Rex Mortuus Est

The end of an era…

Many years ago – back in the 50s in fact – a promoter by the name of Lee Gordon arranged an Australian tour for Little Richard and a bunch of other American rock’n’rollers. He booked the artists, booked the venues, did the publicity and then had a ridiculously tough time selling the tickets.

Why? Because no one in Australia could believe that the people they listened to on their records could exist, in the flesh, on an Australian stage. They lived in the far off, almost other-planar land of America. The idea that they’d visit Australia was as ridiculous as saying that you’d booked Santa Claus or Superman to appear. It had to be either a bunch of impersonators or some kind of scam – so no one was willing to pay to be ripped off.

Back in the early nineties, when the Big Day Out festival was just getting started, the big guest was Marilyn Manson. This was at the height of his “Antichrist Superstar” period, when he was the biggest, larger than life, most controversial, most frightening personality in music. And he was going to appear at Bassendean Oval, the run of the mill, slightly run down football field that I went past every day on the way to and from school.

As I remarked to my friend Mike this was as if Batman or Spiderman was going to appear – Manson seemed just as much a fictional character as anything from the world of comic books. And yet he was going to strut his stuff in our very backyards. It was downright surreal.

The reason I mention this is the sudden death this morning of Michael Jackson.

Jackson has been around my entire life, always there in the pop cultural milieu. In the 80s he was huge – people laugh these days when he’s called “the king of pop”, but back then he truly was. He was a brilliant song-writer and composer with string after string of hits, most of which still stand up today.

Then he started to go weird. He descended into increasing bizarreness and his music became increasingly unlistenable. He became “Whacko Jacko” – at best a complete weirdo, at worst a dangerous pedophile. His latest excesses and eccentricities were a staple of the tabloids. And as a result – without my realising it – he migrated from the part of my brain that catalogues real people into the part that catalogues fictional people.

So to hear that he’s dead gives me the same sense of surreality that Marilyn Manson’s visitation did, and that those 1950s Sydneysiders had when they were offered tickets to see Little Richard. It doesn’t make sense. How can someone who was never really real die?

So let’s all raise our glasses of Jesus juice to a unique individual. Thanks for Billie Jean at least dude.

I did not invent it…

Yes, it’s Harry Potter doggerel. I can only apologise. To everyone.

…I wrote it down in order to get it out of my brain.

When you’re walking home from work and an appalling piece of doggerel appears fully formed in your brain like an apparition of a rhinestone studded, cheeseburger scoffing Elvis, what can you do except write it down somewhere to get it out of your head? So here we go (brace yourself – this is a bad one).

Mouldy Voldy, afraid of death,
Terrified by his final breath,
Show him a boggart and he will behold,
His very own body, lying there cold,
Riddle, oh Riddle, oh Riddle named Tom,
His father a muggle, his mother long gone,
Hater of half-bloods because he’s ashamed,
That the blood of a muggle runs strong in his veins,

I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.


As if I don’t have enough on my plate!

Despite the fact that I’ve got a bazillion things going on at the moment I’ve got myself tied up in this…


For those of you two lazy or disinterested to click the link it’s a project where a sturdy notebook (most probably a Moleskine) is going to be sent around the world to dozens of participants, each of who will fill in a few pages with whatever kind of creativity they feel like before sending it on to the next person. Sort of like an artistic chain letter, but (one presumes) without the threats or begging for money.

Each contribution will be scanned and sent off to the project website for documenting in case the worse happens and the notebook gets damaged or stolen or sent to Murmansk or something (nothing ever comes back from Murmansk). But if all goes well it will eventually make it back to the project headquarters where it may be auctioned off for charity (that part is still up in the air).

I jumped on board as soon as I heard about it, and already have all kinds of madness in mind.

So, if you’re interested hop on over to the website and get involved (unless you’re an American in which case you’ll need to wait until a new notebook relay starts, sorry!)

What’s the Scouter say about her Sweetness Level?

It’s over NINE THOUSAND!!!!!11!!!!1

Last night’s episode of Good News Week confirmed what I have always thought – namely that Kelly Clarkson is just about the cutest and sweetest woman on Earth.

I’d never buy any of her music in a million years mind you – she’s just really sweet that’s all 🙂

Pearl Jam and Powderfinger

Desperately trying to cling to my youth…

For those who were unaware, this year is the 20th anniversary of the Triple J Hottest 100. To celebrate they’re going back to the original format which wasn’t just the best 100 songs of the last year, but the best 100 songs of all time (they abandoned this after a few years since the same songs kept coming up in roughly the same order every time 🙂

So this year, in addition to the normal Hottest 100 back in January, those of us desperately trying to cling to our youth by listening to JJJ despite being well out of the target age bracket get to vote all over again, this time for our ten favourite songs ever. Voting opened today, and naturally I was right in there like a tiger.

(Like a TIGH-ger!)

So, what did I vote for? My final list is below in mystery YouTube link format, along with country of origin and year for each track. Of course these aren’t actually my absolute favourite ten songs, they’re a representative sample of the best songs of the last few decades, carefully selected on the basis of impact, personal significance and what sort of chance they actually have on getting in. So, without further ado…

There we go. What’s the betting that they all get pushed out by Pearl Jam and Powderfinger? 😀

Late 2010

I assume at some point some of those links will stop working. So I’ll be able to look back at this entry when I’m old and decrepit I’ve added an actual list of the songs below…

Anarchy for the UK – The Sex Pistols
I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones
London Calling – The Clash (Came in at number 73)
How Soon is Now? – The Smiths (Came in at number 71)
Wide Open Road – The Triffids
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses (Came in at number 49)
Debaser – The Pixies
Lock It – The Falling Joys
Temple of Love – The Sisters of Mercy
Girl from Mars – Ash

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