Tuesday, October 26, 2010

#219: Viva Las Vegas

How can you not like Richard Nixon? I mean, look at that face – you know when he told a hippy to shut up he meant it, just watch Futurama. You know that when he said he was not a crook he meant it. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t the truth; he meant it all the same. Richard Nixon rewrote history even as it was happening, the ultimate in revisionist historians, and better than that people have been writing, and rewriting Nixon’s history by the day. I doubt that anyone would rightly remember if Nixon was actually impeached, if he quit or if he was sacked and prosecuted. If you know the right answer then help yourself to a cookie from the top of the fridge.

Ol’ Dick did some strange things in his time. He appeared on television with a dog and saved his political career. It was a good thing for Nixon that Checkers, his mutt, didn’t do a Woodrow, who spread his legs out wide facing the camera and licked himself into a state of highest enjoyment. Oh, how we all laughed when Woodrow did that on live television and Simon Townsend couldn’t stop giggling as he caught a sight of Woodrow the bloodhound and his massive red frankfurter and saying. “Woodrow! Stop that! Now it’s over to Wednesday Kennedy who is interviewing the Branch Davidians.” As if cutting to Wednesday would stop Woodrow from humping the leg of a cameraman and blasting Woodrow Juice all over the place. Still, you just knew that Woody would never go hungry, after all Simon could have chopped up Jono Coleman and fed the dawg for a decade or so. Wonderworld my arse. The only decent things about Wonderworld were Woodrow, Wednesday Kennedy, Edith Bliss and the fact that Simon T loved Kiss when nobody else did. Catorina Rowntree, who bears a striking resemblance to a large breasted on-line amateur porn star known as Wifey, and who likes to show photos and videos of herself looking like someone has just thrown egg whites on her face, came a lot later. No pun intended. Indeed I’d say that all of the videos and photos supposedly of Catorina doing the nasty are of this person called Wifey – don’t believe me? Enter the words “Wifey” “big tits” “porn” and “cum shot” into Google, go for the images and see for yourself.

Where were we? Nixon. As far as I’m aware there’s no Nixon porn out there and if there is, trust me, I don’t want to see it. I have a copy of the Mimi McPhearson porno somewhere, but seriously, it;’s not much chop. Sure, she looks good, but talk about a wasted opportunity. Now one of the oddest Nixon moments came when the man who hated druggies, hippies and rock and roll met Elvis, known for his love of drugs and rock and roll. I’m sure ol’ El also loved hippies, or at least loved putting Lil’ Elvis into them. One fine day Elvis decided that he wanted to go to the White House and meet th’ President of the Uhnitad States. It was arranged. Elvis, being Elvis, walked in with a gun for the President which was quickly removed, much to the amazement of Elvis. Why, anyone would have thought that someone wanted to hurt Dickie. Why would anyone want to hurt Nixon? Well, despite the fact that he had a self-compiled enemies list that contained more names than the White Pages he did have Vietnam to contend with, and that was just for openers. Nobody liked Nixon, hell his own re-election committee was called Committee to Re-Elect the President, or CREEP for short. That ranks up there with the recent Coalition Real Action Plan, or CRAP for short. Still, Elvis met Nixon, they had a chat and Nixon promptly made Elvis an honorary DEA agent, mainly due to Elvis’s strong stance against drugs and the fact that Elvis mentioned how he could easily use his fame to find show business people using drugs and put them into the cops. Luckily Elvis didn’t mention that he was so fucked up on speed, poppers and whatever else he could ingest at the time that he could barely stand up straight, Elvis was against anyone other than himself using drugs.

And cheeseburgers.

A few weeks later was playing a show in Las Vegas when he invited Tom Jones backstage. Elvis loved Tom Jones and Tom Jones, well, he liked Elvis, and more importantly for Tom Jones he loved the girls that hung around Elvis. Tom, no massive drug user he, was long and strong where Elvis was floppy and fat, so it was easy pickings for the brickie from Wales. Tom walked in and found Elvis sitting there, as he described it later, "...with a voice like a fart in a jar." Elvis stumbled to his feet and mentioned how he'd met Nixon. Elvis then produced his beloved DEA badge and mentioned how he now had the authority to arrest any drug addict. Jones looked at him and said, as only Tom Jones could, "Fuck me Elvis, you'd better arrest yourself first eh?"

