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John Farnham performs at One Electric Day 2019 on Cockatoo Island on November 09, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hanna Lassen/WireImage)

Unraveling the Death Threats Directed at John Farnham

John Farnham, widely regarded as a national hero, has amassed a devoted fan following throughout his illustrious career. However, amidst the adoration and acclaim, a dark episode unfolded when some of his fans began sending him death threats.

The Pin-up Idol and King of Pop

In the early 1970s, John Farnham, then known as Johnny Farnham, ascended to stardom as a pin-up idol, captivating the hearts of his adoring fans. His remarkable talent and charismatic stage presence propelled him to win the prestigious King of Pop title for five consecutive years. Consequently, Farnham’s popularity reached unprecedented heights, and he became a household name synonymous with success and musical excellence.

The Fateful Announcement

Amidst his skyrocketing fame, John Farnham made a personal announcement that would prove to be a turning point in his career. He revealed his intention to marry his fiancée, Jill. This revelation, seemingly innocuous, ignited a firestorm of mixed reactions among his predominantly female fan base.

“I was fairly naïve about it, I thought they’re going to be happy for me, and of course that wasn’t the case,”

John Farnham, tells Behind The Hits

The Divided Fanbase

Farnham, admittedly naive about the potential backlash, had hoped that his fans would be supportive and happy for him. Unfortunately, reality painted a different picture. His female fans, who had idolized him and harbored romantic fantasies, were torn between their admiration and the sudden realization that their dreams of being with their idol were shattered.

The Death Threats and Harassment

As emotions ran high, a portion of John Farnham’s fan base resorted to extreme measures to express their discontent. Death threats aimed at Farnham’s fiancée, Jill, became distressingly common. The threats extended beyond mere words; moreover, some overzealous fans even showed up at her doorstep, explicitly stating their intent to harm her. These acts of aggression not only shocked Farnham but also highlighted the dangerous lengths to which some individuals were willing to go to preserve their illusions.

“Jilly used to get death threats, some kids arrived on her door stop one night and said ‘We’ve come to stab you’.”

John Farnham, tells Behind The Hits

Listen Below

John farnham and Jillian Billman on their wedding day, 18 April 1973 (Source: National Film and Sound Archive)
John farnham and Jillian Billman on their wedding day, 18 April 1973

Behind the Hits – John Farnham

To gain a comprehensive understanding of this tumultuous period, it is essential to explore the story in its entirety. “Behind the Hits – John Farnham” a documentary series, provides an in-depth account of the rise, fall, and ultimate rebirth of John Farnham. Moreover, the series offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by Farnham during this difficult time and the subsequent impact on his career and personal life.

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Listen to the full podcast below

The Rebirth of John Farnham

Despite the adversity he faced, John Farnham managed to weather the storm and rise above the controversy. He embarked on a remarkable journey of self-discovery, reinventing his image and musical style. This transformation allowed him to reconnect with his fans on a deeper level, forging a renewed bond based on authenticity and growth. Farnham’s resilience and ability to overcome the challenges of the past solidified his status as a national treasure and endeared him further to his audience.

John Farnham: Finding The Voice is In cinemas now, check out the trailer below:

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