> Skip to content

Mark Opitz and the inside story of making the great albums of Oz rock.

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.

-Jimmy Barnes

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.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    November 1, 2012

    Ebury Australia

    400 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 1, 2012

    Random House Australia

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au


The Princess Diarist
The Story of the Jews
The Wife Drought
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire
Secrets for the Mad
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls
Me. You: A Diary
The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power
How To Be A Bawse
The Better Angels Of Our Nature
The Unwomanly Face Of War
Set the Boy Free
Not Dead Yet: The Autobiography
Rod: The Autobiography
Grumpy Old Rock Star
Sick On You
Just For One Day