IAIN SHED­DEN

SPIN DOC­TOR

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

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

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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