Farnsey quits gaspers for 70th birthday
John Farnham has quit smoking as part of a health overhaul since turning 70 in July.
The iconic singer cancelled a handful of shows in April after he was taken to hospital following a post-surgery infection.
"I had a severe kidney infection, I was very dehydrated," Farnham said
"I didn't realise until too late. I'd been feeling uncomfortable, my wife Jill had been telling me to go to the doctor. Typical bloody man, I was saying 'Nah, I'll be right, it'll be fine'. Until I had to go (into hospital) and I was very unwell there for a while. I'm good now.
"It gave me a wake up call to look after myself a bit more. I gave up smoking just before my birthday. I haven't had a smoke for a few months which I'm happy about and that's made me feel better. I'm still having a love affair with the occasional glass of red wine."
Farnham took up smoking as a "stupid" 14-year-old and only quit after finishing Jesus Christ Superstar in 1992.
"I quit cold turkey and didn't smoke for 12 years," Farnham said.
He started smoking again after getting a box of cigars for Christmas in 2004.
"Stupid habit. It was a little easier to quit from cigars, but I'm better off not smoking, I'm a bloody singer for God's sake. I'm using my lungs. I've already noticed the change. I've increased my range, I've got a bit more to give, I've taken a blockage out."
Farnham celebrated his 70th with a private dinner at his favourite restaurant - Donovans in Melbourne - where his gifts included a 70-year-old bottle of whiskey, a 40-year-old bottle of brandy and "bucketloads" of cigars.
"Unfortunately I hadn't told anybody I'd given up cigars. I must have a bit of a reputation as a drinker and a smoker! I have the occasional dram (of whiskey), to the chagrin of my wife.
"But 70 feels good. Age isn't something I've ever worried about, we all get older. Getting sick like that was a wake up call. I'm seeing a personal trainer who drags me around and throws weights at me. You're not young anymore, you have to look after yourself."
Farnham's career has spun into an interesting new trajectory over the past five years - outdoor shows over indoor gigs.
"We always avoided outdoor shows, I have an older audience, I always thought they'd want a chair not a moshpit. But I'm loving playing outside."
This year he'll play the One Electric Day outdoor festival shows with a bill that includes James Reyne, Jon Stevens, Vanessa Amorosi and Southern Sons.
And after years of the event chasing him, he finally agreed to perform at The Falls festivals around the country over the New Year's period, where the average age of punters is 25.
"It surprises me as well," Farnham says of his regenerating fanbase.
"I don't know what happened. I'm old enough to be most of their grandfather. It's kind of weird but I'm loving every second of it."
Farnham will play for around an hour at the Falls - he was sent a video of his hit You're the Voice being dropped by a DJ between bands.
"The crowd were singing along, that blew my socks off and had a lot with me agreeing to do it," Farnham said.
"I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot, so I'm really pumped, I'm up for it."
The Falls will be headlined by Vampire Weekend, Disclosure and Halsey.
"I'm not overly familiar with many acts on the Falls line up at all, I feel a little guilty about that, but I'll do a bit of research and it'll be interesting to watch some of them at work."
As well as his work with his trainer, Farnham continues his passions of breeding quarter horses and riding cutting horses when not performing.
"In the old days you'd go out for four or five weeks and do shows back to back, which would probably kill me now. I get to rest and recuperate during the week, spend some time with the family, and then work on the weekends. It's fun.
"Sometimes I don't know if there can be much more interest. But if the work's out there, I'm in."
John Farnham plays One Electric Day at Launceston Country Club November 2, Cockatoo Island Sydney November 9, Brisbane Riverstage November 16, Werribee Park November 24 and Seppeltsfield Barossa December 7.
Falls Festival in Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay and Fremantle.