A worthy tome by two redbrick dons arrives at Crikey. It’s so worthy that it has three titles: The War on Democracy/Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press/A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Conservative Dream.
I open it up at a random page – and it’s talking about The Stranglers:
You recognise the flowing harpsichord introduction as an old friend, but you haven’t seen the image that accompanies it in years. Late one Saturday night, the television switched to Rage on the ABC, lying half-awake on the couch and there it is again: sickly pale and thin, a faintly androgynous figure standing still as a corpse in front of a microphone. With his sunken eyes and hollowed cheeks, and the coolly expressionless look on his face, Hugh Cornwall, lead signers of British punk band The Stranglers, remains the epitome of ’80s-style junkie chic in this clip for Golden Brown. Seldom has forbidden numbness been made to seem quite this dangerously alluring…
In another part of the ABC, on Radio National, an instrumental excerpt from Golden Brown was used for a long time as the theme music for Michael Duffy’s weekly Counterpoint program. Our guess is that no one told him what the song is supposed to mean…
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Er… right. Log on to the Radio National home page, go to the Counterpoint site and you immediately find this:
After graduating from Macquarie University in 1978 (BA, English), Duffy worked as a manual labourer and played in punk rock bands in Australia and England…
Duffy knows what Golden Brown’s about. He knows his music. He probably can offer a variety of interpretations of A-wop-bop-a-loo-lop a-lop bam boo, too.
And Duffy tells Crikey that Golden Brown only got dropped as the intro music for Counterpoint when the record company asked too much for a licensing fee.
This is a bizarre moral panic. This is a bizarre inversion. Presumably Niall Lucy and Steve Mickler, the po-faced authors, don’t believe anyone to the right of Michael Franti can watch Elvis from the waist on down. Have they never heard of that prominent Republican Johnny Ramone?