Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skyhooks - Living In The 70s/Ego Is Not A Dirty Word


How do you describe Skyhooks?  They're a band who were glam and rock, rude and crude, pop and schmaltz.  And I love the fact that on my favourite album, Living in the 70s, six out of its ten songs were banned on commercial radio.  In fact Skyhooks has the honour of being the first ever song played on the youth radio station Triple J - You Just Like Me 'Cause I'm Good In Bed.

Of course we all loved Skyhooks as teenagers - especially the rudest of the rude songs - Smut - which long before Peewee Herman became infamous for it, described the ins and, er, outs of pleasuring yourself at the movies.  And I was absolutely gobsmacked to see there'd been a video made of that song back then!  Ah, the internets - is there anything it can't give me?

Skyhooks also gave me a feel for Melbourne long before I spent any time there, with their namechecking of neighbourhoods in songs like Balwyn Calling, Toorak Cowboy and When the Sun Sets Over Carlton.  This stood me in good stead when years later I spent time there - oddly enough frequenting The Club in Collingwood - owned by Bongo Starkey, the band's guitarist.  It still has my vote as the best music venue I've ever been to - with sloping floors so even short people like me could see the bands. 

So if you've never heard any Skyhooks songs, take a moment or two on YouTube and expore their weirdness.  It's worth it.



Skyhooks, the band parents hated but all the kids adored.  There was a time, I remember, in the mid to late 70s when they could do no wrong, at least not according to their fans and the music-loving public at large.  But more so, they were the first really popular Australian band to not only acknowledge their homeland but to write a unique set of songs not directed by overseas trends and fashions but instead following their own game plan.

For a band that wasn't really supposed to be successful, their record of being one of the biggest Australian bands of the time stands unblemished.  They carved their own path out of the musical wilderness and isolation and showed many other Aussie bands that it was not only a good thing to do things your own way, but that in doing so, you could be successful as well. 
Both these album, their debut Living In The 70s and the follow up, Ego Is Not A Dirty Word, still stand as being two of the most interesting and socially-aware albums of the time.  But more so, it gave us local kids stars of our own, who recognised and understood what was going on locally and who had enough balls and showmanship to take the glam-boat and make it their own.  And despite the general disparagement they received from commercial radio and moral watchdogs of the time, they stuck to their guns and gave a big 'up yours' to all their naysayers.  They were punks in satin and makeup, daring the authorities to shut them down.  And boy, did we need them back then.


For more information go to:

No comments:

Post a Comment