Music is streaming, help for the Hard Ons, and vale to our fallen musicians
MUSIC FROM THE MOTHERLAND | Hard man Hard On Peter ‘Blackie’ Black on the road to recovery; Spotify launches in Australia; and we remember late Australian music veterans Robin Gibb and Peter Jones.
From the bad comes the good
It was terrible news to hear of Australian music veteran Peter ‘Blackie’ Black being the victim of a vicious bashing last week. Blackie, who has been playing live music on the Aussie music scene as guitarist for punk veterans the Hard Ons for 30 years, was attacked when driving his cab – a part-time income to supplement his music career.
The attack left him with a fractured skull, 16 stitches and bleeding on the brain. Blackie is still in hospital but thankfully his condition has stabilised after being found on the road next to his cab by police. Faced with months of rehabilitation and loss of income the music community across the country has stepped up to help him out and the band. Benefit gigs have popped up across the country with Regurgitator and the Spazzy’s taking some initiative in Melbourne while former members of the band will cover his spots in the Hard Ons upcoming national tour.
Fans have taken to the band’s Facebook page to express support and sympathy which goes to show the majority of people out there are made of the good stuff.
The music stream trickles down to Australia
Music fans in the UK have been able to access the joys of Spotify and other music streaming sites for several years now. However, our brothers and sisters Down Under have had to wait a few years. As is the norm in Oz, we are always the last when it comes to the getting the goods and it’s usually much worse out in the bush (I remember only getting Channel 9 and 10 on the TV when I was six and Triple J didn’t arrive until I was 12 – thanks Wagga! But then, we also had a car powered by our feet and my dad would yell out ‘‘Yabba Dabba Doo!’’ when he finished work).
But as of last week – our Aussie brethren back home don’t have to wait any longer. Spotify launched in Australia in what some are saying is a massive shake-up to our local music industry. For those not in the know, Spotify is the one of the market leaders in music streaming sites. These sites have ginormous catalogues of music which users can access to listen to music without having to download it. Sort of like watching a video on YouTube. You can also get fancy by creating playlists, using apps, sharing with your friends etc etc.
It’s definitely the best way to access large amounts of music and for a small amount (about a tenna a month here) you can type up almost any genre of music at a whim. I’m sure it will be a big hit in Oz and maybe the good folks back home will now have some other music to hum to rather than “Flintstones, meet the Flintstones …”!
Vale Robin Gibb and Peter Jones
It was a sad week for music fans across the world as two artists from prominent Australian acts both passed away due to cancer. Robin Gibb, founding member of disco kings the Bee Gees, died after a long battle with cancer. The Bee Gees brought us the boogie hits of ‘Staying Alive’, ‘How Deep is Your Love’ and ‘More Than A Woman’ but also were responsible for writing songs for artists like Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand and Beyonce. The list goes on and it just shows how widespread their influence on the music industry was, not just for their fans but also other artists.
The other passing was former drummer for Crowded House, Peter Jones, who died earlier last week aged 45. Jones, born in Liverpool, joined the band after the departure of founding drummer Paul Hester in 2004 and played with the band until 2006. We salute these two musicians and their contribution to Australian music, both home and abroad.