Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Everything Louder than Everything Else?

by Ken Houghton

Continuing my effort to lower the level of musical taste discussed on this blog, please note that Australia is bidding fair to become the Easy Listening Prison Colony, if we give credence (sorry) to this CNN piece from yesterday. Bringing back memories of U.S. troops using David Bowie to force Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy in Panama, The Rockdale council has escalated tactics in a way in which Tipper "forgot she ran the PMRC, eh" Gore would not approve.

First, they came for Bowie collaborator Bing Crosby's fans:
Following a successful experiment where Bing Crosby music was used to drive teenage loiterers out of an Australian shopping center several years ago

Now, they're bidding far to get the slightly younger, gay crowd:
Officials in one Sydney district have decided to pipe [Barry Manilow]'s music over loudspeakers in an attempt to rid streets and car parks of "car hoons" whose anti-social cars and loud music annoy residents and drive customers from businesses.

But "the American crooner" will have some company in the quest to rid Sydney businesses of Murphy Brown and her ilk:
local authorities [plan]to install a loudspeaker and pipe in Manilow music, interspersed with classical pieces, over a car park favoured by car "hoons", or hooligans [emphasis mine]

Because nothing says shopping more than "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima."

Anyway, as several readers know, Barry Manilow didn't write all of the songs (including that one; Bruce Johnston). He's had hits with tunes by people such as Ian Hunter and Jim Steinman, the latter of whom also wrote songs for Air Supply, Bonnie Tyler, and some guy called Mr. Loaf, including, of course, "Everything Louder than Everything Else."

Presuming Rockdale is going to be paying appropriate royalties, the idea that members of Mott the Hoople and Meat Loaf will benefit from an effort to suppress "anti-social cars and loud music" is delighting. (Possibly more for those of us 12 or 13 time zones away.)
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