The Fall of Shirly Strachan

by Purple Wyrm on August 30, 2001

I hate it when singers die.

On the surface this may appear to be a particularly compassionate and sensitive statement, but when you go plunging into the dark depths of my conciousness it becomes clear that it has less to do with any empathy for the singer, their friends and their loved ones, and more to do with shallow self interest.

I hate it when singers die because it means their songs are in my head all day.

The unfortunate and tragic demise of Graeme “Shirley” Strachan, former lead singer of 70’s super group The Skyhooks, who last night shuffled (or more accurately flew screaming into a mountain in his helicopter) off this mortal coil has resulted in me being completely unable to get the Skyhooks’ catalogue out of my brain. Even when the whole office went out to lunch at Sicillian’s to farewell our receptionist Megan (her “only-speak-when-spoken-to” attitude and my severe social phobias have resulted in us exchanging maybe three non-job related sentances in the year she’s been working for us, but I’ll miss her answering the phones 🙂 who’s managed to find a real job where she won’t have to do telemarketing. Not even the piped in strains of Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jackson Browne proved able to combat the nasal strains of Shirl’s “Shockin’ me right out of my braaii-aaaiiin!!”.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that I only know three Skyhooks songs. Living in the 70’s, Horror Movie, and Jukebox in Siberia. And to make matters worse I only know a few bars of the first two (I know the entire lyric of “Jukebox” strangely enough). So it’s been a constant round of “We’re livin’ in the seventee-ees! Horror movie right there on my TV! We’re livin’ in the seventee-ees! Horror movie right there on my TV! Deep beneath the arctic ice, yankee sailors all dressed up nice, Shockin’ me right out of my braaii-aaaiiin!!”, which is not exactly conducive to a relaxed state of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, what I know of the Skyhooks I like, and I bear Shirl no malice whatsoever. I’ll miss seeing him building stuff on Our House on the rare occasions I watched it (lifestyle programs are good light entertainment when there’s nothing more stimulating on). I’m just genuinely sick and tired after a good 10 hours of wailing 70s guitar >:-|

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