Home TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide TAGG Entertainment Latest News

TAGG Entertainment Latest News

WP-TAGG-logo

TAGG Tells You What's Happening

TAGG Entertainment News offers a selection of stories and publicity to keep you informed about what is happening and where!

CHAIN “… and the night man walked on the moon*” Part 1 of 3

 

The Long-Haired Cricket League

(c. 1970 Cricket team photo courtesy of Roger Taylor:  left to right back row: Arthur, Barry ‘Big Goose’ Sullivan, next to him Barry ‘Little Goose’ Harvey, Phil Manning, Carson County roadie George Kaufman, Graeme Rothwell, Jiva Lawler and Roger Taylor.   Bottom row left to right: Pete, Greg (Sleepy) Lawrie, Dave, Matt Taylor)

“The Long-Haired Cricket League, comprised entirely of musos and road crews, was created by Matt Taylor, with 3 or 4 teams, the one in the pic being The Northcote Rd Country Club, named after Matt’s address

 Other sides were The Dank St. Desperates, The Stanley St. Gentlemen’s Batting and Bowling Association, and perhaps 1 other

 We played for the Porpoise Shield, another creation of Matt’s

 Great times

Both full teams would come to the pitch for the toss, where various psychedelic substances would be exchanged. Hence our opening bowler would often be peaking on acid as he bowled

Strangely, the cops would always park and watch with amusement.”    

 Jiva Lawler

 

In January 1971, Chain reimagined the blues landscape by writing one of the first mainstream Australian blues hits “Black and Blue” and launched the album Toward The Blues

 Then in July 1971 Chain broke-up

Matt Taylor disappeared, Phil Manning appeared under his own name at Sunbury Festival in January of ’72 and Chain performed but not the same line-up as in ‘71

What happened to make Chain, at the height of their popularity, dissolve?

 This is my investigation

 [Film noir music here ? … OK lets try this then … ]

Its 1966, tired of living with prostitutes and penniless, Phil Manning ascends the stairs of the Bay City Union flat in Carlisle Avenue, Balaclava, Melbourne.  Phil heard that Bay City Union were looking for a guitarist.  On the street below in a taxi is Phil’s dad waiting to take his son back home to get an commercial artist job.  Glenn Wheatley [yes, that Glenn Wheatley] opens the door and Phil says “Hi I’m your new guitarist”.  He runs downstairs tells his dad he won’t be going back to Devonport Tasmania.  Glenn Wheatley turns to Matt Taylor and says “you know that blonde haired guitarist you like, he just joined the band”

Phil picked up the guitar to learn blues music at age 15 “to meet more attractive girls”.  He had studied classical piano for 8 years in Devonport Tasmania and began studying to be an Arts Teacher.  But once he started to play blues everything he’d learned about classical piano flew out the window.  He taught himself “Mel Bay” guitar chords.  Influenced by records he had heard from his basket-ball coach Ken Cole, who had a huge collection of R&B records.  An American folk singer Bill Hicks, he met while at Art College, had a collection of Robert Johnson and Lead Belly records. A particular impact was John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers “Beano” comic album.  And it wasn’t exclusively blues, he liked all genres including Bluegrass and Irish music

He came to Melbourne in 1966.  Tony Worsely and the Blue Jays were playing in Hobart, Vince Maloney had left the band.  Phil went backstage and applied for the guitarist’s position, two days later he moved to Melbourne. Within a couple of hours of arrival Phil was rehearsing [as a Blue Jay] in the Canterbury Ball Room.  There he saw The Purple Hearts with Lobby Loyde

Phil was in a state of awe

Playing suburban dances and large hall shows, in those days the surroundings weren’t very sophisticated, including showgrounds and country shows

After a stretch of playing showgrounds and sleeping on tent floors in North Queensland he was sick of it, that’s when he left for Melbourne. Phil heard from 10th Avenue that Bay City Union were looking for a guitarist.  So when his father came to take him back to Devonport to become a commercial artist, Phil made the decision to become the Bay City Union’s new guitarist

[I haven’t got a clear view on Bay City Union because my dog, as a puppy, chewed “I Remember When I Was Young: The Matt Taylor Story” from pages 54 – 73.  I don’t know why this part of the book was so tasty to her or if she was trying to tell me something but unfortunately about a third of all these pages are gone]

Bay City Union came to an end in May 1968 after recording only one single “Mo’reen”. Trevor Bagnall left first then Glen Wheatley who went on to the Master’s Apprentices [The black and white clip doesn’t show the horn section] 

From Chain Live CD liner notes:  Phil, 3 months later, joined “Beaten Tracks” from Perth.  [hang on he was with the Lonnie Allen Review and then…] Beaten Tracks had won a trip to Melbourne for winning the Perth heats of the Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds.  At that time, Beaten Tracks were Warren Morgan (organ and vocals), Dave Hole (guitar, vocals), Ross Partington (vocals), Murray Wilkins (bass) and Ace Follington (drums)

In Melbourne Dave Hole, now recognised as one of Australia’s blues guitarists par excellence, decided to leave the band

Phil returned to Perth with the Beaten Tracks and the Beaten Tracks moved to Melbourne

Melbourne October 1968:  ex-Revolution and James Taylor Move singer Wendy Saddington joined and “The Chain #1” was born

[Partington left in December 1968]

(Photo courtesy of Peter Maloney)

 Wendy Saddington

From Chain Live CD liner notes: [The enigmatic Wendy] Saddington was a soul/blues stylist in the Aretha Franklin/Etta James mould and she named “The Chain” after the soul classic ‘Chain of Fools’

According to “Wendy Saddington: underground icon” exhibition notes: She emerged fully-formed in her rock and roll persona, in her adolescence performing live with Melbourne band, The Revolution c. 1967.  Wendy would have then been approximately sixteen years of age.  She then joined the Adelaide band, James Taylor Move the following year.

