Book Review - Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 17 October 2018 13:49
Published in Music News  
Stuart Coupe's latest book is titled 'Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll'. Stuart Coupe's latest book is titled 'Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll'.

In 'Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll', author Stuart Coupe is granted an access all areas pass to the closed world of Australian roadies.


Never before has there been a book that so carefully traces the history of Australian road crews and what makes them the best in the world.

By Stuart's own admission, the volume is in no way definitive, nor could it be given the storytelling nature of life on the road, but it houses perhaps the most comprehensive account of how roadies and road crews in Australia evolved from their early days up to now.

Roadies Book Cover

From the very beginnings of 'one man, one van, one band' endeavours to the multimillion dollar technological feats of logistics that are modern productions, we are taken into the heart of the culture with in-depth interviews from legends of the industry.

Click here to read our recent interview with Stuart.

Stuart sets the tone right away by recounting a classic tale of sex, drugs and rock & roll from Cold Chisel's wild touring days before delving headlong into where it all started with the man considered by singer Col Joye to be Australia's first roadie, Jim Doyle.

The book frames becoming a roadie as the modern equivalent of running away to join the circus, and readers get a front row seat to the backstage shenanigans of some of the world's biggest bands via first-hand accounts from veteran roadies.

Beneath the glamour though is a dark reality of being a roadie that Stuart is earnestly trying to turn our attention to: the suicide rate for Australian roadies is four to five times the national average, a statistic not mirrored anywhere else in the world.

Throughout the book we learn about the ingenuity of roadies and the lengths they go to in making sure the show always goes on. It also gives a grim insight into the heavy mental and physical toll the lifestyle takes on roadies as well as the valiant efforts made by the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) to provide essential support and counter the devastating trend.

'Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll' is more than just a collection of stories from life on the road; Stuart has lovingly created an important, intimately researched chronicle of the lives lived (and lost) in service of rock & roll, the unseen and unsung heroes we call roadies.

'Roadies: The Secret History Of Australian Rock 'n' Roll' by Stuart Coupe is available now.

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