That was the last time the two men met. True story, swear to God and yet another reason to admire Tom Jones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#218: Sex Crime

I can clearly remember when I first read 1984 and the reasons why. When I was in grade 5 at school, at the tender young age of 10 years old, it was 1977 and my life began to change, in literary terms, for the better. That was a fairly good year to be a ten year old boy as Star Wars was released, so my life revolved around pulp magazines, comic books, Charlie Brown, Wizard of ID, science fiction and, well, crap really. I’d read almost anything that I could get my hands on, but when it came to books I was limited in what I was allowed to read as the guidance came from my teacher. I can’t remember her name, but if I close my eyes I can see her face and hear her voice, she was young and idealistic, as most young people in the ‘70s were. I hope she still is idealistic, and she was cute as well. All in all she was one of the few teachers I had who actually taught me something.

In 1977 the focus was on problems around the globe, the proposed oncoming nuclear war (yes, we were taught to duck and cover as we were close to an air force base and thus considered to be a target), terrorism, explosions in London (you see, cars and things blowing up on London was popularised by the IRA, not by some Islamic fundamentalists in the 2000s), hijacked aircraft and dictators like Pol Pot and Idi Amin. I never understood Idi Amin, and Pol Pot, to me, was the name of a place that sold plants. My teacher asked what I was reading, so I told her how I’d devour the library material, Topliner books, Colin Thiele, Enid Blyton (I loved, and still do love, The Secret Seven, the Magic Faraway Tree and The Famous Five) and those unique kiddie books that I can’t remember the titles of but can happily tell you the plots. One of my favourites was about a boy inventor who was named after Thomas Edison and who foils a plot by rigging the entire town with his various adaptations and inventions. That and Captain Midnite – the best Australian book about fictional bushrangers and talking cats ever written – were amongst my favourites.

I expect that my teacher decided that I needed to take the next step, so she gave me a copy of Watership Down, which I read and loved. It’s one of the top five books that I’d happily take with me to a desert island; such is its power and imagery. The final battle between the rabbits is some of the most emotive and impacting writing that I feel I’ve ever read. Watership Down set me on a path of wanting to know more and more than ignited my thirst for knowledge. She then gave me some non-fiction to read, in order for me to rightfully understand my role in the world, and how the world was shaped. Again, my eyes began to open, and open wide. I learned that not all history is what is purports to be, with the best example being the canonisation of leaders such as Winston Churchill, who, when you study things closely, was just as bad as those he fought. If you don’t believe me then ask the millions of eastern Europeans that he knowingly sent into the waiting arms of Stalin’s regime after WWII, not to mention those people he sacrificed for the glory of England in WWI and WWII, Australians and Americans alike. It wasn’t enough, I wanted more.

At the end of the year she gave me a Christmas present – a paperback copy of 1984, which she’d bought from a book sale for five cents. The best five cents ever in my eyes. I took it home and read it, but I failed to understand it, so I left it alone to enjoy my holidays, comic books and other crap.

A few years later I found that book and sat down to read it again. At the time I was engaging in Bible studies by mail – just because I wanted to know what the fuss was about, because it was free and because it meant I got mail and something else to read. Once I started to read Orwell the Bible studies went in the bin, which is not to say that Orwell made me an atheist, far from it. At the same time I read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and began to read Steinbeck and Hemmingway, the former I enjoyed, the latter I thought was a bit overblown and over-hyped, but different strokes. No matter what I read that year, 1982, I came back to Orwell. It was killing me and I felt a real fear that a fascist state would eventually be formed, in a mere two years hence. I’d go to bed, dream and be terrified. I decided to read Animal Farm as an antidote, and that scared the shit out of me even more. Suddenly I began to take notice of the world around me. Ronald Regan was on TV saying things such as, “The country that truly wants peace must first prepare for war.” This was a bit too close to Orwell’s ‘War Is Peace’ slogan for my liking. Reading Time Magazine I found only assisted in my then growing paranoia. I saw reports on the Balibo Five and read how it never happened, but my mother remembered it vividly. I then went to the local library and dug about until I found the contemporary newspaper reports that led me to question what I was now being told and make me wonder – who was this Roger East, why was he assassinated and why was nothing ever said about it.

