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Behind Dark Eyes

The True Story of Jon English

Jon English was the original multitasker. He was the pop star with the raccoon eyes who sang such hits as ‘Hollywood Seven’, ‘Six Ribbons’ and ‘Hot Town’, and the rocker in leather duds who packed beer barns across Australia. Jon was also the swashbuckling Pirate King in the hugely successful Pirates of Penzance, and, in the words of Tim Rice, ‘a brilliantly judged and truly exciting’ Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. And on the small screen he was as comfortable portraying faded rocker Bobby Rivers in All Together Now as he was the brooding convict Jonathan Garrett in Against the Wind. It seemed that no role, or song, was beyond his reach. But there was a lot more to Jon English. He was a proud father of four who married his high school sweetheart Carmen when he was barely out of his teens. He was such a diehard fan of rugby league’s Parramatta Eels that he wrote their team song. And Jon was also a composer whose rock opera, Paris, proved to be the biggest creative and personal challenge of his life. This authorised biography, written with the full support of Jon’s family, friends and peers, Behind Dark Eyes tells   the complete Jon English story, swinging from the massive highs of Jesus Christ Superstar and pop stardom to his struggles with alcohol and depression, and his tragic, untimely death in 2016 at the age of 66.

Jeff Apter is the author of more than 20 bestselling music biographies. His subjects have included Johnny O’Keefe, Keith Urban, Daniel Johns, the Bee Gees, and the three Young brothers — Angus and Malcolm (of AC/DC) and George (of Easybeats renown). As a ghostwriter, he has worked with Kasey Chambers, Mark Evans (also of AC/DC) and Richard Clapton. Jeff was on staff at for several years and has written regularly about music for Vogue, GQ, The Bulletin, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. In 2015, he worked on the Helpmann award–nominated live show . He lives in Wollongong, New South Wales, with his wife, two children, a cat that’s so damned cool it needs no name, and a very blue dog named Neela.

* Authorised and exclusive biography of one of Australia’s music icons.
* Written by Australia’s leading author of music biographies.
* Extensive publicity campaign featuring the author.
* Releasing on Jon English’s 72nd birthday and close to the 5th anniversary of his death.
* Includes 16-page colour photographic section


  • SMH article (Feb 2021/already happened).
  • Today Show (morning TV) date TBC (approx. Saturday 20th March) with Jonathan English as guest? 
  • Womans Day article (featuring Jon Englishs son Jonathan and his partner Christie who have featured in the mag before, promoting the book)/On Sale 14th March.
  • ABC Sydney radio Evenings with Sarah Macdonald/Jonathan English as guest (20th March).
  • ABC Melbourne Breakfast radio with Virginia Trioli/Mario Millo as guest (date TBC).
  • ABC Gold Coast Breakfast radio with Bern Young/Simon Gallaher as guest (date TBC). 
  • ABC Overnights radio with Trevor Chappel (date TBC).
  • 3AW Melbourne radio Evenings with Denis Walter (who is releasing a duet of a Jon English song on his radio program 26th March/TBC).
  • Senior Newspaper (750k readership nationally) giveaway and possible feature article/interview (April edition).
  • Jules Vines 3MDR 97.1 FM Melbourne radio (date TBC).
  • Interview with Love That Album Podcast (has 213 episodes).
  • Richard Perno interview (2DU radio) (date TBC).
  • Robert Howes (Pop Rock! with Robbie radio) (date TBC).
  • Quentin Ellison (Friday Neon 4ZZZ FM Brisbane) (date TBC).
  • Bill Kable (Dads on the Air radio) (date TBC).
  • Kevin (Howdy Partners Podcast) (date TBC).
  • Tim Williams 2MCE radio (Bathurst/Orange) (date TBC).
  • Shaun Sandilands Breakfast radio 4KQ693/Brisbane Classic Hits (date TBC).
  • Neil Griffiths The Music Podcast (date TBC).
  • Neil Gill SCA/Orange Radio (date TBC).
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