So I've been doing this thing of late which I'm not too proud of. I've been doing it a lot lately and I noticed that its something I'm not 100% comfortable with. Before you jump to conclusions it's perfectly natural and everybody does it, especially people of my age and no it's not that!! Get your mind out of the gutter. What I've been doing lately is indulging in a lot of reverent nostalgia. The kind of nostalgia that is wistful, sentimental and above all an incredible waste of time, but somehow it fills the hole. In a way it is a form of wanking. Your initial conclusion dear reader may not just be a bawdy assumption. Its a retro time wank if you will. At times this kind of indulgent self wankery has caused me to get misty eyed with fond memories of the past, so it is a "retro-time-cry-wank" in the utmost description of the term.
You see when I go "digging" the categories of items I look for seem to fall into 4 basic genres. Soundtracks (Horror, Science Fiction and Cult Film items naturally), Heavy Metal, Obscurities and High Weirdness (anything with a WTF? factor) and lastly I try and find things that have a bit of personal history to them. Things that have played an important role in the development of my musical tastes. Items my friends have owned or I once owned and listened to but subsequently lost/ had stolen or foolishly sold to someone else.
So I grabbed a few items last month in Melbourne which have sort of completed a personal musical journey for me. Stuff I found in the racks which made me physically gasp and think "my god, how good to finally own that ....again!!"
Here's a few......
Foot & Mouth-THE PHILOSOPHY OF FOSSOS (1986)
This was a great little find. Foot and Mouth were a band from Melbourne comprised of 5 kids who were no older than 15. Three of the five members were Josh Silbersher, Sean Greenaway and Matthew Whittle who would go on to become the legendary underground rock band God
Some of you may have heard their most well known track "My Pal."
The song has been featured in the TV series Underbelly as well as Underground-The Julian Assange Story. When the Tote Hotel closed (albeit temporarily) and a "final gig" was played there the Drones closed their set with "My Pal" with Joel joining them on stage.
When I was 16 my friend Sean had a radio show on 3D Radio in Adelaide. It was then known as Triple M. FM before the big corporate media buy out of the name in the early 1990s. His show was called "The Subterranean Slaughterhouse Show" and it had a god awful time slot of 3am-6am Thursday Morning. We would catch the last bus down Magill Road on the evening beforehand getting to the station about 11:30pm and go through the record library for 3 1/2 hours compiling our playlist before the show started. This is probably where my existing love for vinyl was reinforced tenfold. This particular album, amongst lots of other hardcore punk and Adelaide Pub rock, was high on the playlist. Especially their cover of the "Hector the Cat" Road Safety Song. Finding this again in Melbourne recently was a total score and it bought back a flood of memories. I had to have it.
Another record which Sean introduced me too was this one
WASTE SAUSAGE- Various (1987)
This album was the bomb. If you were a middle class youth with guttersnipe post punk aspirations (like myself) this was the one to dye or shave your head to. Comprising mostly of what could only be loosely termed as bands (and I do mean loosely; some of them were only bands long enough to record for this release and then never to appear again) it was a slab of vinyl just full to the brim with wit, inventiveness and what can only be described as a generous portion of "fuck you."
To say that this album is weird is an understatement. It's as weird as it can get, and apart from it's follow up comp, Leather Donut (1988) there has never been anything released in Australia remotely like it.
A time capsule of rare awesomeness this record documents a unique moment in Australian music where a night out to see some bands might comprise of not only skilled musicianship but also unskilled cabaret, tragic clowning and artistic doggerel happenstance. You might not only see a band but you might also see someone smear themselves in peanut butter while farting into a microphone, all in the name of art. You've got your band, you've got your venue now let's litter the night with whatever fucked up shit we can think of.
The songs on this are just great. Punkish, loud, strange and hilarious. Bands with names like The Poofters and Purple Vulture Shit team up to make psychedelic true crime narratives which sidle up next to childish toilet humour haikus and not to mention a 6 minute long doom laden sludgefest Debbie Gabb by Smack of Jellyfish, which is mostly comprised of reading from someone's angst fuelled teenage diary. Just check out these lyrics....
Put Shit on me for over 12 months
Put Shit on me for over 12 months
Made a Liar of Me in front of everybody
About calling Debbie a Slut down the Side of the House
And another time down the shops
Getting into the Escort Panel Van
You Ripped me Off
Her comes Custard Guts
Custard Guts called Debbie a slut down the side of the House
Custard Guts is only interested in having sexual intercourse with Debbie
Custard Guts Put Shit in me for over 12 months
Like I said WTF???
If you've got a spare 8 minutes you don't need back, here it is live
One band from this album went onto national notoriety for their appearance on Andrew Denton's sophomore TV effort Blah Blah Blah on which they performed their track "In The Raw" completely naked.
They were called Lubricated Goat and I thought they were just completely amazing.
The performance created an absolute outrage even becoming front page news.
Here's the clip followed by a hilarious segment from Backchat from back in the day.
So when i was young, if I was ever confused as to whether I was developing a taste for the experimental this album sealed the deal. Any music if it was loud and abrasive and in your face, I was there. Front and Centre. Was it guaranteed to upset my parents? Even better!! So, you could imagine my delight when this album included a track by a band called Thug with the song "Fuck Your Dad"
This song pretty much was the centre piece of the album and encapsulates the tone for the whole record. Thug consisted of Lachlan McLeod, Peter Read and a very young Tex Perkins. Yes that Tex Perkins. Oh how the mighty have.......gone on to great career fulfillment and success.
I found this record in the late 90s in Melbourne over 10 years after its release and I bought it for a modest collector's sum of $20.00 (it was already recognised as quite an artifact) nowadays it's been known to sell on eBay for 5 times that much. Would I ever sell it? No fucking way. It took me too long to find. Go get your own Lubricated Goat!!!
End of Part One
Coming UP..... Southern Fried Kidneys, Shower Scene From Psycho and Like A Girl I Want You to Keep Coming.