From Orwell I branched out and found Aldous Huxley and Brave New World. That was it for me – by the time I was 19 I’d read these books, seen the world change and wanted to kill myself – depression via the classics. The fact that there was a certain culture that’d dismiss such authors in public as being subversive made me even more depressed. Books I loved became evil; people wanted me to read Peter Carey, Stephen King (which I did) and other so called ‘safe’ authors. I’d avoid them. One of the highlights of my life came when I found a 1st edition of 1984 in a garage sale. Sure it’s the paperback, but it’s a 1st edition of a book that shaped the world, and still shapes the world. I have that book still, and it will not leave my side.

I was one of the few who read Alan Moore’s V For Vendetta and recognised it for what it really was, an adaptation of 1984. It scared me even more via the immortal quite, "People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of the people". The thought that Governments would slowly, but surely, take over the people by eroding basic rights, removing privileges and engaging in propaganda and sloganeering. To me these were the things that Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin did, but the more I saw the more I realised that every Government does it, some of larger scales than others. Nationalism, censorship, newspeak, doublethink – it’s all there. It was all there, all along, always. We haven’t suddenly been thrust into the world of 1984; we’ve been there ever since Orwell published the book in 1948. Words cannot be written, you cannot comment on things that affect you directly, for fear of being branded a subversive, a traitor or worse. Video games control the masses, we are Borg. Torture; be it physical, mental or emotional is still in vogue, it’s the methods that change from time to time. Censorship really equates to suppression of the truth, of opinion, of fact or of informed view. The world we live in today is controlled by the few, for the few and not for the masses. Slogans are the key – get a good buzzword and you’ll win the race. The media, the internet – everything is monitored. The advice is that you should not even whisper in an elevator for fear that someone may overhear you and report you, that you should not post your thoughts and views on the internet for fear of being disciplined. These days there are more things that you should not do, for fear of your livelihood, for fear of your sanity; for fear that all you have and all you are will be removed. The swords of Damocles hang heavy over your heads.

Don’t believe me? Look out the window and see for yourself.

Big Brother is watching you. I know that they’re watching me.

If Ignorance Is Strength then I am weak.  When I was young Huxley and Orwell terrified me like no horror movie ever could.  Now I'm older and the world at large terrifies more than Huxley and Orwell ever could.

Monday, October 18, 2010

#217: Space Invaders

And a good time was had by all. Don’t mind me, I’m starting at the end of last night, that way you can get the happy ending straight away and can now leave if you don’t want to know what went on, you pervert.

It was another night amongst the aging meerkats, men of dubious reputations with no hair on the top of the head but plenty hanging down the back and women of a certain vintage as we went and caught the reunion of Boom Crash Opera at a dingy pub. I think the last time I saw BCO (as they’re known amongst people of a certain vintage) was back in 1989 when they released the still excellent These Here Are Crazy Times album. Before that I’d caught them in Melbourne in 1986, second on a five band bill at the St Kilda Palace supporting headliners The Church and Icehouse. To say that they were crap back in 1986 would be doing them a favour, but at least they were better than James Griffith and The Subterraneans who were then next band up that night. The opening act was someone so horrid that my memory has blanked them out entirely, but I get a feeling it might have been a hippy reading poetry and dodging flying Twisties. I know that BCO were slight better than Griffith because the girl I took slept with all of BCO over the next few months, but when Griffith dropped his pants she merely laughed and went home with a girl instead. I can’t tell you then name of that girl for obvious reasons, but I can tell you this, she was a lovely young lass who slept with almost every rock star and wanna be rock star in Melbourne back then (including the Cockroaches, who later became the Wiggles), was a good friend with benefits to me, was present with me during the legendary Octoberfest train riots of 1986, told a certain Neighbours star that he’d have to pull his own dick as she wasn’t going to go near it, did the nasty with me after the gig on St Kilda beach* and appeared as a dancer in Kylie Minogue’s Locomotion video (and no, I won’t tell you which one). Brushes with fame, I love ‘em.

