Last night's Pop Life (a book about Smash Hits magazine) launch party at Sydney's Hard Rock Cafe was all that I hoped for and so much more. It was a trip to the land of lost pop stars, a place where 90s has-beens were mobbed like Rihanna - or, more accurately, like Deni Hines - and the legendary Melissa Tkautz shared the stage with that "Introvert/Extrovert" dude from X Factor. This nuclear-powered hot mess made my year and, more importantly, reminded me how much I miss Smash Hits. Pop blogs are great but there was something magical about having a stack of dog-eared magazines to pour over, again and again. I think I'm gonna start printing my blog posts and handing them out to random strangers at the bus stop. Because that's not weird and a sure-fire recipe for publishing success! But back to the party.
Here are some observations/anecdotes from the social event of 2011:
1. David Campbell is really short and looked seriously awkward belting out songs from '80s album "Let's Go". Stick to swing.
2. Cosima De Vito is on the comeback trail. The 2003 Australian Idol third place-getter told me she has a dance anthem called "Right Here, Right Now" set for release early next year. If it's anything like the Taylor Square remix of "Keep It Natural", I'm on board!
3. Former Young Diva Emily Williams is working with some big-wig American producer and also has new music due in early 2012.
4. The always lovely Robyn Loau has a new single in the works and hopes to re-release her criminally under-appreciated album. Can't wait.
5. Siobhan and Jacqui from Girlfriend also showed up, resulting in an awkward moment when the host brought up the possibility of a GF4 reunion. Robyn smiled but the look on her face screamed bitch, please.
6. Is Siobhan still a professional pole-dancer? Her leopard skin print mini-skirt said yes.
7. I've never seen We Go Bang Bang perform live before but the one-woman covers band was awesome. I'm going to have to check her out at the Beresford (where she has a residency of sorts). Nice '80s dance moves too!
8. Luke O'Dell cracked me up. "Introvert/Extrovert" is better than anything T-Pain has released lately.
9. Melissa Tkautz will soon appear in a glamorous new advertising campaign.
10. Apart from gracing your television screen in the near future, Mel will also be unleashing a new floorfiller in January or February.
The E Street icon really was the star of the show, looking flawless in her red gown. She belted out stunning renditions of "The Glamorous Life", current single "Something About You" (below) and her 1991 number one hit "Read My Lips". Hearing the latter live was something akin to a spiritual experience for me. Now if someone can tee up that Toni Pearen duet we've all been waiting for, I can die a happy man!
Pop Life is available to buy in all good bookstores - like Oscar & Friends - now!