Warren Fahey

A Hair Past A Freckle

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Warren Fahey takes readers on a wild ride through the music business, including his legendary Folkways Music store, fiercely independent Larrikin Record label, and behind-the-scenes of some of Sydney's most outrageous social events.

Then, in the wink of an eye, he goes bush recording folklore and old songs, searching for signposts to the Australian identity. As a performer, he struts stages all over the world and Australia's outback, including remote Aboriginal communities and one-horse mining towns (where the horse has usually bolted) and then, in costume as 'Banjo' Paterson, performing alongside Max Cullen (as Henry Lawson) in their hugely successful two-man play 'Dead Men Talking'.

Then there's another side, as Warren recounts stories about some of Sydney's notorious alternative underground parties where nothing was sacred and everything surprised. The memoir is revealing, quirky, and often hilariously funny as it firmly presses nostalgia buttons and celebrates the genuine Australian larrikin spirit.

Warren Fahey has been a voice on ABC radio for over 55 years. In 1968, he began regularly reviewing books on music and folklore and presented Australia's first radio series on world music. He went on to script several major series exploring Australian stories and folksong, including The Australian Legend, While the Billy Boils and The Songs That Made Australia. With the launch of ABCFM, he became a regular on Sunday Folk.

ABC Music and ABC Books went on to release his catalogue of records and books. For the past 25 years, he has been a 'talking head' - discussing everything from the history of the bush biscuit to Australian slanguage, convict stories to tales about maritime mysteries.His legendary Folkways Music store opened in 1973, and its cheeky slogan 'Real Music in a Sea of Shit' was famous for its specialist catalogue of recordings, music books and musical instruments. In 1974, he established the independent Larrikin Record label. After selling Larrikin to Festival Records in 1993, he became Deputy MD of the Festival Mushroom Group.

The Australasian Sound Recordings Association presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, estimating he had been responsible for releasing over 800 Australian albums. He talks of owning independent record companies and the saga of the Men at Work Kookaburra legal case (he opposed the legal fight).

Considered one of Australia's foremost cultural historians, he has been honoured with the Order of Australia, Advance Australia Award, Judith Hosier Golden Gumleaf Award for lifetime services to the bush ballad, The Australasian Sound Recording Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Prime Minister's Centenary Medal and, in 2010, Australia's highest award for lifetime achievement in music, The Don Banks Music Award. He is a sometimes singer, actor, filmmaker and storyteller. He prefers to say he is a graduate of the Dingo University.

Author: Warren Fahey

Paperback  Published 26 June 2024  250 pages

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