As it stood we bought tickets for two of our finest pals for last night’s event, as birthday presents and caught up with two other brilliant pals inside. So it was that we found ourselves with Moo, who attends most retro evenings with us, The Wick and his partner and Zee German, who, like most Zee Germans, sang along lustily to Cold Chisel’s No Sense, danced up a storm to Dancing In The Storm and offered to lend Dale Ryder some favours. I’ve never figured out why Chisel was big in Germany, but hey – Mak show! Mak show! Achtung baby! Zee Germans love Cold Chisel. You can almost hear that classic line; “Yo, fuck this shit man. I asked for a blues band and they gave me a Jews band!” Mind you Zee Germans also liked Hitler, Visigoths, invading France, cabbage and Vlad the Impaler at different times, so figure that out.

As it stood BCO proved to be a lot of fun, and, more importantly, very self deprecating. I can always admire a band that really don’t take themselves all that seriously, but do take the fact that they can both play and entertain very seriously. I can remember seeing a certain ‘80s band about a decade or so back who spent the entire evening telling the audience how shit we were and how fucked the ‘80s was. All the time they were promoting their new album, which I didn’t bother buying. I’ve since seen and met the lead singer who is a damned nice guy and must have realised that its people of a certain vintage who help him butter his toast in the morning. Playing to nubile young lasses in 1986 is a far cry from throwing your skinny arse about on stage to a pack of old cabbage who wants to flash their stretchmarks in 2010, but then again it works for Brian Mannix who is probably happy to see any flesh that’s not his these days.

My evening was great. Excellent pals, cheap booze, several drunken hecklers entertaining us between songs** and a good band to dance to as they played their hits, and then some. Plus they were very open for photos and conversations after the gig, with no pretensions and no airs and graces. What more could you want on a Sunday evening? Well, good food would have hit the mark, but some places just don’t live up their much vaunted reputations. Your curly chips were cold and really just a lump of spud, the steaks were tepid and the service not much better. But, a good time was had by all. And, to top it all off, God love him, Dale ran off stage, around a group of people, high fived me, gave me a man hug, drew me close and whispered the immortal words, “Man, do ya know where the toilets are?” Good for him, and the band, that I knew. That’s gold man. Brushes with fame, I love ‘em.

I’m happy to see some retro acts, and I’ll happily pay money for the privilege to do so, but don’t get too excited, I’m not shelling out any hard earned to see shit like Player 1 or The Ferrets.


*Not entirely recommended now, and indeed even then. Looks and sounds romantic in movies, but then the movies don’t give you an indication of how much grit and sand you’ll be picking out of your chocolate crackle for a while to come, nor the unpleasant sensation when, well, sand gets on one’s private parts during copulation. It looks romantic when Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr do it; the reality is that salt water rushing up one’s nostrils at the point of not is enough to put one off their stroke, not to mention a sensation akin to scraping ones nuts with sandpaper.

Once we had hair...
**You have to wonder about the sanity of someone who spends money to get into a gig, spends money to get sloshed and then abuses the band. I once saw some woggo clown begin to heckle Marty Wilson-Piper during a Church gig. Steve Kilby ran over and screamed, “You paid money to see us you fucking dickhead, so sit down and shut the fuck up or fuck off!”

A good retort I thought.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#216: Theme From Hill Street Blues

Music today sucks. Seriously, it does. Each time I turn the radio on I’m faced with a choice between wailing women or whining men. “Arms wide open”, Jaysus, give me a break. And what passes for R&B these days, which was rap back when, all sounds the same. But it doesn’t come as any great surprise really, as music is cyclic, so I have faith that something will happen, eventually, to wipe these twats off the face of the map, and it won’t be named Cyrus or Beiber.

Miley Cyrus. How did anyone think she’d be making quality music? If you take a punt on say Dhani Harrison, Julian Lennon or Jakob Dylan then you’re in a with a chance. After all their fathers were bloody good. Same with Jeff Buckley, but really, is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, he of the achy breaky heart, ever going to make decent music? It’s as if you have the chance of buying a horse sired from Think Big as opposed to some nag that went to the cat food factory last week. I just want to scream, “You suck!”