Video: Wendy Saddington “Nobody Knows You”

From Chain Live CD liner notes:  The Chain moved to Sydney where they entered the NSW heats of the 1969 Hoadley’s National Battle of Sounds in July

While Morgan and Manning no doubt harboured a desire to explore deeper musical waters, they were willing to paddle in the pop pool for now even donning colourful medieval gear in an effort to put on a good show for the contest  [from the colour photograph in Chain Live taken at the time, they appear to be wearing purple wizardry coats with large ‘moon and stars’  embroidery emblems.   How they played their instruments in this gear is beyond me]

They made it all the way to the national final held at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, placing 5th behind the Avengers (4th), the Valentines (3rd), Aesops’s Fables (2nd) and the winners Doug Parkinson In Focus.

Interview with Ron King of The Foreday Riders 6th July 2017:  In the 60s […] there were a few good rhythm and blues bands around playing the discos and sort of clubs in Sydney.  These people Python Lee Jackson, Billy Thorpe. All those sort of bands and [The Foreday Riders] were one of the few bands playing straight blues. […] So come the 70s Blues was starting to take off and as Jeff [King] said “no shortage of work” there was more than we could handle actually. […] Quite a few nice little outfits started playing mainly in the city and the inner west in pubs.  [And although The Foreday Riders did NOT indulge] “there was plenty of drugs around the scene here in Sydney in the 60s and 70s”

Murray Wilkins, the bass player, went back to Perth disillusioned with the struggle to earn a decent wage from bands

About 6 months later, June 1969 the newly formed “The Chain” went back to Melbourne without Wendy, leaving her and according to Jiva Lawler, “Wendy Saddington was in a wild  Sydney lesbian scene”

Video: GTK – Interview with Wendy Saddington (1969)

webmaster@milesago.com records that the 1969 Chain was:  Warren Morgan (keyboards, vocals); Phil Manning (guitar, vocals); Ace Follington (drums) (Jan-Oct); Murray Wilkins (bass) (Jan – Aug); Wendy Saddington (vocals) (Jan-May); Tim Piper (bass) (Aug-Oct); Claude Papesch (organ) (Aug-Oct); Barry Sullivan (bass) (Oct’69 -) Barry Harvey (drums) (Oct ’69 -)

Thanks to Phil Manning, Matt Taylor, Linda Bester, Roger Taylor, Clive ‘Jiva’ Lawler, Peter Maloney, Ron and Jeff King, Philip Morris and Stuart Coupe.  I am very grateful for their generosity

continued Chain “…and the night man walked on the moon*” in Part 2 of 3

© Amanda Dweck 2017

 

The Australian Music Vault moves the canon beyond pub rock

 Nick Cave’s notebook, now on display in 
the Australian Music Vault. Dan Magree

The Australian Music Vault launched this week in Melbourne, with music industry stalwarts and Vault patrons Molly Meldrum, Archie Roach, Kylie Minogue, Michael Gudinski and new addition Tina Arena on hand for the festivities. The Vault is a dedicated space at the Performing Arts Centre that will house a “free permanent exhibition, digital and interactive experiences and an extensive learning program”, according to a press release.

This first iteration of the Vault contains an impressive array of artefacts that cover a range of genres and eras from Australia’s popular music history. These include Chrissy Amphlett’s schoolgirl tunic, Dami Im’s gown from her Eurovision performance (a personal highlight), notebooks and lyric sheets from artists such as Nick Cave and Wendy Saddington, and footage from the Sunbury festival. Interactive elements in the exhibition space allow visitors to access archival footage and, of course, hear the music that is being celebrated.

Gown worn by Dami Im for her Eurovision performance. Jim Lee

But what does it mean that such an institution is being launched in Australia now?

Museums and other bodies that catalogue and tell the story of the past perform important identity-forming functions. They tell us who we are, where we have come from and what is deemed to be historically important.

For a long time, popular music – and popular culture more generally – was left out of such stories. It was regarded as overly commercialised, disposable, and not worthy of the same type of preservation and celebration that other forms of art were accorded.

Over time, however, as musical forms such as rock proved more durable and long-lasting than initially anticipated, and as their young audiences grew up, the incorporation of popular music into once “high brow” cultural institutions started to become more common.

Chrissy Amphlett’s tunic on display in the vault.Australian Performing Arts Collection

This trend has increased as cities such as Liverpool have demonstrated the economic worth of promoting popular music history as a tourist attraction, and as travelling exhibitions such as Bowie Is have become blockbusters. There are now many dedicated institutions that celebrate popular music’s history, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Museum of Pop in Seattle.

In Australia, the path towards the Vault has taken longer than in some other places. This is partly to do with the way debate about popular music’s worth has also been tied up with tricky questions of national identity, with the local industry long struggling to find a unique way to translate music with its roots so strongly in North America and the UK. Popular music has been, at various points, a way of connecting to the “motherland” through bands like the Beatles, or as a flashpoint for debates about the Americanisation of Australian culture.

For a long time, the touchstone of success for Australian musicians was to make it overseas, and to be accepted on the terms that these markets and audiences set. Such success did indeed eventuate for acts like the Seekers, The Easybeats, Olivia Newton John, AC/DC, INXS and Kylie Minogue.

