Jul 18

Daniel Andrews Oils Up for that Rock ‘n’ Roll Music. In a Suit

State election full coveragePacker to ‘kick every goal he can’ for LaborLabor rocks out music

It seems a pity that Daniel Andrews didn’t turn out in ripped jeans and a leather jacket.

He was, after all, in quest of the rock’n’roll vote, inspecting a 72-channel mixing desk and talking about gigs and how rock music is the expression of the soul of Victoria and the dreams of the young.

Why, he was offering no less than $22 million to crank up the music in his state over the next four years and make Victoria home to an Australian Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, if the state only cranks out enough votes for him.

Alas, Mr Andrews was outfitted in nothing more adventurous than the blue suit of a politician on the make as he turned up at the Sing Sing recording studios in cramped-street Cremorne. His single concession to the laid-back surroundings: an open-neck checked shirt.

Still, he had Molly Meldrum at his side, distinctly laid-back in board shorts and a peaked cap, and the granddaddy of Melbourne’s recording industry, Michael Gudinski, his beard resplendent.

Mr Andrews, it turns out, was a big fan of Midnight Oil in his tender years. Why, he and his wife Catherine – who managed to appear perfectly at home at the studios in tight black jeans and a cool tank top – recalled to Fairfax flailing about at the Hallam Hotel at one of the Oils’ last gigs there in 2002. Yes, and at the Palais and uni bars, too.

Nice fit, really. The Oils lead singer, Peter Garrett, was demented on stage, altogether more reserved as a Labor parliamentarian.

Reminiscing, however, wasn’t Mr Andrews’ purpose at Sing Sing. It was all about the future. He was there to declare Victoria “the music capital of Australia” and to talk up his Music Works plan to pump $22.2 million into the cause of developing the state’s rock music industry and “support local jobs”.

There would be Victoria Rocks grants to help artists, venues and managers, and a Music Market – a one-stop shop for recording and distribution and all manner of groovy things.

Yes, and the Music Market  – venue yet to be decided; the election campaign being only hours old – would house the Australian Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

“To hear these words, I’m getting goosebumps almost,” said Mr Gudinski.

“Music to my ears,” declared Molly, himself just admitted, at a ceremony in Sydney, to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. “Whether Sydney likes it or not, Melbourne is the centre of music in Australia.”

Music, you’d imagine, to Mr Andrews’ ears as well.

If only he’d burst into a spontaneous moment of Garrett-style flailing.

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