Mother of Rock: The Life and Times of Lillian Roxon
Thursday, 9.30pm, Studio Lillian Roxon has many claims to fame. She was part of the intellectual left-wing subculture known as the Sydney Push, she was Australia’s first female foreign correspondent and in 1969 she wrote Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia. But most of all she was known to a generation as the Mother of Rock. Born in Alassio, Italy, she migrated to Brisbane with her Polish Jewish parents in 1937 to escape fascism. After starting her career in journalism in Sydney she moved to New York in 1959, from where she wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald on the arts and women’s issues. Roxon is credited with being the first journalist to write seriously about the 1960s hippie movement and pop music, both of which fascinated her; her work was picked up by British and US newspapers and she became a regular at renowned New York music club Max’s Kansas City along with the likes of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed and Jim Morrison. Roxon died from an asthma attack in her apartment in 1973, aged 41. (Her niece is Nicola Roxon, the former Australian attorney-general.) This Australian documentary was made in 2011 and follows much of Roxon’s brilliant career, which was cut far too short.