Kylie Minogue’s first hit The Locomotion: for a long time, the touchstone of 
success for Australian artists was making it overseas.

But well into the 1990s the question remained: what is it that defines Australian popular music? Is there even such a thing as an Australian sound? Or do we just produce imitations of what we hear from other places?

This is a question that the Australian Music Vault tackles head on throughout its exhibitions. Visitors are explicitly asked to listen for what it is that might give Australian music a distinctive quality. It is a question that also becomes easier to answer when looking at the local scenes and national touring circuits that have developed over time.

Installation view of the Australian Music Vault with a schoolboy uniform worn by Angus Young in the centre of the display. Jim Lee

As a maturing industry and growing population made it more feasible to have a career making music in this country without feeling compelled to make the move overseas, more and more music emerged that spoke to local identities and concerns. Australian accents have become more discernible and songs more likely to reference Australian places and issues. Artists such as Midnight Oil and Courtney Barnett have shown that putting “Australianness” on display is not necessarily a liability on the international stage.

Courtney Barnett’s Depreston has taken the local vernacular internationally.

Speakers at the launch of the Vault noted that it seems overdue for us to have a space that celebrates the achievements of Australian musicians. The Vault exists partly because popular music has undeniably helped shape how we think about ourselves as a nation, and how we represent ourselves to the world.

This will always be an imperfect project; it is extraordinary, for instance, that in the search for an “Australian sound” the voices and musics of the original inhabitants of this continent have been so infrequently included.

The curators of the Vault have clearly considered these issues of inclusion. This first round of exhibits includes a number of Indigenous performers including Yothu Yindi and No Fixed Address, as well as Roach, and there is a strong representation of women artists such as Amphlett, Little Patti, Judith Durham and Ngaiire.

In doing this, they show that the institution has the potential to reframe as well as celebrate our relationship to this music, and to move us past the pub rock canon often put forward as the defining sound of Australia.


This article was written by:
Image of Catherine StrongCatherine Strong – [Senior Lecturer, Music Industry, RMIT University]

 

 

 

This article is part of a syndicated news program via

Is Your Oral Health and Heart Health Connected?

0
Dentist in theatre room

There is an association between bad gums and heart disease.

gums and heart disease diagram

Image Source

From the time we were very young, we have heard that flossing and brushing our teeth every day was important if we wanted healthy gums and fewer problems with tooth decay.

Is it possible that healthy gums may also be associated with a lower risk of heart problems, including a heart attack?

For more than 100 years, doctors have been talking about the fact that our oral health is linked to the health of our heart. In more recent years, however, those doctors have begun to look closer at dental care and have begun recommending caring for oral health in order to reduce heart disease risks.

Gingivitis is the very beginning of the disease and it causes the gums to become swollen and red and when you brush your teeth, they are more likely to bleed. When dental plaque is permitted to build up in the area where the teeth meet the gums, gingivitis occurs.

If you want to maintain a strong general health, then strong teeth in good condition are imperative.

Gingivitis gum disease

Gingivitis should be treated professionally but when it isn’t, the bacteria can begin to collect in pockets that exist between the gum and the teeth and it leads to a more serious issue known as periodontitis. When periodontitis occurs, the tooth structure at the gum begins to weaken and it can lead to additional information. The teeth can become so loose that they actually fall out.

Gum disease does not always cause painful and noticeable symptoms so many people don’t recognise that they have a problem until it is advanced. According to Ivan Darby, a professor of periodontics from the University of Melbourne, the issues with periodontitis happen quickly. Teeth get loose, abscesses recur more frequently and the teeth start to move when the issues are advanced.

How is this associated with your heart?

Coronary arteries and heart

Many people who are at a greater risk for gingivitis and periodontitis live lifestyles that could put them at risk of heart disease. This includes excessive alcohol drinking, smoking and eating a poor diet.

It goes beyond those factors, however, and if you have one issue, the other problem is not typically far behind.

According to a cardiovascular health expert and associate professor at the University of Sydney, people with gum disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease.

What’s on your mind?

Is it possible to wake a sleepwalker? What makes a person grind their teeth and how do they stop doing it? If a serious health question has been plaguing you, it is likely you’ve also wanted to know the answer.

The real question is, is it a causal link or is it a link that is clearly defined?

Doctors feel that gum disease is associated with heart problems due to 2 mechanisms.

The first issue is what happens when your gums experience inflammation. This is a natural occurrence associated with the immune system and the inflammatory molecules that are causing redness and swelling in the gums may also travel elsewhere in the body. They may cause the arteries to become inflamed and that could result in fatty acid deposits that line the walls of the arteries.

The second issue is associated with the bacteria that could lead to gum disease. The bacteria may have access to the bloodstream when gums bleed. It could facilitate the fatty plaques lining the arteries near the heart, leading to a problem with heart disease.

According to Professor Darby, a link may exist but there may only be a small incident of heart disease being caused by gum disease.

That being said, there are many different factors that could lead to heart disease. Gum disease is certainly on the list but it is probably not the primary factor in most people.

Why is it still a mystery?

It is difficult to say if gum disease directly causes heart disease due to the fact that a link is almost impossible to establish. There may be an association between the two, but it can’t truly be said if one always affects the other.

In order to see if there is that direct link, two groups of people would need to be monitored. One group would have gum disease and the other would have healthy gums. The group that did not have gum disease would need to allow the disease to develop to see if it increased the risk of heart disease.

Professor Darby agrees that if somebody has a disease, it needs to be treated. He says that it’s just “one of those things that’s going to be very hard to prove.”

