Mark Opitz and the inside story of making the great albums of Oz rock.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say my career wouldn’t be anything without Mark Opitz, and I say that on behalf of many Australian musicians.
Mark Opitz has lived an extraordinary life. His tale is remarkable, immediately gripping, and incorporates the making of some of the greatest music and musicians Australia has ever known.
Sophisto-punk includes all the ingredients of a ripping yarn: a broken home, rags to riches, mind-blowing excess, exotic locations, laugh-out-loud anecdotes and tragedy.
In 1975 a job with the ABC led Mark to the music label EMI, which in turn led to a musical apprenticeship with the legendary record producers Harry Vanda and George Young.
Describing the next phase in Mark’s life is like recapping an Australian rock encyclopaedia.
Engineering records with AC/DC
Producing the first album for The Angels (the band that captured the sound in Mark’s head, which he could only describe as ‘Sophistopunk’)
A long, fruitful and extremely colourful association with Cold Chisel and simultaneously running the A&R department at Warner Music;
Producing landmark albums for Divinyls, The Models, Australian Crawl, Hoodoo Gurus and forming another close association – this time with INXS.
The end of the ’80s saw Mark globetrotting as ‘advisor to the band’ on INXS’s massive Kick Tour ... and eventually living in Michael Gudinski’s basement. This last arrangement was more rock ‘n’ roll than any of Mark’s musical ventures to date.
Throw in the time Mark had to manage Bob Dylan’s performance for the Academy Awards, the other time he recorded Ray Charles, produced Kiss with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and you have one incredible story.
Sophisto-punk will take you on a unique journey inside the bands, tours and recording studios of the music that defined an Australian generation.