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  • Playing to Win

  • The Definitive Biography of John Farnham
  • By: Jeff Apter
  • Narrated by: Rob Meldrum
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Playing to Win cover art

Playing to Win

By: Jeff Apter
Narrated by: Rob Meldrum
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Publisher's Summary

John Farnham is the quintessential Aussie legend. As a teenager he gave up an apprenticeship to chase his musical dreams, hitting the big time with the catchy pop ditty 'Sadie (the Cleaning Lady)'. But it wasn't smooth sailing from there.

A family man at heart and the most loyal of friends, John was sometimes uncomfortable with the spotlight and for many years struggled to make his music career as successful as those close to him - including Glenn Wheatley and Molly Meldrum - could see it could be. He finally hit his stride with 1986's Whispering Jack and the breakaway success of 'You're the Voice', which became the anthem of a generation.

John lived it up - holidaying with the Skases in Port Douglas and sharing cigars with Bob Hawke at the Lodge - but always came back down to earth. Inherently humble, the King of Pop would also become king of the comeback, proving to have a longevity rare in the music industry.

In this deeply personal and insightful biography, author and music industry insider Jeff Apter, thanks to the support of those close to John, provides a rare glimpse inside Farnsie's world, unlike any other book about the man. He reveals the drama behind John being named Australian of the Year, how the cassette demo of 'You're the Voice' was nearly overlooked, and how John once accidentally sparked the attention of ASIO. And he explores Farnham's relationships with the figures who have been instrumental in making him 'The Voice': his first manager, Daryl Sambell; his wife of 40-plus years, Jill; and longtime friend and manager Glenn Wheatley.

©2016 Jeff Apter (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Is There Ever Too Much John Farnham?

Not likely. So many memories in the stories of Farnsy. The soundtrack to our lives ❤

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

whispering Jack

Great story about a true legend of Australian rock and and true Aussie legend John fanham

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply the best

I wasn’t fully aware of the downs in his career and life so that was very informative. I have always regarded him as one of the best singers in the world and that was reinforced when we saw him performing with Tom Jones in Brisbane. A great story of a great Australian.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

I listened to the Gazzo book on John and she's used so many of your writings from this book, word for word. I was very disappointed that she appears to have ridden on the back of your book to enhance her own book (which has many untruths) and to promote herself. Borderline if not absolute plagiarism.
For anyone trying to choose which one to listen to, as Molly would say "Do yourself a favour" and choose this one.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great story, blandly told.

Hmmm, a somewhat interesting and encompassing story of John. Unfortunately, Rob Meldrum (the narrator) sounded like one of the Leyland Bros. His monotone delivery was dead boring, and this could have been so much better.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved This

Despite being a massive John Farnham fan, this book revealed how little I actually knew about him, and I loved the whole journey.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What an inspiration

Wonderfully insightful, a truly lovely life story of hard work, love & of course talent

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous!

What a story! What a great mate! He is not only a most wonderful hard working entertainer but a thoughtful, kind and loyal person.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DT
  • 10-01-2020

Why Sadie had to die...

Loved learning more about Farnsy, but found the narrator's 'Farnsy voice' hard to align with the actual subject. A good listen though, if only for the insight into the trials and tribulations endured by one of this country's most endearing superstars.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Whispering Jack's Life, Ealy Years, 2 Present Day

This was a really good listen as a John Farnham fan you don't learn anything any DIE-HARD Farnsey fan didn't already know however that being said sometimes you can forget something then you remember.

I love anything John Farnham so I was over the moon to have this book is well written the author knew his John Farnham life

if your new to John Farnham this is a great starter book and after reading this you will know a big amount of our beloved auddie icon. If you think you know everything there is to know about John then it's your choice but I think any fan should at least give this book a chance is very enjoyable n well worth the read even if it's just to reminisce about John Farnham

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.