You can prevent gum disease

You can reduce the risk of gum disease by maintaining proper oral hygiene. According to Professor Darby, genetic factors may also be associated with how oral health affects your heart health.

Bexley Dental states, “To avoid plaque build up it is important to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums at least twice a day. Remember, each tooth has five surfaces – a front, a back, two sides and a top. The only one sure way to prevent dental disease is to clean every surface”.

Revenge of the Gweilo Directed by Nathan Hill

 

Local Indy feature film cleans up on the film festival circuit, gains sales agent and worldwide distribution!

After cleaning up on the festival circuit, firstly official selection for the trailer alone in Boston, and then was Official Selection at the Action on Film Festival in L.A. Following this ROTG won Best Action Feature at the Indie Gathering International FF. They also won Best Original Music Score at the Prestige Awards and a whole bunch of others. Everyone is very happy with the results.

Nathan: We have been very lucky in securing worldwide rights and a sales rep through the festival circuit, which has led to distribution. Currently your best and most immediate way to see the film is on AMAZON PRIME. So far we are on VOD in Japan, USA, Germany and the UK. In Germany they have even been calling the film Drive 2 !? As the main character wears a scorpion jacket similar to the one Ryan Gosling wears in Drive.

There is also an eBook on the making of the film available at iBooks. ‘Making Revenge of the Gweilo: A Director’s Diary‘. It’s my first ever eBook at 35,000 words. The idea came when some colleagues of mine kept encouraging me to write a book about my film experiences. As I was keeping a detailed journal when I made Gweilo I thought this would be the best way to start off. I killed two birds with one stone as I was able to talk about Indy filmmaking in general, my experiences, and the ROTG journey. 

The best thing about it is the photographs. Behind the scenes stills that you can’t find anywhere else on the subject. There are detailed accounts of the casting process, who was originally hired and then pulled out, the many ups and downs affiliated with Indy filmmaking and my near death experience fighting a real Sumo wrestler in the final bout. Honestly it’s a very enjoyable book to read, so I’ve been told. 

 
See links below:
 
 

 

Sunday essay: the art of the pinch – popular music and appropriation

 The Rolling Stones performing in Hamburg during 
the ‘No Filter’ European tour: the band’s legacy is entwined with the 
pioneers of black American music. Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters

Everything old is new again. Today the Rolling Stones release On Air, a collection of much-bootlegged BBC live studio broadcasts taped for a variety of programs between 1963 and 1965. The remastered set provides a rare glimpse of the young musicians playing to order the songs that defined their early hybrid sound and telegraphed – much like The Beatles – their love for African-American music.

The recently restored archival recordings map their transition from astute performers of seminal black American blues and roots music to legitimate codifiers of its (mostly white) bastard offspring. From I Can’t Be Satisfied to (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, from Route 66 to 2120 South Michigan Avenue. Full circle, full steam ahead.

The release of these archival recordings, following on from last year’s bristling Blue & Lonesome set and the recent nostalgia-laden #NoFilter tour are a reminder of how entwined the band’s legacy is with the pioneers of black American music. From their Delta roots to their electric spirit animal offspring – Chicago and West Coast blues, Stax and Motown soul and early Sun and Chess rock ‘n roll – the old masters had cast a wicked spell over the young lads from Dartford. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the saccharine radio programming Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had grown up with in the 1950s in which appropriating another person’s culture and creative output had turned an artistic endeavour into a form of soft-manufacturing.

Music production became a lucrative industry with straight-edge white performers like Bill HayleyPerry Como and Pat Boone cutting sanitised versions of Little RichardBig Joe Turner and Fats Domino records when the original renditions were still fighting their way up the pop charts. As Richard explained in the Chuck Berry documentary Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll:

Then here come Pat Boone. The white kids wanted mine, ’cause it was real rough and raw, and Pat Boone had this smooth version. And so, the white kids would take mine and put it in the drawer and put his on top of the dresser. I was mad. When Pat Boone covered my record, I was mad, I wanted to get him. I said, ‘I’m goin’ to Nashville to find him’.

Cultural appropriation in a musical context doesn’t have to be at the exclusion of the original artist or the culture from which they carved their path. Pinching musical phrases and stylistic approaches – when done thoughtfully and with a desire to connect with the original work’s unique properties – has always been a part of the art making process.

And yet, as artists like the Stones and the Beatles have demonstrated, it should not be a closed circuit. It should manifest itself as a social and artistic conversation across languages, across media, and across generations – a form of cultural exchange. Although, as Keith Richards discovered when working with Chuck Berry in the late 1980s, getting it right ain’t always easy. There is inevitably a price to pay, and Richards more than anyone knows the score. For every lift, there is a link to the past – a debt owed and a palm to grease. With every lick comes a nod and a cheeky wink.

A medium of social exchange

The production of culture is very much informed by the technology that enables it. The Philadelphia and New York disco movement, for instance, were as much a technological evolution as a dance floor phenomena. Legendary DJs such as Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan would isolate, cut, loop and layer sounds using reel-to-reel tapes to create extended remixes to maximise a track’s dancefloor credentials.

In much the same way, hip hop culture helped facilitate the emergence of the remix as a technological act via turntablism, scratching and later sampling. Inevitably, pinching the break or the intro or a signature moment and re-purposing it would evolve into an art form. By dropping musical fragments into new material arrangements, disco and hip-hop DJs from the Bay to the Island devised an accessible production methodology that would translate seamlessly into the post-analogue world.

Producers like Danger Mouse (The Grey Album) and The Avalanches (Since I Left You) and mash-up artists like Girl Talk (Feed the Animals) and Tom Caruana (Black Gold) are the millennial cut and paste inheritors of this practice.

