Monday, May 28, 2007

So, I've just come back from what could be described as a whirlwind tour of Sydney, playing lots of dates with Agnes Kain. Needless to say, it was spectacularly fun and hopelessly decadent adventure - with people who are gifted in more ways than I can count. That and Chanelle, Stef and Evan are very extraordinarily tolerant of my frequent temper-tantrums, glockenspiel smash-ups and feline tendencies. I'm really very lucky.

There are lots and lots of things to write about this trip. However, I thought I should draw on one particular occasion where we were invited to play Beatles covers at the film premiere of US vs John Lennon at very short notice. Of course it was a breath-taking ordeal having to learn these amazing songs in such a small space of time.. but how many opportunities do you get like that? How can you not fall over yourself with excitement at the prospect of performing Beatles songs to anyone, let alone a mass of people?

So anyway, the film itself featured that John and Yoko's famed bed-in for peace.. and it reminded me of an article that I wrote for an old radio show, Counterfeit. I'll include it here, just to bulk up the post.. and so others can slightly imagine the extent of my profound Lennon love and influence.

A few years ago, I was watching the Beatles Anthology with my brother. I remember a moment in the story where they were up to the Ballad of John and Yoko - just shortly after the pair embarked on their famous bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969. I can't exactly imagine it would have been the most ideal honeymoon but you know, people do all kinds of heroic deeds in the name of bed/hair/world peace.

A few days later at a press conference in Vienna, John concealed himself and his new wife with a bedsheet and revealed a new philosophy called
Bagism. Its application in society was rather redundant but needless to say it struck a chord with me. According to John and Yoko, if you had something to say, Bagism allowed you to communicate your message without unfair judgement. The theory was that prejudice could be eliminated by covering your physical features and attributes, whether it be the colour of your skin, the clothes you wore, your age or even the length of your hair. That idea (and the prospect of staying in bed for a week) has always appealed to me.. and it has become a fundamental basis of my love for radio.


As soon as I started my course at Latrobe Uni in March 2003, I started radio at
SUB FM. I was thrilled at the prospect of actually broadcasting my thoughts about the music I love. I was equally startled at the irony that I could only suppress such feelings at school. In retrospect, I can't tell whether these judgemental girls feared difference or whether I feared judgement from different girls? Regardless. I shut my mouth and did what the others did.

Radio allowed me to be protected by my proverbial bedsheets and in truth, my insecurities could be washed away by the fact that I could communicate without any physical prejudice. But like any ideal, Bagism didn't work out the way it was meant to. Despite this creative freedom, I still had a frightened, unforgivingly unconfident on-air persona. Needless to say, I was, am and always will be haunted by the inability to describe the significance of "my" bands. Because occasionally, words are too patronising to describe love.

After nearly three years and eight radio shows, I'm fully prepared to present
Counterfeit with Amanda this Monday night without any fear of unfair judgement. Although I will always the embrace the very fundamental ideal and intimacy of this medium, I will not shy away from the challenge of radio. I will not hide in my proverbial bedsheets.. that is, unless, of course, I'm having a bed-in.

3 comments:

Kip Gasparick said...

Glad to see you're alive and well. I check in from time to time, but you rarely update. Stop by more often and let me know there's a pulse!!

El said...

Gah, major apologies Kip! I've been heinously busy with uni and the band, I've hardly found time to do anything else, let alone focus on radio or the blog!

I'm glad to see Rock Sellout is going so well! I just contributed a major rant in one of your comments, let's go see if you can find it, shall we?!

G Magill said...

I never really read peoples thoughts and feelings on their blogs - too often it is some self indulgent diatribe that veers on the right or is that left side of anti-establishment moaning that bores me HOWEVER - I don't know why I just read this piece in your blog but it was superb. Your comments on Bagism and Lennon really struck a chord with me as did your honesty in stating feelings that many of us hide from public view. Very rarely have I enjoyed reading a piece of work as much - a career in the literary world obviously awaits. Anyway, thanks again for making my lunchtime so enjoyable.

Take It Easy

Garrett