Festival Snubs Spectrum
3.9.04 - Spectrum
won't be playing the Queenscliff Festival again this year.
A source close to the band revealed today that nobody was
particularly surprised given band leader Mike Rudd's controversial
support for a wind farm on the Queenscliff foreshore. 'Pissing
off the unsightly macracarpas and pine trees and replacing
them with attractively designed 40m tall wind turbines will
be a positive move for Queenscliff,' said Rudd the other
day. 'Not only will the town be the cleanest, greenest town
in the state, it will attract eco-tourists from all over
Rudd also supports calls for the turbines to be decorated
with traditional indigenous designs interpreted by Mirca
Mora in a turquoise mosaic. 'Mirca's slowed down a bit lately,'
said Rudd, 'but she's really looking forward to the challenge
of sticking tiny bits of coloured stone to a turbine 30
metres in the air in a howling on-shore gale.'
well as the links at the top of the page, we've got..
to book Spectrum for that special function
in touch with us and make a comment or two
us your thoughts on the file-sharing conundrum
helpful links to Spectrum's favourite people
out Bill's Twang and Robbo's Blah on page 3
back-issues of the Bloody Newsletter and Stop Press
the very latest news and pics
to Dave Mann)
Vittorio de Sica's The Garden of the Finzi Continis
is the early-matinee presentation at the Astor this Sunday,
Sept. 5 at 2.00pm The film's title was the inspiration for
Ariel's Garden of the Frenzied Cortinas on A
Strange Fantastic Dream.
Yeah, I know - it's not till October, but I got this 'request'
from Sound Vault head office to stick the poster up on the
site, and it's as well to toe the line 'cause we're in the
running for the Mars Bar Award and we don't want to upset
anybody at this stage. It's a good line-up you'd have to
agree, and I think it'll be a great show - a great show
to which you can bring the whole family. Hooray!
a sense of dèja vue when Bill and I trotted down to the Manningham
Gallery the other night (Wed. 1.9.04) to play a part in the opening
of David Porter's Unreal Rock photographic exhibition. One of the
first gigs Spectrum did back in the '70s was to play at an exhibition
opening somewhere in South Yarra. I can't remember whose exhibition
it was now, but I think it was some sort of installation, because
we had to find bits of floor on different levels on which to set
up. I seem to remember polished wood pyramids...
I also remember getting quite excited about this and possible future
liaisons with 'legitimate' art and artists. I thought that Spectrum
was doing something quite adventurous and not a little mysterious
(even to us) that almost justified being called 'art'. And, at that
time, artists were quite keen to be associated with pop
because we were deep and artistic mind you, but as brash young recording
artists, we had unlocked a market the size of which they could only
dream about. It was simply the belated impact of mass production
of course, but it had yer painters and sculptors sidling up to us
musicians and trying to discover by osmosis what the magic ingredient
I mentioned this in passing in my little speech to the huddled mass
that rolled up to wallow in the nostalgia at the Unreal Rock opening.
I don't think it was such a bad speech, but I get a little wound
up reading things as opposed to singing them, so I probably didn't
do it any favours.
For that reason, and because I'm a lazy bastard, I'll reproduce
that speech for you now in this column. If it's pictures you want,
check out the report in Stop Press.
When these photos were taken, there was a sense
that everybody in our baby-boomer generation was setting off on
a big adventure. After all, these were the ‘70s, horizons
were limitless, jobs were plentiful, and we were no longer constrained
by the expectation that we would inevitably follow in our fathers’
footsteps. You could choose to be a musician for instance, because
that’s what you wanted to be, and then you could set your
musical course to infinity, and your gallant audience would follow
you enthusiastically to the outer limits - and beyond - of your
Pop music was the happening medium of the times. Everybody knew
the Beatles, and those lovable Liverpool lads were the captains
of the good ship What Next? Expectations, so dreary and
predictable during the War and the ‘50s, hitched themselves
to a star, and that star was pop music.