The digital remix not only accelerated modes of cultural exchange but made possible an almost infinite splintering of sub genres and associated sub cultures. What makes hip hop culture so important – and this is analogous to the Stones – is that in the beginning, DJs like DJ Kool Herc borrowed from music that was not only underrepresented on mainstream radio, but was made by revered funk and soul artists – the so called “the sacred crates. Kool Herc championed records by James Brown, The Jimmy Castor BunchCymande (UK), The Incredible Bongo Band and Baby Huey & The Babysitters.

Music is also a medium of social exchange, we can see (and hear) this in the evolution of not only disco and hip hop but also in Jamaican sound system culture of the 1950s. Sound clashes were inherently socio-political events organised as mass gatherings around big speakers and big sounds and big ideas. In essence, a sound clash was a competition between sound system crews who marshalled speaker stacks, often on the back of trucks, spinning imported American R&B records and later dub plates of exclusive Ska and Rocksteadymixes. It was sonic warfare. DJs and MCs – like Count Machuki and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd – became local superstars who cultivated their own sounds. From Jamaican Sound System culture we can mark the emergence of brand new sonic techniques like scratching (Lee “Scratch” Perry), beat boxing (Machuki), the break (Kool Herc) and the remix (King Tubby).

These musical innovations became statements of Caribbean identity. Like African and Cuban rhythms that migrated to the Americas, these sounds became migratory too, travelling with West Indian migrants to the UK, leaking into the sonic palette of predominately white groups such as MadnessThe Pretenders, The Specials, The Police and of course The Clash. These would later mutate into more distilled contemporary forms such as Dub, Jungle and Drum & Bass.

A cultural awakening

The release of On Air by the Rolling Stones is indicative of a recurrent theme of the group not only appropriating African American musical stylings, lyrical patterns and performative techniques but pointing audiences to the source. Whether it be in the mimicry of Chuck Berry guitar phrases, the jungle rhythms of Bo Diddley, the vocal mannerisms of Jimmy Reed or the lyrical misogyny of Sonny Boy Williamson, the band has always worn its passion for the source material like a badge of honour.

The Stones’ breakout tours of the US and Europe (1967-72) are indicative of this dogged commitment to the form. They stacked their support act packages with African American artists such as Taj Mahal (1968), Ike and Tina Turner (upon whom Jagger is rumoured to have based his raunchy stage persona), BB King (1969), Buddy Guy (1970), and Stevie Wonder (1972). As Guy remarked recently

They were bigger than bubble-gum … when they came to America, they recognized some of the greatest musicians that I had admired – Ike and Tina Turner, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf – and let America know who we were. They let white America know what the blues is. We owe those guys all the thanks in the world.

The American tours of the early 1970s took place in a politically charged atmosphere of racial division, sexual awakening and inter-generational conflict. A time when white American audiences were still reconciling with the notion that culture was a form of identification, of exchange, a mode of storytelling rooted in race, identity, faith, sex and – after Dylan via Guthrie – politics.

It was also a period of cultural awakening, as a rich lineage of African American music – which had given the world fiercely original artists such as Robert Johnson, Billy Holiday, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Chuck Berry – was now being commodified for new audiences by a new industry and a new genre of musical expression.

An open source ‘cookbook of rock’

The musical tool kit the latter artists laid bare – open tunings, a swinging back-beat, bending notes, long form improvisation, call and response, vocal phrasings, urban storytelling, spiritual empowerment, stage theatrics and of course overt sexual bravado were all mutated into this musical progression.

Bands like the Stones, The Animals, Fleetwood Mac, Cream and later Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead appropriated many of these elements to design an open source Cookbook of Rock – flexible enough that it would facilitate decades of experimentation and manipulation, yet well-enough defined so that it would require devotion and authenticity to pull off a lick with your chops and dignity still intact.

Bo Diddley, the original “guitar slinger” – and by his own admission, “the man” – was one of rock and roll’s true technical innovators who has a very different take on this.

Speaking to the New York Times in 2003, he made it quite clear who were the beneficiaries of this process: “I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob”.

Accusations of appropriation have, of course, dogged Led Zeppelin, with several claims that they lifted song parts and lyrics without accreditation or acknowledgement (although a court cleared the band of plagiarism in relation to Stairway to Heaven in 2016). The argument they proffer in their defence, that the pinch was more like a sample and that the result was a considerable transformation of the original, is consistent with the conceit of musical appropriation as an artistic prerogative. Yet it would seem that Zeppelin were more brazen than most.

Cultural forms as fashion accessories

The brashness of Page and Plant displays a degree of insensitivity and perhaps white privilege that lies at the heart of the contemporary cultural appropriation debate.

We have seen recently – from bindis at Coachella to American Indian regalia at Burning Man – how racial and cultural forms have been commodified and trashed as fashion accessories to serve bizarre notions of connectedness, freedom and belonging. Most prominently, this is exploited by art directors and marketing departments to window dress pop music by highly visible major label music acts who probably should know better in the Twenty-Teens.

Indian and Hindu culture gets the full treatment in the ethno-confused art direction of Coldplay and Beyoncé’s promo clip for the song, Hymn for the Weekend, that portrays Indian stereotypes – like “levitating gurus, slum dogs, and throwing coloured powder” – in a manner that, according to Rashmee Kumar, stifles critical thinking about India’s social and political climate.

Coldplay’s video romanticizes Hinduism to further exoticize India as a westerners’ paradise unsullied by harsh realities.

