Cold Chisel Last Stand: TV Week Rock Music Awards
Excerpt from the music documentary Cold Chisel Last Stand featuring Jimmy Barnes telling the band's side of the story about the 1981 Countdown Music Awards, sponsored by TV Week magazine.
Many critics see this as a defining moment in the band's career. Although they had achieved commercial recognition with the album East, the band felt they'd done it the hard way - with little assistance from industry insiders, and so they were determined to stay true to their roots and not allow the entertainment industry's marketing machine to hijack their hard-earned success.
The band was nominated for all seven of the major awards at the joint Countdown/TV Week music awards held at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and won them all. The band refused to accept the awards and finished the night by performing album track 'My Turn to Cry'. After only one verse and chorus, the band smashed up the set and left the stage. In under two minutes this clip gives us a concise retelling of the incident.
In the clip, Barnes is interviewed in what appears to be a run-down motel room, a very suitable location for his working-class hero persona. The third-person account fills the gaps as to what happened and the inclusion of the incident itself is essential in telling the story.
The audio captures Barnes' one-off lyric, 'Now you're trying to use my face to sell TV Week', as Ian Moss smashes his guitar. When the producers of the show lower a backdrop to end the performance, the backdrop hits Moss on the head. Barnes leaves the stage, 'saluting' the crowd with his trademark bottle of vodka, after ranting 'Eat this!'.
This is a seminal moment in Australian music and is well told in this short segment.
Cold Chisel Last Stand documented the career of pub rock group Cold Chisel and centred around the 'Last Stand' concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on 15 December 1983.