📚 Pig City – From the Saints to Savage Garden (Andrew Stafford)

Read https://www.uqp.com.au/books/pig-city-10th-anniversary-edition
Andrew Stafford the place and politics that laid the foundation to the music scene Brisbane music scene between 1975 and 2005.

Review published here.

“” in The last time I saw Grant – Griffith Review ()


‘Here,’ writes Rod McLeod, ‘in a city practically under police curfew, you fucked and fought, got stoned, got married, or got out of town.’1 — location: 220 ^ref-1223

This book is my attempt to document the substantial yet largely unsung contribution that Brisbane has made both to Australian popular culture and to international popular music. In doing so, I aimed to chart the shifts in musical, political and cultural consciousness that have helped shape the city’s history and identity. In its broadest sense, Pig City is the story of how Brisbane grew up. — location: 231 ^ref-8907

A gerrymander represents the drawing of electoral boundaries in a way that serves the interests of the governing party. This certainly took place in Queensland, but it was the malapportionment, which meant that one vote in the west of the state was worth up to three in Brisbane, that was the critical issue. — location: 313 ^ref-21745

For much of the 20th century, education in Queensland was chronically neglected. Between 1919 and 1939, the textbooks in the small number of secondary schools remained unchanged; between 1924 and 1952, not a single new high school was built in Brisbane. The men ruling the state were the products of this system and the inheritors of its failings. As Peter Charlton observes, ‘It explains much of the state’s conservatism, suspicion and resistance to change.’4 It also accounts for the nickname given to Queensland by many commentators: the Deep North. — location: 326 ^ref-31412

Peter Milton Walsh: Anybody with a pulse would have felt they were trapped in a scene from In The Heat Of The Night. It was like a northern version of a southern American state; it was the cops against people who were alive. — location: 1895 ^ref-41850

This was punk’s greatest gift to Brisbane: far more crucial than any specific political refusal was the impetus that it provided to a bored youth to create its own history. — location: 1916 ^ref-19577

Living under the one roof on a diet of bread and black sauce was hardly conducive to group harmony; drinking and playing by night, no matter how good the gigs, only poisoned the cocktail further. — location: 1965 ^ref-45097

Mark Callaghan was too clever a songwriter to be stifled permanently by the breakup of the Riptides. With his new group, GANGgajang, he achieved deserved commercial success, writing a string of hits throughout the ’80s, experiencing a roughly equivalent measure of spoils and compromises along the way: the classic Sounds Of Then was even used as the soundtrack for both Coke and Channel Nine commercials. — location: 1977 ^ref-57417

Since acquiring Lindy Morrison, the band had completely deconstructed its original sound. Their music had become angular, based on shifting rhythms and tones rather than naive melodies. Robert Forster had no interest in rewriting Lee Remick, but for some time found himself unsure of which musical path to pursue: through 1980 and into 1981, by his own admission, ‘I didn’t write a really good song for two years.’ The band was practising obsessively and becoming stale. — location: 2210 ^ref-24557

Next to the albums that followed, Send Me A Lullaby, as the Go-Betweens’ debut was eventually titled, is often dismissed as amateurish and tentative. It is in fact ripe for rediscovery, making far more sense when viewed in the context of the band’s immediate post-punk peers. Still, the band was only beginning to find its feet. — location: 2242 ^ref-32483

Robert Vickers: I’d heard Send Me A Lullaby and thought it was quite different, obviously, to the early material. It was interesting, but it sounded like they were trying to work something out. So I was very happy when I heard Before Hollywood, because it was obvious that they had worked it out. It contained a lot of the melody that was in the early songs, but it was more intelligently put together. The structures of the songs were complex but also memorable, which is an almost impossible thing to do in music. — location: 2280 ^ref-4393

Not everyone appreciated the humour. Most of the station’s staff, particularly journalists, were finding themselves under increasing levels of surveillance. Some suffered the frightening experience of having their homes raided at dawn by the Special Branch. Others were subjected to more subtle means of intimidation. Amanda Collinge: I was at this Russ Hinze press conference one day, which was an eye-opener in itself, and I was approached by someone who started asking me questions that indicated he knew a hell of a lot about me. He asked me first how I was finding my lodgings at 8 Broadway Street in Red Hill. Then he asked me if my Datsun 180B was giving me a problem. And the third question was how was I managing to survive on whatever it was we were paid at Triple Zed at the time. — location: 2318 ^ref-61968

Where Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning spoke of ‘we’, and Archie Roach limited his own accounts of personal tragedy mainly to ‘I’, it is perhaps unsurprising that Carmody’s accusatory ‘you’ would prove too difficult for white audiences to swallow. — location: 2591 ^ref-3533

Some bands peak early. Almost all the great ones, however, take several years to hit their stride. — location: 4567 ^ref-37293

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