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Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - July 21st 2010

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Meat Loaf's real name is Marvin, but he recently said: "The last person who called me Marvin will be buried on Thursday." Matthew Tilders was 14 when he came to Australia with his family in 1955. Coming from The Netherlands, his new mates gave him the obvious nickname - Dutch. Now he's never referred to as Matthew, "unless someone's being facetious". Dutch Tilders is a great name for a bluesman, though he's been called plenty of other things. "When I was starting out, The Age called me Dutch Tedders, and then I was doing a gig in Queensland with Geoff Achison and we drove through a place called Childers. Geoff said, 'That's one way they haven't spelled your name.' But sure enough, we got to Rockhampton and the paper called me 'Dutch Childers'."

Whatever you call him, Dutch is the Godfather of the Blues in Australia. He jokes that when he started playing, people thought the Blues was just a footy team. He was 15 when he did his first paying gig - playing the harmonica at Collingwood Town Hall. Australia's rock pioneer Johnny O'Keefe was also on the bill, but Dutch can't recall if he met him. "I was in awe of the whole situation." Dutch's musical journey actually started in The Netherlands, where he was a choir boy. "I was an alto for two years, but then my voice broke, so that was the end of that." Dutch was also expelled from boarding school "for being a bad influence on the rest of the boys". He played the piano as a kid, and didn't actually pick up a guitar until he was 18. "I like performing," Dutch says, "it's my only egoism. If you're not an egoist, forget it! When I was a young man, I was painfully shy with girls and I used to say stupid things. Then I played the guitar, and girls would come to me and say stupid things."

Like John Williamson, Daryl Somers, Paul Hogan and Peter Andre, Dutch got his big break on New Faces, but he points out that he already had a deal with Ron Tudor's Fable label before going on the show. With his distinctive drawl, many people assume that Dutch is actually American. And after hearing one of his records, B.B. King thought Dutch was black. But, believe it or not, Dutch has never even played in America. The closest he's got to an international tour is doing some gigs in New Zealand. Another surprise is Dutch confessing that he's "not all that fond of the bloody guitar. It's been all guitar since 1956 - I'm over the bloody thing. I'd prefer to listen to a good sax player or a good piano player."

Dutch is a wonderful showman and raconteur. Sadly, he recently found out he had cancer of the oesophagus and liver. He says the news didn't shock him. "With the oesophagus, I couldn't get a piece of meat down it, so I knew something was up." Dutch has written a song called Going On A Journey, which he's recorded with an all-star band, including Broderick Smith, Geoff Achison and Mick "The Reverend" O'Connor. Dutch's spirit and sense of humour has not deserted him. "You gotta die of something," he says. "I thought I would have been more devastated, but I just decided, 'Here we go, this is another journey to go on.'" Next week, Dutch starts his chemotherapy and he'll join his mates at a huge benefit gig at the Thornbury Theatre. "I've been honoured and humbled by the support of so many friends." The bill for the July 29 event includes Chain, Kevin Borich and Chris Finnen. The show is sold out. But this won't be your last chance to see Dutch - there are a lot of gigs left in this journeyman.

Everyone in the local scene would have a Patrick Donovan story. Like a character from Cameron Crowe's classic Almost Famous, Paddy is your old-style rock star journalist. Put simply, Paddy lives it. After 12 years as The Age's Sticky Carpet columnist, Paddy is leaving the paper to become the CEO of the new industry body Music Victoria. We'll miss his Sticky news and views, but we're rapt that he'll be serving the industry in such a big gig.

It's been a big year for birthdays, what with The Meanies celebrating their 21st and Even turning a sweet 16. And this Friday is the 22nd birthday for The Fauves. The guys did their first gig on July 23, 1988 at the Mt Eliza Football Club. "There was no rider, we were underpaid and no one got laid," singer Andrew Cox recalls. "It was a microcosm of an entire career."

No Aussie acts in the national Top 10.

We No Speak Americano YOLANDA BE COOL (number 11)
All The Lovers KYLIE MINOGUE (23)
Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (30, debut)
Big Jet Plane ANGUS & JULIA STONE (36)
Mousetrap Heart THIRSTY MERC (38)
Baby, I'm Getting' Better GYROSCOPE (40)

Kylie spends a second week at number two.

Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (number two)
A Beautiful Exchange HILLSONG LIVE (five)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (10)
Deep Blue PARKWAY DRIVE (15)
Cinema THE CAT EMPIRE (16)
Restless AMY MEREDITH (19)
Immersion PENDULUM (22)
We Are Born SIA (23)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (32)
Mousetrap Heart THIRSTY MERC (36)
Iron Man 2 AC/DC (38)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (39)

Going On A Journey DUTCH TILDERS
Always Coming Down CORDRAZINE
Everybody's In Debt JASON WALKER

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