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BOOK REVIEW: The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum

| 30 January 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum
With Jeff Jenkins
Allen & Unwin
October 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8/10

Molly Meldrum - The Never um Ever Ending Story book cover

As Australia’s leading early music journalist and a Phil Spector-like record producer of some note, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum made a bit of a cult name for himself, but it was as first talent co-ordinator, then host of Sunday night music program Countdown from 1974 to 1987 – Australia’s equivalent of, say, Top Of The Tops – that he truly became a household name.

Somehow, despite his bumbling interview style, full of ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’, he became one of the most trusted interviewers in the music world, on call to the likes of Michael Jackson, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Madonna and many more.

Each chapter – and indeed, often from paragraph to paragraph – of Meldrum’s book bounces back and forth in time and subject as Meldrum’s scatological brain recalls triumphs and parties, bitchfights and disasters, concerts and interviews – regularly fleshed out by his recollections of the famous and beautiful in attendance.

From meeting several Beatles in ‘60s London, to Elton John’s wedding in Melbourne, famously diabolical interviews with a confused Kim Wilde (‘I don’t understand the question at all…’), wasted Iggy Pop (‘hey there Dogface!’), and bemused Prince Charles (‘I saw your Mum the other day’, says Molly. ‘You mean Her Majesty The Queen?’ counters Charles), and more, Meldrum revels in giving his readers his behind the scenes stories, with help from many contributions from friends, associates and musicians who provide their own interesting snippets along the way.

Sometimes the narrative is looser than one of Meldrum’s notorious parties – just a succession of vignettes, flashes of memory gone a second later of outrageous events in an almost stream-of-consciousness retelling, but that kind’ve fits with the on-screen character that we of that generation came to know and lovingly ridicule.

In amongst the self-deprecatingly hilarious anecdotes, though, something’s missing: there’s precious little of Molly’s own emotional story. He doesn’t do drugs (surprisingly), he’s bisexual (less surprising), but little else. It’s almost as if he’s writing about someone else and not wanting to dig too deep.

Category: Book Reviews

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