Monday, December 16, 2002

Have had a HUGE weekend at Meredith Music Festival ( – so I’ll be keeping today’s blog pretty light, as well as music related.

In one of those so-bad-they’re-funny Letters to the Editor (today’s The Australian),5746,ausletters1^^TEXT,00.html
is to be found the choice spectacle of Indignant Baby Boomer-ism.

Specifically, one Bird Jensen of Byron Bay, writes a long complaining letter in response to a lukewarm review of a Brisbane Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) concert that she was also at.

One thing about indignant baby boomers is that they’re not shy about the “flaunt it at first” factor:

“Perhaps [reviewer, Martin] Buzacott had bad seats; we were front-row centre, and speaking as a professional musician myself ….”

But it’s not all champagne in A-reserve sweet nothings for Bird to be able to clinch the argument, so she drops this heavyweight fact in Brian Wilson’s defence:

“Like the Beatles before him, Wilson withdrew from the insanity of corporate exploitation, and a life constantly on tour.”

Pardon? The Beatles withdrew from the insanity of corporate exploitation? (BTW, for any pedants out there, I don’t know and don’t even care about the Beach Boys re this bit - their bad band name was reason enough for them to break up, as far as I’m concerned).

Now, I would like to think that I know a fair bit about the said “insanity of corporate exploitation”. Chiefly, it means running sweatshops, whether they be Nike factories in Indonesia, or Australian universities staffed largely by sessionals (another music reference!). If there’s any ambiguity at all about the term, I’m sure that measuring the size of pay packets to actual hours worked will do the trick.

I’m rather puzzled, then, as to how all The Beatles got to be seriously, filthy rich. And I’m not necessarily talking mostly about Paul McCartney here – I’m happy to deem at least 90% of his billionaire-ness to “Mull of Kintyre” royalties, as surely even Bird Jensen would not put that song down to withdrawal from the insanity of corporate exploitation.

On a second baby boomer note was another letter to the editor, in The Australian of about a week ago (sorry, I’ve lost the actual reference). The rather-funny letter opined that the reason for a dramatic drop in CD sales in the last two years or so has little to do with Napster etc. Rather, it was simply because baby boomers has finished off their CD collections, with every conceivable piece of classic rock para-banalia now having been fully and utterly commodified.

So go living Aussie rock! And as for Bird Jensen, your life as revealed on Google is even tawdrier than the baby boomer gold standard for such things. Not only TWO “charity” CD singles (Princess Diana and September 11); and the fact that these seem to be your entire opus; there is this little gem; you sad schmuck:

“I had been feeling very scattered, and feeling down about my music career not taking off as quickly as I wanted it to. One day, I visited seeking some uplift, and decided to download Chris Widener's audio clip on Developing Goals. I listened to it several times over the course of a week. Over the following weekend, I sat down and wrote a new song, recorded it... and I released it as a single last week! is very helpful to me when I need a quick energy pick-me-up... works every time!”

--Bird Jensen, Byron Bay, Australia

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