We see this time and again in the mish-mash of Asian referencing in productions featuring Major Lazer & DJ Snake (India), Iggy Azalea (India, again) and Katy Perry’s bizarre appearance as a Geisha at the American Music Awards.

Epitomising this trend is John Mayer’s video clip, Still Feel Like Your Man, a musical performance he confusingly labels “disco dojo” and “ancient Japanese R&B”. Although the clip is emblematic of this creative clumsiness by major artists, the music press at the time went along for the ride. Rolling Stone magazine called the clip “colourful” while Billboardmagazine repeated Mayer’s mixed Japanese metaphor, adding that the Mister Whitmore directed clip is “decorated with kimonos, dancers in panda bear costumes, swordfighting and bamboo trees” despite the obvious contradiction that Panda bears are traditionally from China.

Music journalist Touré cuts to the chase saying Mayer is “not racist, he is dumb on race”. In just one tweet Touré calls out Mayer’s ill-informed approach to not only the video’s production design but even the song’s origins, which evidently have more to do with Katy Perry’s old shampoo bottles than the origins of global Asian culture. The West’s colonial view of the East however has always been perverted, as Malek Alloula wrote in The Colonial Harem back in 1981, the Orient

has fascinated and disturbed Europe for a long time. It has been its glittering imaginary and its mirage.

Pop culture is the messiness between the concentric orbits of personal identity and collective history. When appropriation is done well, with a quest for knowledge or to seek out an emotional core or a narrative truth, this messiness can create new meanings and new partnerships. It might even construct new narratives and spawn new beginnings.

When it is done in an ill-informed, shallow, tokenistic manner, it only serves to perpetuate tired yet stubbornly persistent colonial, racial and patriarchal stereotypes.

An informed practitioner

Jagger and Richards are not alone in their quest for authenticity and musical integrity. Many productive relationships were forged between African American musicians and their British disciples in the Sixties. Studious artists such as The Beatles, Eric Burdon, Ray Davies, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Peter Green well understood the burden of institutional oppression and the insult of segregation that framed the Blues narrative. Eric Clapton in particular, when not flirting with radio schmaltz, has spent a large part of his career trying to perfect the performance stylings and musical arrangements of artists such as Freddy KingRobert Johnson and Lowell Fulson.

Listen for instance to Clapton’s extraordinary vocal performance and brutal guitar playing on his late career electric blues covers album From the Cradle.

In the swinging London of the Sixties, Clapton’s chariot swung low, he understood better than anyone the importance of cultural exchange – of being in the moment, of finding the sound, of going deep. For Clapton, the moment had to be real. He devised his own version of the power-trio band format after seeing the Buddy Guy trio tear up a club in London in 1965.

A year later, at the Regent Street Polytechnic, the roles were reversed when he witnessed the Hendrix phenomena first hand. At the bequest of manager Chas Chandler, Hendrix was invited to jam with Clapton’s new outfit, The Cream. However, Hendrix’s incendiary version of Killing Floor shocked Clapton so completely that he retreated backstage, later confronting Chandler with the immortal line: “You never told me he was that fucking good.”

Clapton was knowledgeable enough, however, to understand the lineage back to Buddy Guy and to Otis Rush and the rarefied realm within which these artists operated. Like Clapton before him, Hendrix’s brief London period was very much about research and experimentation. He grabbed what he could – sounds, rooms, gadgets, people, the air itself – to create the colours he saw in his head and by doing so blowing everyone’s mind in the process.

Keith Altham a writer for the New Musical Express at the time, remembers Hendrix as

a magpie. He would take from blues, jazz – only Coltrane could play in that way – and Dylan was the greatest influence. But he’d listen to Mozart, he’d read sci-fi and Asimov and it would all go through his head and come out as Jimi Hendrix.

Today, if Hendrix were to be studying his Masters at the Melbourne Conservatorium, we would call him an informed practitioner. Back then he was a seasoned professional working in relative anonymity in the hotbed of London with the support of Misters Clapton, Chandler, Jones and McCartney.

Today, magpie extraordinaire Bob Dylan – rock’s first poet Laureate, pirate, cowboy, the joker and the thief in the night – has spent the last two decades reverting to the ramshackle rhythm and blues template of the old masters. His Never Ending tour has become a quest for authenticity via a re-imagining of his back catalogue through the DNA of rhythm and blues. Purists take note.

So, it comes down to this notion of being informed and knowledgeable about the origins of cultural idioms that are being appropriated that defines music making and performance. Its evolution is an often lawless and contested process of cultural and technical mutation – a hack of the circuits, a pinch of the code.

In the first instance, something has to be identified as being worthy of emulation or adaptation, and in turn, something then has to be gained from the act of appropriating it. The art form must evolve, diversify, move forward, or – as the case is with Hendrix – take a giant leap into the future.


This essay was written by:
Image of Mitch GoodwinMitch Goodwin – [Curriculum Design Lab, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne]

 

 

 

 

 

This article is part of a syndicated news program via

Listen To Older Voices: Hannah Sky – Part 2

 Welcome to Listen To Older Voices, a program produced by 
Rob Greaves for Uniting Melba and podcast through the Toorak Times 
and Tagg.
Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principal of the program is to promote the concept of positive ageing, reinforcing the principle that older people have & continue to make a valuable contribution to both their local & wider community.

This is part 2 of a 3-part program featuring the Life & Times of Hannah Sky who was the first producer of the Listen To Older Voices program. We learn that Hannah was a teacher at the last “strap school” in the state of Victoria where she took a stand against the practice. It would not be the last stand she would take on behalf of people who were underrepresented or could not speak for themselves

In this program Hannah continues to talk about her early life with stories of what it was like in a boarding school but, we also learn about Hannah’s work when she grew up, work largely in community development and how she was a key player in the development of the Melba Community program, where the Listen To Older Voices would be born some 19 years ago.


