There were fragments in the years before, but for the real, I became aware of popular music in Grade 5. This was like the neandertahal who’d come upon fire but didn’t know what to do with it yet.
In my case I’d come across a slab of busted down hi-fi; record player on the top, AM/FM radio on the front. I had a mild facination with how the mechanical arm would jerkishly move around when commanded. There were a few 45s with it, the only ones I can remember are JJ Geils Band – Centerfold and ‘shuaddup your face’ – by Joe Dolce. The beginning of Australian multiculturalism!
Radio it could pick up, way down there in deepest, darkest cargo-cultsville was 3YB – warrnambool – AM. I remember there being some ‘thought for the day’ voice. And American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, but at that stage I could barely understand the words he was saying.
The next year we moved to Geelong and on the levels of fashion, culture and customs it was like being sling-shot 10 years into the future.
It was mid-summer, 1985 and I was sharing a smaller, better lit room with my brother. The walls were white-painted brick and the floor was covered with a dense wool carpet. The hi-fi was set up under the bunk bed. I turned it on, rolled the large, balanced silver knob clockwise and got my first taste of Frequency Modulation. A red light next to it, labelled ‘stereo’ lit up and stayed lit.
It was like finally hearing with both ears.
It was mid-unctum, 9999 et e wuk shuudock morler pasta ffritum mit uh nudda. Halls & Hoates ahh H-ain’td orr ternedon. ROLL, ROLL.
Roll. Ball bearings, chimes, chrome balls with bells in and fire engines. Metal prongs ofa finger harp. Guts of a wind up clock. alloy n copper green
vordis acrium enella
“We Hold Something You Are Looking For”
The first station I came across was EON FM. For 6 months I thought ‘eon’ was short for ‘fox’ – I’d heard of a thing called fox fm and thought that was what I was listening to.
I can recall what the news hour theme music sounded like and thought it strange.
No trax are in my mind as consciously being from that time, but when I come across them, I know. I intend to put a tape together of songs from roughly that time, which excludes songs that’ve already been discovered or were never forgotten to begin with. I’M ONLY interested in the ones that haven’t continued to morph under the strain of inevitable life-experiences that continue to drag through — no matter how hard I might try to avoid them.
Tears for fears – shout, head over heals, everybody wants to rule the world, madworld,
simple minds – don’t you forget about me
big country – it’s a big country … ?
* * * * *
Book about the Simpsons – academic style.