Back in the 1800s we used to listen to a lot of music, by virtue that radio pretty much ruled. If you had $2.50 spare then it was easy enough to buy a K-Mart brand portable radio, complete with those white ear plugs that’d get so filled with wax that they’d stop working after three weeks and just zone out. Today the radio is something that people tolerate in the car from time to time. But in the 1800s the radio was the King of the castle, and rightly so. I was one of those who used to leave the radio on all night, turned down low and buried under my pillow, just so the sounds could soak into my skull. I liked my radio, and my radio liked me. It never deserted me, and from time to time, it gave me some odd sounds as it’d pick up some ethnic station somewhere, or, on clear nights, a station from interstate. That was mecca to me.

But don’t get me wrong, there was more than a fair share of shit back then too. For each time I’d hear something as majestic as Living In The 70s there’d be five bands like Salt Water Taffy or the 1910 Fruitgum Company. I came to hate the Peppermint Candy Kids with such a passion that I when I finally learnt how to use a knife properly (twirls, how to stab successfully, throwing and the like) I wanted nothing more than to put those lethal skills into action by slaughtering all of the Kids on Christmas Day, along with the other Peppermints, the Peppermint Trolley Company and the Peppermint Rainbow and any other wankstain using the name Peppermint. Peppermint my arse! You’d hear The Promises Baby It’s You twenty times more than you’d hear Walking With A Weight On My Shoulder. And that wasn’t fair, but that was the nature of the beast. Anyone who lived through 1979 knows that the devil went down to Georgia just as much as Elvis Costello pumped it up or Nick Lowe was cruel to be kind, or Dave Edmunds kept on about girl’s talk. And there was the beauty – not all the songs sounded the same. Not everyone whined or wailed their way through stuff that sounded like Pearl Jam Lite or Mariah Carey Cloned.

It was different. It was unique. It was shithouse for the most part, so don’t get me wrong, not by a long stretch. Still, I loved it. Hearing music like The Real Thing for the first time in the dead of the night, and just imaging what was going on, how all of this insanity was able to fit into a small plastic green box with a crappy speaker was a delight. Hearing the latest song from Queen, compressed to buggery, or Sweet or Slade or David Bowie or Mi-Sex or Jeff Duff was heaven. Really, it was. Today’s generation will look back on their own radio days with a certain fondness, but the same as my lot look at shit like Rupert Holmes and his Pina Fucking Colada Song and recognise it for what it really is – pure crap – and would rather beat themselves to bloody pulps than listen to wankers like Bay City Rollers, Eddie Rabbit, Lancelot Link, Glen Gray and anything by fucking Sherbet, in twenty years people will do the same with shit like Nickleback, Lady Ga-Ga and Creed. Count on it. R&B isn’t any black person talking into a microphone, and rap isn’t some skinny white boy prattling on about how tough he is – Eminem meet Vanilla Ice and Kayne West meet MC Hammer. Sir Mix-A-Lot at least was honest. Johnny Cash was the last pure singer to grace the airwaves. Frank Zappa did things that people are still trying to work out forty years later. Arcade Fire and Dream Syndicate will always win out. Kids In The Kitchen, fuck the Uncanny X-Men and Brian Mannix.

But these days I can’t stand the radio. Bland voices, all sprouting the same shit over and over, plugging the same crap that, in four years time, they’ll be bagging. Here’s an example – I can remember, vividly, when that bloody song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, was huge. I can remember it was played constantly, and the wank stains on the radio would praise it, and probably rightfully so, as a virtuoso performance, as all the voices and noises came from the one throat. But, flash forward fifteen years and you’d find it being played as part of the worst songs of all time, by the same cretins, and slagged off as being bland and boring. It wasn’t bland a boring when it was bringing in the cash from the record companies though. But it’s all horrible.