Click to hear Hannah Sky – Part 2


Previous LTOV Programs can be accessed clicking on this icon – 

 

[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]

Celebrate Social Inclusion Week at Merry & Bright on Sunday 26th November, Deakin Edge

Merry & Bright, the School of Hard Knocks final concert for 2017 is presented on Sunday 26 November from 2pm at Deakin Edge. This concert takes place in Social Inclusion Week, an annual initiative, which was created in 2009, by the Founding Artistic Director of the School of Hard Knocks Dr Jonathon Welch AM.

Jonathon said “I founded Social Inclusion Week to connect local communities, to build and strengthen relationships and networks.” Merry & Bright does just that. Conducted and compered by Jonathon, Merry & Bright also features Liane Keegan, one of Australia’s great legends of opera, XL ARTS, the Choir of Hard Knocks, THECHO!R and the Footscray Yarraville City Band, conducted by Phillipa Edwards!

“The School of Hard Knocks has been built on the amazing work and support from our participants, volunteers, friends and wonderful guest artists.” Jonathon explained, “we want to recognise and celebrate that!! It is just such a joy to bring everyone together for these concerts and events now, and throughout the whole year!”

“We also have our wonderful 350 massed voice choir singing in Merry & Bright. The massed choir is drawn from choirs in the School’s Absolutely Everybody choral program, including the Voices of Casey, Latrobe Valley Community Choir, Voices of Frankston, Choir of Opportunity, Voices of Alfred, Western Health Singers and All Together Choir. Our Absolutely Everybody Brisbane choir, conducted by Melissa Gill, will also be visiting from Queensland to be part of this concert. A wonderful community of singers.”

“We would LOVE everyone to connect, or reconnect, with us at Merry & Bright! 2017 has been a huge year of growth and success for the School. We are so very proud of our achievements and all our programs. Proceeds from this concert will help us to continue the wonderful work of the School supporting the marginalised and vulnerable in our community.”

Tickets are just $25 for adults, $20 concession, $15 U18 and $75 family for a family of four. Book through http://www.schoolofhardknocks.org.au or at the door from 1.30pm.

Listen To Older Voices – The Life & Times of Hannah Sky

 Welcome to Listen To Older Voices,  
a program produced by Rob Greaves for Uniting Melba and podcast 
through the Toorak Times and Tagg.
Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principal of the program is to promote the concept of positive ageing, reinforcing the principle that older people have & continue to make a valuable contribution to both their local & wider community.

 

This is the first part of a 3-part program on Hannah Sky. It was originally aired in August 2008 to celebrate the 500th LTOV Program. Hannah was the original producer of Listen To Older Voices and over these three programs we will learn something about Hannah, and her work in helping to establish this amazing series that just celebrated its 1000th program.

 

Part 1 focuses upon Hannah’s early years from her birth in 1965 and as we track through those early years we learn about her and her family in a most informative and entertaining way

Click to hear Hannah Sky – Part 1


Previous LTOV Programs can be accessed clicking on this icon – 

 

[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]

The Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) releases incredibly rare recordings – New Desk Tape Series

 Now rare and classic Aussie tracks will help 
the roadies who supported the bands who recorded them

The ARCA Desk Tape Series is an initiative of the Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA). ARCA is an Australia-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the welfare of live production crew in Australia, past and present.

Without roadies to pack, unpack, carry, maintain and set up music artists gear, the shows simply would not go on.

Largely unsung heroes of the music business the work of a roadie is tough, hard and very time consuming. It often requires considerable travel and long hours and can be brutal on the body.

Yet, their welfare has largely been ignored by people in and out of the industry, until the formation of ARCA.

Many roadies are in crisis, presenting an alarming suicide rate many times the national average, and facing other serious health issues. It is ARCA’s intention to address this. Please see link here: https://www.entertainmentassist.org.au/our-research/  

To build up resources to assist roadies, past and present, in need The Australian Road Crew Association (ARCA) early this month launched its new Desk Tape Series of classic Australian live gigs.

Now roadies have been amassing a trove of live recordings over the past 40 years, consisting of bands they have been working with. 

Much of this music now being released on Black Box Records, with MGM Distribution handling digital and physical releases.

The series kicked off on Friday (November 10) with a Redgum tape.

Other recordings are coming include material from Australian Crawl, The Church, Cold Chisel, Crowded House, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Wendy Matthews, Men At Work, Mental As Anything, Midnight Oil, The Models and Paul Kelly.

The Redgum release came from a 1985 show in Amsterdam’s legendary Melkweg (Milky Way) club.

Hot on the heels of hard touring around Australia behind the ‘I Was Only 19’ and “I’ve Been To Bali Too’ hits, Redgum were on fire when they hit Europe for a three-month tour – extended to four after airplay in the UK and the Continent.

The tapes were recorded by their sound engineer on the tour, Mark Williams, now running his own production company in Melbourne.

ARCA founder Ian Peel said, “These live recordings are culturally important especially of the pub rock era of the ‘70s and ‘80s

They remind the music industry that roadies are the backbone of this industry and without them, there’d be no show, no band.

“They demonstrate the creativity that road crews display every day, as they put the show together, In the early days when equipment was really primitive, the road crews virtually had to build the gear themselves so the show could go on.” 

Peel came up with the tapes initiative five years ago after he heard a road crew’s tape of a Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons show in the late ‘70s and was struck by its high quality of sound.

