Friday, June 26, 2009

The Parameters - Pig City/ Material Possession


Chuck has ripped and scanned the single song that perhaps best
sums up Brisbane and that late 70's to late 80's time here.
Its a time that I spent (or misspent) my youth within and I have
always related to this song and its vibe. It rekindles memories
and transports me back.
I was there at that legendary Clash concert at Cloudland, I was
17 and it was my first concert. I grew up listening to the
revolutionary radio station 4ZzZ the station that was the driving
force behind so much of this Brisbane subculture and its fitting
that the anthem of this time and place was born in its studios.
The song later lent its name to a book
"Pig City - from the Saints to Savage Garden"
and to the 2006 Music Festival "Pig City"
Which was an 8 hour showcase of Brisbane's finest
including the original Saints first reformation gig for some
30 years and reformations of the Apartments, Riptides,
Ups and Downs, The Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time
and for the first time ever The Parameters.
As well as many others read about it here

Thanks Chuck for all your work.
Here's a couple of comments Chuck has on all things Pig City.


Here is an excellent piece on this subject by Andrew Stafford
that was writen for the Courier Mail June 9th 2007:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/music/
pig-city-right-at-home/story-e6freqgx-1111113698987

Andrew also wrote the definitive book on the Brissy
music scene also called Pig City.

This song started as a cart at triple z for years b4 fats
got his
shit together to make a b-side
and press it for vinyl..


You don't see many of the covers for this single sadly...
it was quite an elaborate fold out poster/ cover.
Love the Terry Lewis moles n gangsters set up :)
gotta love a police commissioner who doesn't give a
fuk
about the law :).. not to mention big fat Russ
and Joh getting a free ride on the back of the blacks...
fuk - Queensland.. the place to be ...



The song's author is artist and activist Tony Kneipp, who
recorded
Pig City in late 1983 with his band the
Parameters.
The story of the song's recording is as
remarkable as the tune itself.

Kneipp remembers the title coming from the Clash's legendary
February
1982 gig at Cloudland, shortly before the iconic
venue's demolition
at the hands of the Deen Brothers.
"There was a very heavy police presence," he says.
"A whole contingent of police went past,
I honestly can't remember if I said it myself,
or heard someone say it, but that's when it first popped out."


From there, the song flowed – a deadly piece of political invective
that blew the whistle on police and political corruption in
Queensland
years before the extent of the rot was uncovered by
Commissioner
,Tony Fitzgerald. Corruption in Queensland,
as Kneipp says,
was "an open secret" at the time.
"I think that's something that needs to be remembered about
rumors,"
he says. "They can be totally inaccurate but they can
also be totally
accurate, and they tend to be a mixture of the two.
And I did try to sift through that, and exercise some judgment.
"So I wrote the song and I liked it. I thought,
'This is pretty good, I should do something with this.' "


Thus the Parameters was formed, with its sole aim to record Pig
City

in time for the 1983 state election which the National Party,
led by Joh Bjelke-Petersen, eventually won in its own right.
The Parameters was the band that never was.
The members (Kneipp on rhythm, slide guitar and saxophone;
Ian Graham on lead guitar and bass and Steven Pritchard on
drums)

never even played in the same room together, let alone a gig.
Each part of the song was overdubbed, layer by layer,
over two weeks at 4ZZZ's studios at the University of Queensland.


The quality was rough, but with its honking saxophone,
scabrous lyrics and chorus of friends chanting the words Pig City!
at the end of each line, it was also unforgettable.
The song took off on 4ZZZ, becoming a fixture in the station's
annual Hot 100, and it was that immediate success which
prompted
Kneipp to write another song, Material Possession,
which became the B-side of the single eventually released in 1984.


"I was astonished by its longevity," Kneipp says.
"It's tremendous to do something which gets that recognition,
but unfortunately we spent far too much time building the studio
and far too little time rehearsing."


Download Here

13 comments:

John said...

Not only was the book one of the best so was this song.

Zoe said...

Hey Bob, you should get a last.fm profile. It's a website that tallies the songs you listen to and makes your listening habits into graphs. It's also good for reccomending music that you may not know or have forgotten.

http://last.fm

shishkin said...

i went to the clash cloudland gig too Bob - you remember the opening act?? wasn't it scrap metal - or were they known as ducks in formation by that time?? poor alex got so gobbed on by the crowd - gross! but so did saint joe except he pulled the crowd back into line by staging a walk off - i remember there were cops and dogs there at the start of the nite - you always could see plain clothed cops in amongst the crowd at cloudland gigs - they were the big boofy blokes in boot cut jeans, white t- shirts, white sneekers, usually moustached, spending a lot of time sniffing the air, looking at anyone except the band - hahaha - pig city indeed - thats brisbane's theme song for sure =P

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

It was still Scrap Metal, that was a gig to remember. I was right up the front with my girl friend of the time, when the band came on. Starting with Londons Calling and by the end of the song I was 30 meters back, I'm afraid I couldn't hold my ground. Cops everywhere and bouncers.

chuck said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUJpDWLbFpc

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

brillo chuck, donat gets up the best vids

chuck said...

If you come to this blog you MUST check this radio national podcast out

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/hindsight/stories/2007/2096934.htm

a fantastic radio doco on brisneylands pig city by ex 4zzz announcer Tony Collins.

found this link on the fantastic new blog by pig city songwriter Tony Kneipp who speaks kindly of the stripey sound blog and prolly deserves a link [hint hint bob]

tony gives dload links to the songs on this post from original master tapes if ppl want an upgrade from the files here and some poster art for this release

ALL HAIL THE BLOG!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Great stuff Chuck, I will link to tony's blog but I dont have the link yet, when I find it

chuck said...

http://arecordsbrisbane.wordpress.com/


prolly shoulda copied the link in that last comment

hic
blaming the alcohol again :)

all hail the {hic} blog !!

Andrew Stafford said...

Hi Chuck and Bob. This is very old news I realise, but I would appreciate it if you could add my name to the article that's been reprinted above. I wrote it for the Courier-Mail June 9 2007: http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/music/pig-city-right-at-home/story-e6freqgx-1111113698987

I love your site but would appreciate correction of this minor but important (to me) oversight!

Thanks

Andrew Stafford

Andrew Stafford said...

Also if you are interested I've also begun my own blog, Friction, here: www.andrew-stafford.blogspot.com

Bob said...

No problem Andrew always happy to correct an oversight, that one was mine, glad you like the blog

Andrew Stafford said...

Thank you Bob, you are a gentleman, and given our converging interests I hope we meet in the flesh one day! (Can't believe that hasn't happened already around the traps, really)... Cheers, A