Day 12 – A Song From A Band You Hate – Powderfinger – My Happiness
One of the easier questions on the list, and a song that will, 100% of the time, get me out of a coma to change the radio station, or indeed failing that option, to smash the device playing it.
Many friends have tried to get me into Powderfinger, stating they are an instant classic, an Australian institution, and even ‘rock legends’. Now, I was taught to appreciate all music to some degree, so I respect that they have a lot of money from their music and concerts. I do not however, respect them as musicians. In my view, Powderfinger have played the publicity card a little too often, by getting maximum airplay for every single they released, thanks to their label putting a ton of money behind them to do so, limiting the airplay of other, possibly more talented artists by doing so, and trying to gain a monopoly on the Australian music market. They toured at every chance they got, with as many other acts as possible, playing at most of the festivals, and trying to become the poster boys of Aussie rock.
Their record label even went to the hype of calling them ‘the greatest Australian rock band of all time’. This pissed me off to no end, as, AC/DC were, and still ARE the greatest rock band to come from this little pile of dirt in the southern hemisphere! Not to mention other notable acts like Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Wolfmother, Hunters & Collectors, Skyhooks, Daddy Cool, Kylie Minogue, Tex Perkins, You Am I, Split Enz, The Models, Noiseworks, The Saints, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Johnny O’Keefe, Little Patty, Stevie Wright, The Easybeats, the Dingoes, and lets not forget that lone man named Paul Kelly. But no, wait, Powderfinger have recorded 7 albums, 5 that made it to #1 (thanks, publicity department!) and two (the first two) not even making it into the charts… If you look at the stats of NZ, who are much like us in the areas of music tastes (we stole so many awesome acts from them!) 🙂 and a different story emerges. Their first three albums in NZ failed to hit charts, and the following three rated at 15, 17 and 26 respectively. their final album “Golden Rule” also failed to appear in the NZ charts. That is because their label didn’t play the crap out of them over there and claim you were ‘unaustralian’ if you didn’t listen, like and buy their albums.
Can you sense a certain level of hatred for them coming form this post?
As a Crowd Controller, I had the unfortunate task of being rostered on for one of their Melbourne gigs. A few friends were attending, and were saying things like ‘once you hear their concert, you will be converted’ etc. I told them they were mistaken, and I would not bow to their sounds. I watched their fans singing along to each song (I was positioned at the front, to keep people from gaining access to the stage) dancing along and generally having a great time. I respect them for that, and respect their taste in music.
I was not converted.
I simply could not see anything special in their style, their stage personas or in their lyrics. All of it just seemed generic and lacking content. After the concert, my friends came over to me with an eager look in their eye and asked ‘so, what did you think? do you like them?’ and I simply had to be honest and say ‘No, sorry, doesn’t do anything for me’. I was then given the task of meeting the band and holding back the fans for an album-signing session. This is never an easy task, but when they are ‘Australia’s #1 rock band of all time’ you would expect a riot. There were two guards. Bernard Fanning insisted on chatting with me between signings, and was asking what I thought of the show, expecting me to start stroking their egos a little more. I said to him as I said to my friends… “your music does nothing for me, and I believe it to be generic, hollow and lacking in content’.
Well, the look of bewilderment came across his face. Could I have been the first to tell him honestly and to his face, exactly what I had thought of their music? the others in the band had heard my answer, and started questioning me, asking who I DID listen to, and perhaps I was into something heavier, or maybe techno. I listed off a range of stuff I listened to, explained I was a musician, I appreciated their music, but simply that it wasn’t my thing, and I couldn’t believe that Australia had gone so mental over it. To me, they were only a lucky band who had been picked, possibly with a dart on a page of band names, and simply had money pumped into their management to hype them up and overplay them on the radio.
Needless to say, I went home early that night, as they had my boss remove me from my post and send me home.
Powderfinger, I still think that you are content-lacking, hollow, and largely generic musicians.
I refuse to post the lyrics, YouTube link or anything else that could assist them in gaining popularity again. Let sleeping dogs lie.