Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday On My Mind

There's nothing more thrilling for a teenager than when their pop idols manage to sneak a coded message to them past parents, teachers, radio programmers and other assorted authority figures and arbiters of good taste. I remember back in second form (or year 8), one teacher would let us play a bit of rock music in class as a reward for being well behaved. A song that was chosen one particular day was the Skyhooks track, "Smut", an ode to the joys of having one off the wrist in the darkness of a movie theatre, while using a Twisties bag as a tissue.
So there we all were, sitting around at our desks sniggering like -er- well adolescents, when the dimwitted teacher finally started to twig that something was up. "What's this song called"? He asked nobody in particular. "Surfie Joe", lied Mark King quick as a flash, amidst more stifled chuckles from his classmates.
Another prime example was David Bowie's cover of the Easybeats classic "Friday On My Mind", which used to get a lot of airplay on 3XY  when it was released in 1973. Back then, dropping the F-Bomb on the airwaves was a big no-no, and perhaps if the producers had listened to the backing vocals a little more closely after the line, "Gonna'have fun in the city", they'd have heard David singing, "Feel like Fucking you".
For the first two verses the line is buried deep in the mix, audible only to the discerning ear. But at the end of the song the profanity is pushed right to the forefront where it's heard as clear as day. It's amazing how many people missed that one. I don't know what was more thrilling to my twelve year old ears: Getting away with this bit of naughtiness, or the fact that my idol was covering an Aussie classic by Vanda and Young, and was actually aware that there was life stirring down at this end of the world. 

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