Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

10.8.11

Daddy Who?

Saturday morning. I switched on the radio. You know the program. I mention it often enough. The voice was familiar. It was Ross Wilson. The song was At The Rock House. That finished and another Daddy Cool song came on. On 3RRR? Why not, of course. But there had to be a reason. It’s 2011. Surely not forty years since Eagle Rock? Surely yes.

Daddy Cool was always part parody. You could tell by the name. No serious rock band would choose it. In an interview (no link available) Ross Wilson says "we were loving the forms but taking the p--- (sic: they print far more objectionable words in the papers, why not this?) at the same time".
Wilson was especially keen to excavate the piano-based boogie-woogie sound he first discovered in his Dad’s jazz record collection. ... But in crafting a distinctive Daddy Cool sound, which suggested what he called "a past you never had", Wilson also plundered R&B and jukebox pop as well.
Wilson says everyone remembers when they first heard Eagle Rock. Immodest? Perhaps. But true. If you’re of a certain age, of course, otherwise go ask your father. For me, it was the May school holidays – 1971 - and the song burst out of the radio like Richmond’s Billy Barrott out of an MCG pack (ask him again). "Now listen ...!" The guitar break was a chainsaw massacre with chord changes. The song was an anthem like Advance Australia Fair isn’t. That’s a dirge.

But Eagle Rock wasn’t my favourite. Try Zoop Bop Gold Cadillac. Or Hi Honey Ho's hypnotic three-note motif. It’s exactly what Wilson said. Parodying a form while praising it. What followed? Skyhooks? Sherbert? Air Supply? No wonder Eagle Rock is remembered.

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Daddy Who? Has been remastered and reissued. Sounded good on Off the Record. Maybe it was just the memory.

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In other radio news, the owner of Melbourne’s coolest (in the older sense, meaning calm, pleasant, clipped, well-spoken, enjoyable to listen to) radio voice - Ward Everaardt - retired last week. If you see a man riding by on a Harley Davidson, that will be him. Wave.

2 comments:

marco said...

I wanted to thank you for putting me onto the Zombies a few posts back. I still have "Odessey and Oracle" on high rotation today! Magic!

kitchen hand said...

Marco, it's without doubt one of the great productions of the 1960s.