ALL the eyes and ears of the nation are focused on Parliament House in Canberra this weekend in the firm belief that, by Sunday night, someone will have come up with an idea. It’s a long shot, perhaps, but one worth contemplating in the name of progress. The Australia 2020 Summit is a talkfest created by the federal Government at which 1000 of the brainiest people in the land will think as hard as they can until they come up with something that — it says here — can tackle the long- term challenges confronting Australia’s future. Spin Doctor can’t be sure of what is on the agenda in terms of the music industry, since at no point has any member of the Rudd team thought it prudent to consult me on that topic. In light of that snub, or at the very least oversight, I have created my own 10- point agenda of matters that urgently need to be addressed for this great music industry of ours to thrive in the difficult years ahead. Those of you who cannot make it to Canberra this weekend or who are not pinned to your radios awaiting news of an idea in the nation’s capital may like to enlist in this breakaway summit, which I will be conducting in the Strangled Goose pub just down the road from here from about 2pm. Bring a pen, obviously, and the germ of an idea if you think you have one, but door to door over there. Clearly there is some kind of conspiracy going on, perhaps masterminded by an American rival, naming no names. I’m prepared to lead a government- backed delegation to Washington to investigate this matter further.
2. How can our talented Aussies get a better run on American Idol ? Millions of honest Australians were shocked rigid last week on discovering that our brave battler with the soul- rock croon, Michael Johns, had been dumped unfairly out of the competition, even after a performance of Aerosmith’s Dream On that would have had viewers of cable channel Fox 8 crying in disappointment even more than usual. Another conspiracy, it seems. Again, if Australia needs me to sort this out, I’ll be over to Washington like a shot.
3. Would it be in the best interests of all concerned, but for the Government in particular, if Midnight Oil got back together? This one needs to be nutted out, so be prepared for a long debate.
4. Actually, three’s enough. frankly it will have to be bloody good to replace any of the ones I’ve already thought up. So, the 10 critical areas that need to be debated and developed in the Australian music business are as follows:
1. How are we going to get our Kylie away in the US? Have you any idea how hard it is to sell 5500 albums there? I don’t mean how hard it is to sell that many but how hard it is to sell so few. Any rubbish band can sell more than that
spindoc@ theaustralian. com. au