Still Rock'n'Roll to Me

a production

Background

Still Rock'n'Roll to Me was a radio work by → ↑ → commissioned for a series of radio works, curated by Warren Burt and produced by Simon Britton for the National Programming Service of the Public Broadcasting Association of Australia.

Credits

Script - Philip Brophy & Gerard Hayes
Production, music & sound design - Philip Brophy

Cast

Record buyers - Kim Beissel & Ralph Traviato
3XY Radio DJ - Adrian Martin
Party goer 1 - Jane Stevenson
Party goer 2 - Philip Brophy
Party goer 3 - Robert Goodge
Rolling Stone journalist - Gerard Hayes
Billy Joel - Gavin Murray
Tech snobs - Andrew Preston & Philip Brophy
Art snobs - Philip Moreland & Maria Kozic
TV snobs - Peter Lawrence & Linda Barron
Film snobs - Lino Caputo & Gerard Hayes
Ad agency creatives - Philip Brophy & Vivian Archdall
"Denims" advertisement jingle - Philip Brophy
Guitar - Robert Goodge
Keyboards - Philip Brophy
Voice-over - Chris Wyatt
The Universal Narrator - Patrick Jones
Muzak composition - Philip Brophy
Musique concrète composition - Philip Brophy

1983

Broadcast by various state public radio broadcasters in Australia (co-ordinated by Simon Britton)

1984

Broadcast by various state public radio broadcasters in Vienna & Germany (co-ordinated by Heidi Grundmann)

Overview

From the original programme note


Still Rock'n'Roll to Me uses electronic music and radio play techniques to take apart and reassemble a very familiar rock song, extracting meaning, extrapolating situations, and assembling musics from both the musical and verbal content of the original song.

Technical

A septic exploration of Billy Joel's song, Still Rock'n'Roll to Me presents a series of pathetic altruisms which guide many people's perceptual navigation through popular culture. Two polarities of thought are targeted: lazy notions of claiming something to be 'more real' than something else, and of espousing universal statements that 'deep down everything is the same'. Billy Joel's railing against 'new wave' music was symptomatic of the thin and illusory polemics which hung heavy in the air at the time. Most of the scripted dialogue was actually overheard in real life. The fake ad for new 'youth market' shoes ("Denims - the jeans for your feet") was not real - but it may as well have been.

The work is representative of the analytic approach to culture undertaken in → ↑ → projects. In this case, a single song is rendered like an 'exploded diagram', exposing, arranging and surveying its contents as a series of shards in suspended trajectories. True to → ↑ → aesthetics, it embraces its revulsion.

Sections

1. At the record store
2. At home
3. On the radio
4. At the party
5. The Billy Joel interview
6. Overhearing snobs
7. The advertising agency
8. "Denims - the jeans for your feet"
9. The universal truth
10. Muzaking Billy
11. Deconstructing Billy