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Ringside : A tale of music and mayhem from the man behind rock and roll superstars Cold Chisel - Rod Willis

Ringside

A tale of music and mayhem from the man behind rock and roll superstars Cold Chisel

By: Rod Willis

Paperback | 31 October 2023

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A tale of music and mayhem from the man who made Cold Chisel rock and roll superstars.

At 18 Rod Willis jumped on a boat for London, the Mecca for music and fashion in the 1960s.

A decade on, after working in the US and Europe with UFO, Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, he returned to Australia. A burning desire to find an act he could take to the top led him to an unknown band by the name of Cold Chisel. Little did Rod know, when he took on the role of manager, that it was the beginning of a remarkably successful 32-year relationship. Along the way he would be instrumental in establishing the trailblazing Dirty Pool Management Agency, which would change the local music industry forever.

Ringside takes you behind the doors of the studios and beer barns that were the breeding grounds for bands like Cold Chisel, and reveals how Cold Chisel became the biggest band in Australia. After initial struggles, they struck paydirt with the 1980 album East, one of the highest-selling Australian albums of all time. Rod guided 'Chisel' until 1983 and their unforgettable Last Stand tour.

In 1996 Rod steered Cold Chisel back into the studio and onto the stage: a remarkable—and seemingly impossible—return that would lead to the 1998 Last Wave of Summer album and the groundbreaking Ringside tour of 2003.

During his 50-year wild ride, Rod would encounter everything and everyone, from The Beatles, notorious groupies and mobsters to music industry legends, while witnessing the creation of a musical catalogue that has become an integral part of the great Australian songbook.

About the Author

At 18 Rod Willis jumped on a boat for London, the Mecca for music and fashion in the 60’s. A decade on he would return to his homeland Australia after a career of working in the US and Europe with a variety of international groups including UFO, Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. A burning desire to find an act that he could help take to the top led him to an unknown band from Adelaide by the name of Cold Chisel.

Little did he know that when he took on the role of manager - becoming the latest in a procession of hopefuls - Rod would begin a remarkably successful relationship that would continue for the next 32 years.

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