Peter Allen: The Boy From Oz
The composer of ‘I Honestly Love You’, ‘I Go to Rio’ and ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ led a classic show business life.
Peter Allen’s performances at the height of his career in London, New York and Los Angeles were nothing less than spectacular, drawing rave reviews, cult crowds, and an ever-increasing network of friends which boasted Bette Midler, Richard Gere and Harry Connick Jnr. With ‘talent’ stamped all over him and a jump-start, whirlwind marriage to Liza Minnelli, Allen had a one-way ticket to the Big Time. What could be further from his humble beginnings in country Australia than the legendary performances in his heyday that, as one critic wrote, ‘would have scandalised any decade other than the 70s’?
Peter Allen: the Boy from Oz is an insider’s look at the man – his fame, image, artistry and survival. Stephen MacLean follows the fascinating and complex trajectory of Allen’s stardom, from his rise through the gender-blurred scramble of the 70s to become part of the popular mainstream, developing as a songwriter in his own right. Out of the spotlight, Allen was held dear by many for his vivacity and humour, and onstage for his powerhouse performances, the trademark high energy tirelessness and camp banter never failing to bring the house down. Allen’s life and times are faithfully brought to life through interviews with the people who knew and loved him best.
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Stephen MacLean, born in Melbourne in 1950, was a music journalist, television presenter, television and film director, screenwriter and author. In 1982, he wrote the screenplay for the feature film ‘Starstruck’. He wrote and directed ‘Around the World in Eighty Ways’ in 1988. Documentaries he directed were ‘Peter Allen, The Boy from Oz’, ‘The Singer and the Swinger’ and ‘The Tasty Bust Reunion’. This biography, ‘Peter Allen, The Boy from Oz’, was first published by Random House Australia in 1996. …