Q&A Scene: Jeff Duff


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
My new album ‘Walking on Eggshells’ kicks off with the title track, which is also the single and video. I wrote the title track about lovers I have had. In particular lovers with a psychological disorder. I seem to attract these folks into my life, possibly because I’m a little loopy myself!
I’ve discovered that many of my friends are literally having to walk on eggshells around their partners. In most instances it’s just to keep the peace! If that’s what it takes, I’m happy to travel solo. Regardless, it’s a worthy topic for a song. Eggshells is my 27th album…it seems like a prolific output, but in reality, it’s just what I do, so it’s no big deal to me.
Most of the lyrical ideas for the album came to me while sitting on the tiny jetty in my front garden. The jetty is located in a small Elizabeth Bay inlet on Sydney’s beautiful harbour. I wrote the material for the album with Steve Bull, icehouse bass player. Actually, the Icehouse rhythm section play on the album. The album is a peek into my world. It’s a modern statement regarding age old relationship problems.
History repeats…
No-one has the definitive answer!
How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

Steamed vegetables and tofu prepared with a tablespoon of love and a pinch of humour. It’s my favourite meal and one which I prepare most evenings for supper. Omnipresent.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?

Of the songs on the ‘Eggshells’ album, I like them all for different reasons. …but the song called ‘What planet are you from’ resonates heavily in my world. It’s a question I’m often asked… I often feel like the ‘Man who fell to Earth’ [Bowie movie] I do feel like I don’t belong here, or anywhere. This song implies my feelings towards being an outcast.

Any on the road anecdotes?

Many, I have a book being published early next year which is fairly salacious. It’s not obviously a ‘kiss and tell’ and no real life names are mentioned. Anyone in my life implicated within the chapters of my book will know if I’ve eluded to them. It’s probably best if you wait to read the book, especially if you want any hardcore road tales.
As I’m promoting my Bowie show, below is a tiny Bowie anecdote….
When I first moved back to Australia in the early nineties, following my decade long sabbatical living in London. I was stopped in the street one day by a couple of guys from David Bowie’s band. As it happened, I discovered I was living next door to the thin white duke. Bowie owned an apartment in Elizabeth Bay for ten years, from 1983 -1992 next door to me. His musicians had been coming to see me perform in a local club in Kings Cross where I had a residency. They invited me to have coffee with Bowie in my local cafe. I’d previously met Bowie a few times before in London but it was nice to meet him again as a neighbour.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Like all artists, I’m constantly inspired by observing life.

Nature, people, relationships, music… and genius!

What’s next for you?

I’m currently performing my Bowie [unzipped] show around Australia. www.bowieunzipped.com.au
including Melbourne shows fast approaching at the Toff, Thur 14 May and Flying Saucer, Fri 15 & Sat 16 May. We’ve recently played our Bowie concerts in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, with Tasmania and Adelaide fast approaching.

I’m also performing an eight week season of the Ray Charles gospel show in June & July at the Collins Street Baptist Church in the heart of Melbourne. It’s called ‘Genius:the Gospel, Soul, & Rock’n’Roll of Br Ray’ www.geniusshow.com.au

What’s your scene?

Currently, I’m completely enveloped by writing my book; trying to complete the manuscript for my tome.
As my book covers my entire life to date…and maybe beyond, I have much to digest and turn into text.
My journey has probably been more eventful than most and a large part of it has been captured in photographs.
Sorting through thirty odd years of images is no easy task.
I will be touring the book as I would tour an album. It will involve live performance, film footage, Q & A.
It’s an exciting prospect that i’m eagerly looking forward to.

About Jeff Duff

In a flamboyant and often controversial music career Jeff has released twenty-six albums, including a recent album with members of legendary British rock band Deep Purple.

When Duffo took refuge in England in the eighties, he had, as they say, worn out his welcome in Australian rock.

He was simply too much of a handfull, this ‘waif with a wharfie’s voice!’ camping it up out front of his trail- blazing rock ensemble ‘Kush’ At the time, Jeff’s androgynous stage persona, dressed n leotards, garish make-up & a touch of the operatics was considered far too outrageous for many Australian audiences…so Jeff aka Duffo headed for London.

Jeff quickly established himself in the UK & became the darling of London’s new wave movement during the eighties staying one step ahead of his peers with his flamboyant performances.
The exhibitionism & visual assault so integral to British punk culture could have been a sequence from Duffo’s own fertile imagination.

Soon Andy Warhol was issuing forth his oft-quoted utterence: ‘Sinatra, Presley, Jagger, Popeye…& now Duffo”

Duffo returned to Australia in the late eighties to re-introduce his powerful voice and unique style to the local scene.

His recording & accompanying video of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wildside’ helped re-establish his career in oz & has become an Australian classic.

Jeff’s recent leading role in ‘Genius’, the Ray Charles gospel show staged in Melbourne was acclaimed by critics.’‘Duff was truly magnificent!…How such an extraordinarily soulful voice can come out of such a skinny white guy is beyond me” [PBI FM Radio Melb]

Jeff’s longtime admiration for David Bowie eventually led him to staging his own popular ‘Bowie Unzipped’ and ‘Ziggy’ shows.
The ‘Ziggy’ show recently completed a national concert tour of Australia culminating with a capacity crowd at the State Theatre in Sydney and five sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House.

Jeff’s recent 2012 album ‘Fragile Spaceman’ received critical acclaim….
      “Fragile Spaceman” is a mature, serious and beautiful statement from one of Australia’s more unique performers. ”He’s created one of the best albums you’ll hear all year”. [Australasian independent news & analysis]

Bowie’s official website ‘BowieNet’ also gave the album a great rap ‘There truly are some beautiful moments on this album and Jeff is in extremely fine voice. I hear little hints, most likely unintentional, of Peter Gabriel, & Elbow….get yourself a copy” [BowieNet news Feb 2012]

Jeff recently had an acting role in Baz Lurmann’s multi-million dollar movie ‘Gatsby’ starring Leonardo Di Caprio which was filmed at Fox Studios in Sydney.

Over the last twelve months Jeff has written and recorded a new album [his 27th album] titled ‘Walking on Eggshells’ which will be released in early 2015..

”I don’t think it’s overstating the case to say that, had Jeff Duff hailed from a country in the top half of the world, he could now be as acknowledged and acclaimed as David Bowie or Lou Reed or Iggy Pop” –
[ Glenn A. Baker, rock historian]




Tour Dates

Fri 1 May
The Vanguard – Newtown
Sat 2 May
Wenty Leagues Club – Wentworthville
Thurs 14 May
The Toff – Melbourne thetoffintown.com
Fri 15 May & Sat 16 May
Flying Saucer Club – Melbourne www.flyingsaucerclub.com.au
Sat 27 June
Camelot Lounge – Marrickville https://camelotlounge.wordpress.com/

Fri 3 July – Bowie Unzipped PT I

Sat 4 July – Bowie Unzipped PT II
Sat 18 July – Centro CBD – Wollongong www.centrocbd.com.au/


About Mandy Hall 950 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.