It’s easy to
romanticise the drug-fuelled, sex-crazed rock’n’ roll years of the ’70s and ’80s – the hedonistic misbehaviour that was tolerated if not celebrated. Bands wouldn’t get away with it now – try to imagine Led Zeppelin, say, even existing in 2018. The hugely popular Australian band Sticky Fingers is positively tame by comparison: drugs, alcohol and behaving like idiots at times. But the campaign to shut them down has been something else. Music festivals that hire them face protests, petitions and cancellation threats from other artists. It’s the way of the world in these #metoo times when truth, rumours and lies are mixed and amplified by Twitter warriors. Organisations are overly sensitive to controversy – Germaine Greer is now considered too radical a figure to appear at Melbourne or Brisbane writers’ weeks. But it’s a sad day when those with very little evidence but shouty voices can cruel careers and limit who, and what, we get to hear.
hEart of thE nation