Foxtel Arts have announced a special tribute interview Michael Gudinski: My Story to screen on the eve of a Victorian State Memorial service.
Gudinski spoke with Munro for a 2018 History series Mateship– which celebrated the 100 years of close bonds that unite Australia and America. In this he reflected on his time trying to crack the US music scene, thinking perhaps he waited too long to go to America with Skyhooks with the tyranny of distance.
The full interview will now form the basis of a Foxtel Arts tribute, with an insight to Gudinski’s family, his illustrious career, his love and passion for the music industry and his gratitude to Australia and its’ music fans.
“Mushroom was a rock label and a lot of people thought I was going crazy but Kylie, to see her so strong to this day, she is Australia’s greatest export, she’s our queen that girl. Then you look at Jason, Dannii, Peter Andre, and a lot of people were going this is the end of Mushroom. Well let me tell you, you’ve got to pay your bills, and as I got older I realised it’s not just about what I like or being a fan of, it’s about appealing to generations and different generations,” he said.
Mike Munro said: “Michael gave so much during the interview – factually and emotionally – that by the end of it there was this overpowering silence among the camera/sound/lighting crew who were obviously effected and moved by Michael’s life story.”
Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television said: “Michael Gudinski was one of a kind – a larger-than-life figure, widely respected for his unwavering passion for all music, in particular Australian music. Foxtel is honoured to have the opportunity to share this rare and intimate interview with one of the industry’s most illustrious pioneers. It is a fitting tribute.”
Gudinski pinpointed his early influences in music which included the band The Loved Ones, who he would watch at lunchtime concerts in the City. Gudinski knew he wanted to leave school and would come up from the grass roots in the Australian music business, working in cloak rooms and putting up posters and knew at the time the industry needed change. Gudinski loved original talent and looked back fondly on The Sunbury Music Festival, where he worked as a stage manager promoting the Festival, describing that moment as “the birth of everything that really came about”, and the first time an all Australian line up was celebrated. It was not long after, Gudinski founded Mushroom Records and shortly after Skyhooks came along who helped put Mushroom on the map.
Gudinski revealed his favourite decade, the 80’s for bringing international acts out to Australia, and whilst he lived and breathed Australian music, working with the international acts opened doors for Gudinski in the States and UK.
Michael Gudinski founded the Mushroom Group in 1972 at just 20 years old, which flourished into Australia’s largest independent entertainment group covering touring, record labels, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production and creative services. Some of Australia’s most iconic albums have been released under one of his Mushroom Group record labels including Skyhooks with their debut album, Living In The 70’s, New Zealand expatriates Split Enz and artists released on Mushroom Records read like a who’s who of Australia’s finest talents including: Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Hunters & Collectors, Paul Kelly, The Angels, Yothu Yindi, and many, many more.
Gudinski would launch a new international tour promotion arm that would change the game. Frontier Touring which toured the biggest names in global music since its inception in 1979 including: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, Leonard Cohen, Kylie Minogue, Justin Beiber, The Killers, Billy Joel and countless more.
Gudinski’s wide-ranging businesses don’t stop with music, with Mushroom Pictures, co-founded in 1993, which co-produced feature films such as Chopper, Wolf Creek and Gettin’ Square, plus hit TV productions (“Molly”, “Head First”).
Most recently, Michael conceptualized, developed, and delivered the most unique televised concert ever screened on Australian television – Music From The Home Front, The Sound and The State Of Music. The concerts featured performances by over 50 of Australia and New Zealand’s most iconic musicians, filmed in isolation with the accompanying compilation album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Charts, with 100% of proceeds going to music industry charity Support Act.
Tuesday March 23 at 7.30pm on Foxtel Arts.