SPIN DOC­TOR

IAIN SHED­DEN

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

IT would be im­pos­si­ble to find a more eclec­tic as­sort­ment of mu­sos than the one be­ing in­ducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame next week. It’s a safe bet that Rolf Har­ris, Max Mer­ritt, the Trif­fids, Rus­sell Mor­ris and Dragon have never as­sem­bled in the same city, never mind the same room, dur­ing their re­spec­tive, lengthy ca­reers in show busi­ness. That will change on Tues­day, how­ever, when each of them is wel­comed into the hal­lowed hall of the Aus­tralian Record In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, where­upon they will be handed a pointy tro­phy and told to sing some­thing. The an­nual gala oc­ca­sion takes place this year at Melbourne Town Hall and in­sid­ers are say­ing that once again it should be one of the high­lights on the lo­cal mu­sic in­dus­try’s free drinks cal­en­dar. In pre­vi­ous years this event has pro­vided some land­mark per­for­mances from Oz rock vet­er­ans. Last year, for ex­am­ple, Hoodoo Gu­rus and Ra­dio Bird­man brought the house to its feet, send­ing more than one ne­glected dessert fly­ing into the air in the process. At first glance, this year’s in­ductees have lit­tle in com­mon, but pause for thought: some of their recorded out­put grad­u­ally pulls them to­gether. It’s all about the Aus­tralian land­scape. The Trif­fids, of course, wrote songs that cel­e­brated or were in­spired by just that. Their Wide Open Road , along those lines a thread be­gins to form, ty­ing the Trif­fids to the other in­ductees. His Rolf­ness, for ex­am­ple, had a hit many moons ago with I’ve Been Ev­ery­where , one of the few tunes in Aus­tralian mu­sic his­tory in which Par­ra­matta and Ta­ree are both men­tioned. Dragon, al­though orig­i­nally from New Zealand, wrote Bondi Road , one of its most re­spected tunes. Mor­ris’s big­gest hit, The Real Thing , had some kind of trip in mind. That may be stretch­ing the idea a lit­tle and I can’t think of one for Kiwi Mer­ritt, but if he didn’t write about the Aus­tralian land­scape he cer­tainly cov­ered a lot of it. Mer­ritt, who is suf­fer­ing from the rare au­toim­mune dis­or­der Good­pas­ture’s syn­drome, is to per­form on Tues­day, de­spite his ill health. writ­ten by the group’s singer David McComb, who died in 1999, is, with no ex­ag­ger­a­tion, an Aus­tralian rock clas­sic. Once you start think­ing SPIN Doc­tor hears whis­pers that the latest album from Tex Perkins comes un­der the moniker of Tex Perk­inz and the Lady­boyz and fea­tures pre­vi­ous col­lab­o­ra­tors such as Char­lie Owen ( Tex, Don and Char­lie), Cruel Sea gui­tarist James Cruick­zhank ( the Z is an af­fec­ta­tion) and Dal­las Crane’s Pat Bourke. Pro­vi­sional ti­tle for their de­but album, to be re­leased in Septem­ber, is No 1s and No 2s. Re­view­ers, get ready to work with that one.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Tom Jel­lett

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