Back when Moses was a sapling I worked in radio and had my own shows. For about three years I’d go in, each week, without fail, on the graveyard shift and just play, and say, whatever the hell I wanted to. It annoyed many, many people at the station who felt that I should merely fit into the standard that was required, that being playing the same shit that everyone else was playing during the day and evening, and not saying anything that might be deemed to be controversial. I tried, at times, to fit in to the stereotype that the station wanted, but it made me feel like I had the squints. I just wasn’t comfortable. By being unpredictable I managed to have some brilliant moments. Early one morning my brother and me began, for no reason, to play the Special AKA’s Free Nelson Mandela, only to be advised, via the BBC World Service, that Mandela had indeed been freed, just after the first chorus. We were overjoyed and played the song another four times.

I was once slotted to follow the heavy metal show, which was run by a myopic, squeaky voiced little bastard whose idea of metal was playing Bon Jovi and Winger. Each evening I had to follow him I’m start by playing what I thought was metal, Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Deep Purple, Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, plus industrial music like KMFDM, Ministry (Jesus Built My Hotrod was a ripper) and NIN – stuff that actually was heavy, then I’d wind down after an hour or so with Radio Birdman, Public Enemy and the Hitmen. After two months I received a complaint from the guy who had the metal show. It seemed that people were switching him off and listening to me, and wanted me to move shifts. I argued that it was a good idea, and why shouldn’t we, as a radio station, listen to the listeners? This was duly received and the decision was to ban me from playing anything heavy until an hour after the metal show ended. In protest I began the next three shows with Exile’s Kiss You All Over, She’s Like The Wind by Patrick Swayze (God rest his wonderful soul), How Can I Live Without Her by Christopher Atkins and anything by the Korgis. I got hauled over the coals for that – amazingly because my listenership had dropped off dramatically - it was my fault, you see, because I wasn’t playing appropriate music. You can’t reason with stupidity.

I’d swear on radio, I’d eat, drink and fart. At 3am on a Sunday morning, well, who was listening? Quite a few people actually. I’d invite insomniacs to wander down and say hello. I’d encourage people to phone in with requests and then not bother playing them. I’d ask people to tell me what was on the TV. I’d play static. I’d play a lot of soft songs and encourage people to turn up their radios only to play something Love Me by The Phantom and blow their eardrums out. I’d look at the camera facing the streets and yell at people walking past. I’d invite other radio announcers in after they’d had a big night out and we’d spend two hours talking crap and abusing people. I had a lot of fun and people had fun listening to me. I’d get calls from businesses doing nightshifts saying that they loved me and wanted to advertise on my section. But it was all in vain.

I upset far too many people. Not because of what I played, or what I said, or what I did, but how I did it. I had an attitude of ‘if I like it then someone else will’ and I was right, hell, I’m still right now. However there were too many hippies who hated me, mainly because I’d gone further and worked at the ABC (fucking sell out), approached day shifts with a professional attitude (fucking sell out), didn’t whisper into the microphone (fucking sell out) and was articulate to the point of taking professional lessons in media and radio broadcasting (fucking sell out). Their idea of Iggy Pop was Cry For Love and Candy, mine was I Wanna Be Your Dog and I’m Bored. That shows the gap between us. Sure, I’d play local bands, indeed I was a local band once, and I loved, and still do, love local music, but, frankly, The Jaynes sucked then and still suck now so I’d refuse to play them. I never hid the fact that I loved, and still do, music that spans and crosses genres, and my taste is eclectic to say the least. They hated me because I brought money into the station, via subscription and by buying, in bulk, all of the records and CDs that some people either wanted to steal or throw out. In short I brought several thousand dollars into the station, but my reward was to be hounded out. So I left. Or I was pushed, take your pick. I know the truth, as do others, however the revisionists there keep inventing shit.

Would I go back? Sometimes I think yes, as there’s plenty of great music to play to annoy everyone. Sometimes I think yes, as it was fun. Sometimes I think yes, as there’s just too many people out there with the same voice, the same stale jokes and the same racist views. Sometimes I think yes as I know that I’d be an individual surrounded by clones and that’s a great thing to do, as you stand out. But then I remember the people I had to deal with, some of whom have made a career out of being unemployed (shades of Norm Barber) and have made a career out of being annoying, whiny, complaining bastards. When I’m asked, and I am asked a bit, if I’d go back, I always say, “Sure, if they’d leave me alone and just let me get on with it.” But, I’m told, that’d never happen, because there’s always someone who believes that they know better than you do, and it’s the ones who know far less who are the most vocal about it. Call it passive-aggressive bullying, but every workplace has those cliques, those people who hate to see anyone doing better than they ever will, hate seeing anyone *gasp* happy and hate seeing anyone, well, they just hate seeing anyone.

