Interview: Adrian Payne

January 2009

Adrian Payne is the author of The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide

Contact Adrian to buy the book (now available at 33% off RRP)

About Adrian Payne

Adrian Payne is one of the most sought after session singers and voice over artists in Australia. Adrian 's professional vocal experience extends from the 70s to the present day and includes a two year stint with Harry Miller's production of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

Through television, cinema and radio commercials his voice has become familiar to audiences in Australia , UK , Europe , New Zealand and the USA . Some of the big name advertisers that have used Adrian 's voice include Fosters, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Toyota , Tooheys, Colgate etc.

Adrian has performed as a back-up singer in concerts, TV shows and recording sessions on countless occasions for artists such as Marcia Hines, Slim Dusty, Tom Jones, Lee Kernaghan, Doug Parkinson and was lead vocalist for The Tommy Emmanuel Band in the late 80s, as well as being the solo support for Air Supply during one of their US tours.

Adrian's vocal & guitar talents were included as part of the Col Joye band, when he performed on tour with such legendary greats as Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry & The Everly Brothers in the highly successful "Legends of Rock" tour, and is at present rehearsing his own new band ‘The Southern Gentlemen’, a rockin’ country/blues outfit.

Composition credits for Adrian extend from the writing of documentary music to the complete scoring and performing of movie soundtracks and is the producer of Col Joye’s recent album ‘Don’t Give Up’


The Interview

(Book review of The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide follows the interview)

EIN: Adrian, what are you doing in 2009?

AP: Nothing specific planned for 2009. I expect it to be a year pretty much like those few just passed.

A few recording sessions and some singing and guitar work for David Cazalet, who I consider Australia ’s best Elvis impersonator. I’ve been with David now for about 10 years and always enjoy his interpretation of Elvis’ music. I’ll also be trying to hunt down some work for ‘The Southern Gentlemen’.

EIN: How did The Elvis Australian Discography & Price Guide book come about?

AP: I had a fairly extensive collection of Elvis records but was always wondering what had been released and what the gaps were in that collection. I figured there was a real need for this information for other collectors and decided to put together the Australian Elvis Discography.

EIN: How long did it take you to put it all together?

AP: It took about 4 to 5 years to do the research, compile it all and then have it printed.

EIN: Who else from the Elvis world was involved with researching and producing the book?

AP: My main assistant in the endeavour was Sydney based Elvis collector Malcolm Rebello. Between the two of us we managed to detail most of the Australian Elvis vinyl releases.

Others involved in filling in the gaps were friends and collectors such as Jim McRae, Bob Hayden, Jim Peck, Ian Shepherd & Wayne Hawthorne.

The finished product is very impressive, with its quality glossy paper stock and colour images. How difficult was it getting the record details and images for all of Elvis’ vinyl releases in Australia ?

There were some items I couldn’t locate at the time, and some that none of us knew existed, but with the help of those I mentioned we covered 99% of what’s out there.

EIN: Since publishing the book what releases not included in it have you found?

AP: A few things not included in the book that I have discovered since its publication include...
  • Girl Happy LP on Tan label
  • Elvis Gold Records Vol 2 on Tan label
  • Jailhouse Rock 45 'AARM' on Orange label
  • It's Now Or Never 'AARM' on Orange label
  • 45 Surrender on an Orange label
  • EP King Creole Vol 1Gold AARM Award label (Orange label style)
There are a few other variations to labels and covers that I'm aware of, but they are so minor that reference to them would be getting a bit anal.

No doubt there are some interesting items out there that I'm unaware of, that didn't find their way into the book. It would be great to know what they are. So if any of your readers know of any, please let me know.

EIN: What about the claimed 78rpm of Heartbreak Hotel?

AP: The (mythical?) Oz 78 of Heartbreak Hotel........that probably was never made.......but if it was, it would be something to behold and be holdin'!

EIN: Who did all the photography and printing for the book?

AP: I set up a little studio in my home of the time and shot it all on a 35mm Nikon with umbrella type flash reflectors. All the printing was done by Standard Publishing House P/L in Sydney .

