Standing on the Outside

Growing up in the mid-north coast town of Forster was a lot of fun. I remember the beautiful beaches, the good friends and the music. Everyone in town loved music. It was something that struck me immediately upon arriving from Sydney — there was the School Captain, Paul Davis sitting on a bench strumming a guitar and singing to the other kids around him.

Of course, he wasn’t singing Kumbaya … he was singing The Clash. He was singing Sex Pistols or Siouxie and the Banshees — but importantly, he was singing. And in many ways, this single incident set the tenor of my engagement with my new town and its people — it was to be a deep and musical connection. Even now the songs from my late teens remind me of specific moments, people and places — these songs have created a soundtrack to my own life — and none moreso than the songs of the Australian band, Cold Chisel.

Imagine how excited I was then to discover a whole album of Cold Chisel songs reinterpreted by some of Australia’s finest contemporary musicians. Called Standing on the Outside, it brings together many of my favourite songs in a new context. Exciting!

But the reason I am most interested in this, is because it touches on a theme that has been occupying me for the last few weeks. It is about authenticity, truth and "fakes". I will be writing more on this over the coming week, but there is something about PERFORMING the fake that seems to me, to reveal a greater truth. Sometimes the cover version reveals more than the original. Think on Johnny Cash’s version of U2’s One. That is where I am starting my next post. Stay tuned. 

One thought on “Standing on the Outside

  1. Gavin, this is very true that sometimes the cover version is more revealing than the fake. This week I stumbled across this video of Alanis Morissette covering, of all things, that cheesy song “My Humps” originally by the Black Eyed Peas.
    At first I thought it was a joke, like since when is Alanis becoming Weird Al Yankovick? But upon watching it, it just haunted me.
    I keep on trying to tell people to look at it, that it’s amazing that by singing the same words in a different way, that the song is now a poingant social commentary, but I haven’t gotten much response beyond folks saying that it’s a hilarious video. I personally don’t find it that funny. I find it more poignant than humorous.
    Here’s the link:
    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with on this “performing the fake” idea.

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