I hate those people with a passion. If you want a fight, have the guts to front me and raise your fists and see how far you get, otherwise get off my lawn, you fat bastard.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

#215: God Gave LED HDTV's to You

One word: why?
I'll tell you why - because people are stupid enough to buy shit like this.  Coffins, condoms, shirts - hell, I'm waiting for the "Gene's Tongue Maxi Pad".  And if you do it Gene, then you'll have to cut me in now.

I still listen to Kiss.  I think I always will, but I've gone right off them now.  One of the main reasons is the use of the make-up of Ace and Peter on people who aren't Ace and Peter, although guitarist Tommy 'Talentless' Thayer must surely be living the dream of anyone who's ever started out playing a character in a cover band by graduating to the band itself.  Good stuff Tommy, but, amazingly, he's uglier than Ace and has none of Ace's personality.

But therein lies the rub.  Kiss isn't about personality anymore and frankly they ceased to have any personality once Ace did the noble thing and walked.  These days, moreso than ever, it's all about the cash and only the cash.  Gene and Paul want your money and they'll suck it out of your pockets any which way they can, be it by putting their name and logo onto anything they can to releasing albums of re-recorded classics.  I'm now waiting for Gene and Paul to finally make that Australian based movie.  Go for it guys.

Friday, October 01, 2010

#214: Theme From Dr Kildare

God, Lard Arse was everywhere in Adelaide back in the ‘60s wasn’t he? I’m sure that there’s going to be people who’ll think that this blog is rapidly becoming the Fat Francis Fan Club page, but seriously, no, it’s not. It’s just that it’s almost impossible to pick up any kind of local publication from the early rock and roll era of Adelaide that DOESN’T feature Honest Bob. Such was his influence and such was the impact of his many chubby fingers in many, many pies.

I’m not sure that Bob wrote the Platter Chatter section of Young Modern; if only because of the lack of swear words, abuse and general insults. Where’s the love, Bob? And there’s Bob, resplendent in his sixe XXXL off the rack suit, nursing a bottle of Coke. Just imagine, forty years later he’d graduate from one small bottle of Coke per radio session to a bottle, and change, of red wine as he soundly tells those lovely ladies who once danced to his swinging discs and snappy chatter to piss of you stupid old bitch and tells those guys who once looked up to him to get stuffed you bloody wankers. If Bob is this angry now, imagine what Fat Cat would say if he could speak.

Which reminds me of a funny story – I’ve heard Fat Cat speak. In 1066 Fat Cat came to The Downs Primary School along with a few other idiots, for a fun day. People positioned themselves on classroom roofs and proceeded to begin to shoot ole Fat with slingshots. My brother had a lethal slingshot, one that any Downs Boy would remember with fondness – an industrial piece of rubber stretched as tight as possible over the usual slingshot metal. It shot horseshoe nails out at a speed that bordered on lethal – indeed I can recall shooting many a spoggie down dead as the nails would penetrate the skulls with such force that, on one memorable occasion, a head ended up nailed to a tree. Lice infested flying mice that they were, or so we were told. Anyway, ole Fat Cat was up on stage when my brother strategically positioned himself directly next to Fat Cats leg and began to shoot horseshoe nails up his shorts. It happened. The third shot made Fat Cat move and we heard an audible, “Jesus! Fucking Jesus!” Then, after the fifth shot hit it’s mark, Fat Cat leant down and hissed, “Look, you little cunt, if you don’t knock that off I’m gonna smash your fucking head in! Now piss off!”

With squeals of glee and delight we ran off complaining to our mum that Fat Cat had threatened us. My mum gave her usual response, the standard Elizabethan response, “Well, what did you do then?” I still chuckle at the thought of Ole Fat Cat limping out that day. Wasn’t much fun for him, but it was a bloody blast for us. Mind you we were a suburb that stole Skippy when he appeared at the Elizabeth Town Centre back in 1569. Yep, as well as hubcaps, sprinklers, hoses and bikes, someone saw a chance and knocked off the Bush Kangaroo. He hopped about the streets for a while before some plod shot him in the arse and brought him down in the standard Elizabeth police ‘Shoot first, bash the head with a phone book and perhaps ask a question later after the confession has been lodged with the courts’ policy. Skippy was duly charged with vagrancy and had sixteen break and enter charges assigned to him before he was finally locked up.

