Picture the scene. It’s 1982 and Australia’s future prime minister Bob Hawke – then the shadow minister for industrial relations – has accepted an invitation to launch a mini-album by an emerging Indigenous rock-reggae band called No Fixed Address. Hawke’s daughters are fans, and he recognises the importance of both the release and the symbolic gesture of a white politician endorsing it. There’s just one sticking point: the final song is called Pigs.
They’re always on the move
They call them the boys in blue
They’ll kick you in the head
Until they leave you dead
It is difficult to imagine even the current prime minister – a self-confessed music tragic – launching such a provocative release today. But Hawke goes ahead with it, saying the album is great – “but that’s not to say that every man and woman in blue is a thorough bastard”. The band’s drummer and leader, Bart Willoughby, turns around. “Yeah, there are good police out there – we just haven’t met any yet,” he shoots back.
The story of this radical group is told in a new book of the same name by Donald Robertson; on the back cover, Goanna’s Shane Howard describes No Fixed Address as “the tip of the spear” that plunged into the dead heart of middle Australia.… Read more..