A call went out to the crew fraternity, and Peel now has 2000 cassettes. Many told him, “My kids are most likely going to throw my tapes out after I die, so I might as well assign the rights to ACRA.”

A meeting with MGM founder Sebastian Chase led to plans to put them out for commercial releases.

Each release acknowledges just how important roadies have been to making our live performance industry a stand out success. They offer recognition to the engineers who documented this wealth of genuine Australian music history.

Professor Philip Graham at the University of the Sunshine Coast, in conjunction with QUT and Griffith University, is overseeing the preservation, treatment and mastering of these tapes, which are then to be submitted into the National Film & Sound Archive in Canberra.

All proceeds generated by the Desk Tape Series will be used solely for the betterment of crew. The roadie who’s legacy provided these valuable cultural assets, will receive a share of profit and ARCA will retain 20% to help continue our services, with the balance going directly to the Roadies Fund, established expressly to assist roadies in crisis through our partnership with leading industry charity Support Act.

ARCA was formed initially as a social get together. It rapidly become a well-being service when anecdotes by crew members substantiated studies by Entertainment Assist that crews suffered a much higher rate of anxiety, depression, suicide and drink/drug issues than others in the entertainment biz and, indeed, the wider Australian society.

The association has now swelled to 300+ live production crew and over 200 paid associate members from all aspects of the music industry.

A Roadies Fund was set up via a partnership with music industry benevolent society, Support Act Ltd.

Peel recounts, “135 of us have died, 29 from their own hands. We’ve just lost three more in the last month

“ARCA has had a lot of support from the music industry and the music media.

“But we need more. We need more promoters to come on board with contributions and willingness to add a levy to their ticket sales to go to crews.

“We need more musicians to play benefits for the crews. 

“These tapes will not only help them financially but for the departed ones, it signifies respect and acknowledgement of their contribution to building the music industry.”

The music can be purchased by clicking on:

For more information please contact:
Tony Moran (Project Management) 0400 047 062 or tony@australianroadcrew.com.au
Ian Peel (ARCA Director) 0415 667 221 or info@australianroadcrew.com.au

The Australian Road Crew Association Pty. Ltd.

 

This article used some material published in the Music Network and Mediannet 
and was provided by ARCA

Comedy Fundraiser at SKIPPS

Q. How many parents does it take to make a school joke book?

A. Far too many, that’s why no one’s ever done it before!

 ‘Who Wants To Hear A Joke?’ Asks Neil Scott the SKIPPS school Principle.

These are the six words that are guaranteed to turn our Friday morning school assemblies into a screaming, seething pit of calling out, laughing and other behaviours not generally condoned in a primary school. This Friday assembly tradition is a great example of the SKIPPS culture. Make school fun and they will come.

“Me, Me, Me”, they call out enthusiastically and the jokes go a little something like this:

Why did the bubblegum cross the road?

Because it was stuck to the chicken’s foot.

Gus. 5 years old

Why was 6 afraid of 7?

Because 7, 8, 9.

Carolina. 6 years old

Over 200 pages of Kids and teachers Jokes and thanks to the generosity of the parents and local community we were able to produce this very special book. Jam packed with celebrity contributors including:

Peter Mitchell. 7 News, Kate Langbroek , Elliot Goblet, Bev Killick, Bernard Curry. David Reyne Livonia Nixon, Wilbur Wilde, Tottie Goldsmith. Alley Fowler, Sullivan Stapleton, CJ Fortuna, Alyce Platt (Greg Champion ?) and the Kids from St Kilda Park Primary School.

Thanks to The St.Kilda Comedy Festival and St.Kilda sports club we are able to launch the book on a hilarious platform. The Event takes place on the 22nd November from 7.30pm and The line-up includes some of Australia’s Premier Comedians

MC- CJ Fortuna, Jeff Green, Bev Killick, Christine Basil and St Kilda Comedy House Bands, Including one of  leading DJ’s  Dj Jorj Music and the Friends of St Kilda Park Primary Parents Band.

 

Bev Killick – is from the bold and brassy school of stand-up comedy, delivering non-stop energetic sets every time. As soon as she blasts her way on stage you know you are in for a treat.

Jeff Green – Maybe you’ve just seen him in a comedy clip on Youtube and thought I’ll check this dude out. Well here he is. You’ve made a fine choice with your time. On TV regularly – Jeff Green Up West, Back From the Bewilderness and An Englishman in Australia. and appear regularly on MICF’s Oxfam Comedy Gala.

Christine Basil a comic in strong demand having gained favourable reviews and popularity. Christine has been the opening act for visiting international comics such as David Strassman, Greg Proops, The Amazing Johnathon, Dylan Moran and more.

MC- Cj Fortuna– along the way he has appeared on Hamish and Andy, the Comedy Channel, ABC 3 – You’re Skitting Me, Kinne and Utopia and the Multi Award winning Short film “Big City” which CJ won best actor in the 2017 Japanese Film Festival

Food/Pizza will Be provided throughout the night for free thanks to Banff  restaurant.

This promises to be a great night for a great cause, so get down and have a laugh, a dance and support a great cause in our public schools.

Where: St Kilda Sport Club (Bowls Club) 66 Fitzroy St StKilda

When:  Weds 22 Nov. Doors open at 6.30pm

Ticket sales..   www.stkildacomedyclub.com.au

www.trybooking.com/book/sessions?eid=328208

Book Sales    www.trybooking.com/SEGP

www.facebook.com/stkildacomedyclub   

Media enquiries: please contact Paul Blackburn co-producer paul.l.blackburn@gmail.com on 0410 258 789