Fun days, very fun days. We never had Fatty Francis attend any school events; the closest we got was Steve Curtis, whose head I nearly took off with a finely flung 7” of Alan O’Day’s Skinny Girls during one of his 5AA Mobile Disco events back in 1680 at Craigmore. “You’re in the Northern suburbs now, pretty boy,” he was told by a teacher nearby. It was his fault; he was throwing them into the crowd, so I decided to let him know what I thought of Alan’s efforts by taking aim and hurling one back. Steve barely made it out of the way and I’m sure I gave him a haircut. Mind you once I turfed mine back Steve nearly vanished beneath an avalanche of shitty vinyl singles. We wanted the latest Kiss single, Steve, not Alan O’Fucking Day. But then Steve thought that all 13/14 year old kids back then also loved the Pina Colada song and anything by Air Supply. In hindsight I should have aimed lower. And where is Alan O’Day these days? Dead? Driving a cab somewhere? Doing the chitlin circuit singing his ode to non-plus size females, the sexist prick? Just like Roger Vourdouris and his claims that we’d all better get used to it, because he’d be around. No, Roger, you won’t be around. Try as much as he did, cardigans and wind machines never really caught on, and it didn’t help that Roger was only three foot two in height. His ambition far exceeded his vertical prowess and sadly his boasting was just empty air. Little bloody singers, I tell you. Remember Moving Pictures? That whining little turd prattling on. “What about me?” he sang. “What about you?” we all shouted in response. “You’re only two foot six! And your song is shit.” Shit as it was it was a far sight better than the remakes that came since, and the fact that it’s now in a commercial means someone is shitting in high clover. Bono? One foot nothing. Eddie Vedder, Mick Jagger and Bruce Spingsteen would need step ladders to hit the five foot mark on a police line-up. Angry Anderson? I’ve seen dog crap bigger than him. The list goes on. Napoleons in high heels obviously make for better lead singers than anyone over the five foot three mark. Little men with big ideas. Remember the video for Sun City? That great chorus shot? You could have taken a scythe and waved it at the height of five foot and only lopped off the head of one person – Peter Garret. Not a bad idea really…

Now, where was I? That’s right, Young Modern. They just don’t make magazines like this anymore. Not a tit or a skanky girl in sight. You can argue all you want about how the world has changed, and frankly, artefacts like this just prove the point. How many people remember when the weeks highlight was going trampolining on a Friday night? Or heading down to the roller skating rink for some roller disco? If you’re under the age of 40 and remember those things then you’re a frigging liar. People over the age of 40, the new generation of Old Farts, do recall these things, and more. Doing suey’s off the top tower. Riding bikes on bike tracks carved into the sides of hills. Visiting haunted places (I can remember seeing Uley Chapel before it was demolished) and just, well, doing stuff that didn’t involve a computer, a PlayStation or the equivalent. I like technology, but sometimes I’d like to go back to an era when I could just get on my bike and ride all day and nobody could contact me. Bowling. Jesus, remember going bowling? Now that was fun.

All dead, all dead. All dead and gone. But Fatty Francis remains, a throwback to another time, another place. No wonder he’s so bloody angry and tries to run people over in his gopher and soundly abuses them on the radio. Imagine how lethal Arch Tambakis would be now, if he were still alive. Good ole Arch, the first person who I ever heard drop the f-bomb on live radio. Long may he rest. Bash your ‘radio personalities’ up your collective arses, people like Arch could have torn new holes into the likes of that lispy mouthed fat bastard Sandilands in under two seconds.

And that’s how it should have been. At least if Arch threatened you then he was prepared to follow it up with a physical encounter. Today’s wanker hides behind a microphone and thinks that he’s just too good. They’re all puth.

And there endeth today’s lesson. Now get off my lawn!