EIN: The foreword to the book was provided by the legendary DJ Fontana.  How did you manage to arrange this?

AP: Just before I finished the book chance had it that DJ Fontana was invited to tour Australia with Eddie Youngblood. I was doing some gigs at the time with Eddie as back up vocalist and was also asked to do that tour. I got to know DJ pretty well during that time and asked him if he would look at the draft of the book and possibly make a comment on it for me. He agreed and the result are his very complementary words at the front of the book.

Shown opposite: One of the rarest Elvis LPs in the world....Easy Come, Easy Go (released in Australia and New Zealand)

In fact, I also wrote and recorded a tribute song (it's mentioned in the book)  and I was priveleged to have DJ play drums on it. I will get around to putting it out on CD soon.

EIN: EIN has heard mention of a “special edition” of the book.  What can you tell us about that?

AP: I have no plans at this point for any ‘Special Edition’ of the book. The first 10 copies of the book however were beautiful Gold Embossed hardback copies. These I guess could be considered ‘Special Editions’ I have a couple of these left and will probably one day put them on Ebay.

EIN: It must have been an expensive to produce such a lavish book.  How was it funded?

AP: The total cost of the project came out of my own pocket (which is still recovering) and after selling about 700 of the 1000 printed I have just about covered those expenses.

EIN: Did you have a major involvement in the Australian Elvis scene at the time you were putting the book together?

AP: Not really. I had friends who were collectors and I would frequent the record fairs where Elvis devotees can be found, and of course working with guys like Eddie Youngblood and David Cazalet always kept me in touch with the Elvis scene.

EIN: Where and when was the book launch ed?

AP: There wasn’t really a ‘launch’ as such.  

EIN: How was the book sold after publication?

AP: I advertised the book in the record collectors magazine ‘Goldmine’ and a couple of other mags which were distributed worldwide and interest in the book thereafter was pretty much ‘word of mouth’. It was released in 1995.

EIN: EIN understands you operated a record shop on Pitt Street in Sydney for many years.  Please tell us about that.

AP: In the late 80s my wife and I opened a record shop in Pitt St. Sydney called ‘Shake Rattle ‘n’ Records’. It was an enormous undertaking and a very chancy thing to do at the time as CDs were about to all but obliterate the desire for vinyl – except for those die-hard collectors.

The shop reflected my love of 50s music with memorabilia displays, framed historic 78 rpm records, a beautiful Rock-Ola Tempo II jukebox etc. The ceiling was covered in 45rpm records and the place had a great feeling of nostalgia. Unfortunately our location didn’t do us any favours as we were right next door to two of the most well established second hand record shops in the country.

We hung in there for about 4 years but were financially forced to close about 1993.

EIN: Is there anything else you would like to say?

AP: That just about covers it!

Comment on this interview


Book Review:

The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide

Review Source: "Elvis In Print: The Definitive Reference & Price Guide"

The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide, Adrian Payne, Black Crow Music Pty Ltd, Australia, 1995, Softcover, 72 pages, Illustrated, ISBN: 0949203262

Synopsis: A first for Australian Elvis fans. Meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated price guide to Australian vinyl releases and memorabilia. As with other price guides, this book is full of obscure and interesting facts. Features full catalogue information including details of those small differences that decide whether you own a prosaic or rare record.

Also includes data on inner sleeves. The cover artwork for all of Elvis’s Australian record releases is reproduced in glorious color. A memorabilia section showcases data and cover reproductions of rare magazines, movie posters and sheet music released in Australia.

This book was a limited numbered edition of 1,000.

The Australian Elvis Price Guide & Price Guide is a lavish release printed on high quality gloss paper stock with full color visuals. Recommended.

Rare Elvis 'gatefold' vinyl release from Australia (1986):


RCA Victor: SP-106-G

(19 tracks)

Buy The Australian Elvis Discography & Price Guide

Adrian advises EIN:

"Of the 1000 numbered copies printed only about 300 are left. And they are being sold direct from me at a 33% reduction in price.  

If anyone would like to order a copy just email me

The cost of the book AU $29.99 (approx US $19.50) including Air Mail postage."

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