Pop music and fashion were for the young, and pop magazines told
us the news. Go-Set told Australian fans what was hot and what was
not, and David Porter (as we knew him then) was one of the merry
band of Go-Set photographers recording the exciting developments
on the Melbourne scene in particular.
Eventually, the musicians that were in music for more than just
the fringe benefits, started to experiment with their music (amongst
other things), and to push the boundaries. The Let It Be agency
was created by a bunch of disaffected agents and artists to find
a way of connecting to a market, any market, in the course of which
they created their own venue – the TF Much Ballroom.
It’s been forgotten to a large extent, that the original TF
Much Ballroom was an attempt to marry music and installation Art
in particular. The entrance to the Cathedral Hall was once made
up to resemble an inflatable plastic vagina that you pushed your
way through to be rebirthed as a happy / hapless hippie, and to
discover for perhaps the first time the joys of lentil burgers,
patchuli oil and and a vast array of bongs available from the market-style
stalls set up inside. Once, even more provocatively (given that
the Hall was owned by the Catholic Church), Hell’s Angels
bikers rode their choppers into the hall in a daring and not entirely
successful attempt at a ‘happening’. Ross Wilson’s
Sons Of The Vegetal Mother’s Garden Party EP is probably
the only recorded evidence that such a collaboration ever occurred.
Just when you thought it was safe.. blah.. blah.. I'm moving again,
so all my time and energies are being used up doing what one does
when one has to move. But the biggest piss off is pulling my studio
down and putting it in storage, (not a good thing for my general
head space). So, if you see me at a gig and I look pissed off, go
and talk to Michael and Robbo. But don't mention Collingwood to
Robbo, (who, by the way, still hasn't given me the wooden spoon
I so richly deserve...)
Anyway, as I said before, moving sux.
– Not a country gig on GRAND FINAL DAY!
happy, people. Grand Final Day and Spectrum’s got a gig on
in the country. What’s goin' on? I normally don’t mind
playing on GF day if it’s local, but this gigs in Rutherglen
over three hours away, which means we’ll be travelling during
POO! Shit! Bum!
The last time I traveled to a gig on GF day was in 1980 when Richmond
destroyed Collingwood. I had to sit there in the car with anti-Pie
people and suffer all the way. The gig was in Deniliquin, and when
we got there the whole Pub was done up in Collingwood colours, so
you could imagine what the vibe was like that night with a room
full of miserable drunks (including me)!
Another memorable GF Day was 1990 when the Pies brought it home
after 32 years – the first flag in my lifetime. I was there
and had the best footy day of my life. Unfortunately I had a gig
on that night, so I couldn’t party on too hard.. read
Review - Magic Circles by Bob Mason
Once again the
'regular' dealer of the month feature has been postponed
in favour of a usurper, but I thought that this book deserved my
bringing it to your attention. There's not a lot that hasn't already
been written about the Beatles, so Bob Mason is to be commended
simply on those grounds. That he establishes a novel and largely
plausible thesis about the intent of the Beatles' (and BobDylan's)
songs that we've all somehow missed when the evidence was right
there in front of our eyes and ears, is quite remarkable.
I don't use the description of 'thesis' lightly. I've been subjected
to a few of them over the years, and I know the style - or, to be
strictly accurate, the lack of style. According to the
Duffy and Snellgrove website; 'Bob Mason has a PhD from Monash University
for his work on the Beatles.(Aha!) He is a Melbourne-based
computer analyst and intellectual entrepreneur. He has three children
degrees.' (I like that last bit).
I saw Bob chatting about the book on the ABC Book show a few weeks
ago and was immediately intrigued. I had to order the book as it
wasn't visible on the shelves, but it's worth searching for if you're
the type who can't get enough of the Beatles. I'm going to recommend
it to Ross Ryan. Ross is familiar with both the Beatles and his
Bobness, while I'm a little sketchy on Dylan's stuff - a lot hangs
on how credible Dylan's story sounds.