What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today ? SPY VS SPY – Sallie Anne (1987)

I’m on record as saying that I was never the biggest Spy’s fan. The Spy’s became known for tackling political issues through their music, including racism, homelessness and contemporary drug culture. Politics and rock n roll was something that Cowboy Col could have done with out – and that also included a lot of the output from their big Powderworks brother Midnight Oil. Yet like many punters from the mid to late 80s, I was subjected to the Spys as they were given a fair ride from the media for a long while. Who else recalls having to sit down and watch ‘em on TV belting out Harrys Reasons, Injustice or Tear It Down ? Tear It Down was lifted from their most successful album , A.O. Mod. TV. Vers, which peaked at #12 on the Australian album charts. They were a band I walked out on a few occasions, as often they were headliner, and I’d gone to see the opening act. I recall seeing Girl Monstar at the Dee Why Hotel in Sydney in 1990 on one such occasion (Mr Rockbrat will tell me if the year is wrong) who were supporting the Spy’s. The Spy’s always seemed to do well with the rock loving, wax head beer drinkers on the northern beaches. Anyway, they were still battling through the suburban pubs in the late 80s and early 90s, yet as time has shown, they were never bigger than they were around 86/87. By 1990 the band had seen better days. Whereas a few short years previously the band were courting journalists backstage, they were now suffering the nuisance nonsense of bewildered pests like big Jack sniffing round their dressing room, telling the band how great they were. If he hadn’t figured it out already, bass player Craig Bloxom must surely have known that the band had seen better days. Yet I digress. They did have one single that I’ve come to have an appreciation for over the years, and that is their 1987 single ‘ Sallie-Ann”, released in March, 1987 as a tribute to whistle blower Sally Ann-Huckstepp, who was murdered 12 months earlier in 1986 in Centennial Park in Sydney. Here is a video of the Spy’s performing Sally Ann live on Countdown in 1987.

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