Good Reading : September 2008
8 goodreading ı SEPTEMBER 2008 me my shelf i adam hills Adam Hills is one of Australia’s most talented and widely respected comedians. Born among the fondues and large family sedans of 1970s Sydney, his first job in the entertainment industry was as a stagehand on The Midday Show, where his main task was to make sure Ray Martin’s hair didn’t collapse and kill the guests. Ray’s hair having become too dangerous, Adam left The Midday Show and forged a career as a popular breakfast radio host and stand-up comedian. But Adam had a dream, a dream that could only be realised overseas. He wanted to meet his boyhood idol, Adam Ant. In pursuit of Adam Ant, Adam Hills moved to England and quickly became one of that country’s most admired stand-up comics. His hilarious and life-affirming brand of comedy saw him nominated three times for the hugely prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. He played sold-out tours, received people’s-choice awards and was invited to perform in front of international producers at both the Montreal Comedy Festival and the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival. The world was at his foot. But something was missing. He still hadn’t met Adam Ant. One evening Adam was sitting around listening to Adam and the Ants’ neglected first album Dirk Wears White Sox when he received a phone call. Could it be Adam Ant? No, it was his Australian manager offering him the job of hosting Spicks and Specks. While Adam was deciding whether to take the job he received another phone call. Could this be Adam Ant? Yes! It was Adam Ant! What? Adam Ant had called Adam Hills out of the blue? It seems Adam Ant was a great admirer of Adam Hills and a mutual friend had given Adam Adam’s number. It was just like a fairytale where all the people involved were called Adam. As Adam sat having tea with Adam he suddenly realised he had it all. ● What are you reading now, and why? I am actually halfway through an autobiography by Slash, the guitarist from Guns N’ Roses. I’m not even that big a fan of Guns N’ Roses, but we did have a guy on Spicks and Specks who signed them to their record label, so I did a lot of research on them.The book itself is amazing – very well written (or ghostwritten) but incredibly candid and totally debauched. I may have to go to detox from just reading it. ● Who are your favourite authors? Tom Robbins is top of my list. I have read about half a dozen of his books, and each time need a few months before I can read another one. I need time to savour what I have read, digest it, and let it inspire me. Kurt Vonnegut has a similar effect on me. The writing is exquisite, and the ideas are so incredibly left of field that they seem to suggest an altered way of looking at reality. Or the best way of looking at reality. ● Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? I was once given Jonathan Livingston Seagull by a very good friend, and it has stayed with me ever since. That, and Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu are the books by which I try to live my life. ● Which author would you most like to meet, and why? Tom Robbins, because I reckon he’d connect with the phrase ‘Go you big red fire engine’. ● If you were stranded on a desert island alone, what are the five books you would want to have with you? Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Illusions by Richard Bach, The Collected Works of Banjo Paterson and How to Survive on a Desert Island .