Cold Chisel Last Stand: TV Week Rock Music Awards
This clip is an excerpt from the music documentary Cold Chisel Last Stand featuring Jimmy Barnes giving his personal point of view about the band's controversial appearance at the 1981 Countdown Music Awards, sponsored by TV Week magazine and held at Sydney's Regent Theatre.
There are differing accounts of events surrounding this key moment in Australia's music history; this clip offers Jimmy's perspective. In the clip, he is interviewed in what appears to be a run-down motel room, a very suitable location for his working-class hero persona. A third-person account fills in some gaps as to what happened and the inclusion of the incident itself is essential in their telling of the story.
The band's stance at the time was that, while they had achieved commercial recognition with the album East, they felt they had done so with little support from the entertainment industry. Others in the music industry might well disagree with that opinion. Cold Chisel did not see eye-to-eye with some music TV shows that they believed wouldn't allow them to perform live, and they were determined to stay true to their roots as a live band. They did not want their fans to think of them as 'selling-out'.
The band was nominated for seven of the major awards and won them all. They did not appear on stage to accept the awards but did close the ceremony by performing the track 'My Turn to Cry'. They performed the first verse and chorus and then changed the lyrics to make their protest against the entertainment industry. The band then smashed up the set and left the stage.
In under two minutes this clip gives us a concise retelling of Cold Chisel's perspective of a seminal moment in Australian music.
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.