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Rocker's career has tale to tell

by Noel Mengel

Courier Mail - August 9, 1995

Stephen Cummings' long and varied career is about to take another twist. In between writing and performing, he has finished his first novel, Wonder Boy, which will be released by Heinemann next February.

"It's absolutely the hardest work I've ever done," the 20-year veteran of Australia's rock music scene says. "I did 14 months part-time on it, working on it at night, and then took five months off this year to finish it. It was good because writing songs became my release, my escape from it, so it's been a creative time musically as well. The book is set in modern-day Vietnam and it's kind of..." He pauses to consider: "P.G. Wodehouse meets William Burroughs!" Anyway, whatever it is, it's dryly surreal, he assures me.

Cummings returns to Brisbane tomorrow for the first dinner show at Grand Orbit. This time he will be playing an acoustic set, with himself on 12-string guitar and Danny Luscombe, of the Black-Eyed Susans, on second guitar.

"Danny's only 19, which is bizarre. I feel very fatherly towards him," says Cummings. "And it's good playing with someone who comes from such a different perspective. He's got very diverse tastes in music, from acoustic to thrashy."

Cummings next solo project will be another album with Steve Kilbey of the Church as producer, following last year's successful collaboration on Fallen Swinger.

Another project for release later this year is a band called Four Hours Sleep, with Cummings co-writing the songs with Bill McDonald, who had played bass in Cummings' band.

Cummings meanwhile will have his hands full with his second novel, The Catcher, which he is writing now.

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