Grey Whistle Test). Maybe this is real punk-type celebrity; Duff still hotted up the charts, so much so that he’s become one of the elect "UK New Wave Greats", in line with Elvis Costello, The Jam, and Joy Division. But this historical status wasn’t led by bells and whistles, Rudolph and chorus-girls. It came by mighty slogs, against the odds—slogs and odds perhaps no less trying than what JD endured in Oz, after all.