TISM HISTORY : 1989

With their turgid double album Great Truckin’ Songs of the Renaissance entering more homes than it ever deserved to, TISM return from a period of greatly appreciated silence to once more drag their accursed act around the country from Canberra to Coolangatta. They return to Melbourne by headlining an outdoor performance on a stage in Russell Street to mark the opening of the Virgin Megastore, on Monday March 13th. How such an exciting new business venture could want to sully their name by association with TISM defies belief.Humphrey at the Livid Festival, 1989However, it seems the pointed bone of TISM has poisoned many a mind. Saturday Night Palsy, the second single from the album, lingers like broken wind from a dog on the edge of the National Top 40, garners a ridiculous amount of commercial airplay and precipitates an invitation for the band to appear on hitherto popular national TV show Hey! Hey! It's Saturday. The show normally features tasteful recording artists such as John Farnham, but on this night viewers are assaulted by the sight of 7, so called TISM members, beginning the song, to be joined by another 7 in yet another stupid costume complete with microphone, dance steps and instruments, then another different 7 and another, until 28 pointlessly garbed fools cavort around the small studio stag, creating such an embarrassing waste of Saturday night viewing, that it renders John Blackman's characteristically unhumorous voice-overs totally unnecessary. Talented filmmaker Peter Bain-Hog is double-crossed intoworking on a film clip for the single. It features scenes of a good looking, street wise, popular young gent who swings from one exclusive Melbourne nightclub to the next, with free drink-cards, friends on the door and women on his arm, until in the final scene he smilingly places a large noose around his neck and hangs himself, his busy diary falling from his stiffly swinging corpse in the final shot. The clip is shown on both late night video shows M-TV and Rage, but the final horrific scene is cut in a supurb act of bowdlerisation, thus rendering the clip exactly the same as every other slickly produced clip of groovy models having a good time. What beautiful irony. July sees yet another single cynically dredged from Great Truckin’ Songs an ode to a man who knows the meaning of "I’ve suffered for my art. Now it’s your turn" even more than TISM, Martin Scorsese Is Really Quite A Jovial Fellow. TISM mourn appropriately with trips to Melbourne's outer suburban beer barns and further torture sprees in Sydney and Brisbane. The year is closed with a De Mille-like display of awfulness, when Brisbane promoters, clearly suffering from the after-effects of trachoma and gerrymander, invite TISM to headline a giant all day, open-air event called the Livid Festival,TISM on stage, 2/12/89 on December 2nd at the Brisbane Showgrounds. The supporting cast features Pop Will Eat Itself, Died Pretty and The Hummingbirds, and over 3000 completely deluded fans stream in on a day when, unlike TISM, the country's other greatest joke, The National Party are kicked off their faltering pedestal in the Queensland state elections. TISM ponce onto the stage at the close of this famous evening and emit a jabbering belch of non-music into the warm night, wearing ten foot high phosphorescent numbers atop their heads, and yelling the name of Bjelke Peterson's failed successor Russell Cooper, like a war cry. More frighteningly, the 3000 strong throng yells back even louder. A pillaging horde of Tartars would seem like Rosemary Margin by comparison, No wonder they had 32 years of National Party rule. Meanwhile, the Kemal Attaturks of rock return to their home town for three year-closing shows at the Old Greek Theatre. On these occasions, they dangle clothes lines complete with pegged up washing from huge profibitavely expensive scaffolding trees on either side of the theatre, and perform in front of a bank of washing machines and dryers instead of amplifiers, whilst a group of old women iron clothes on a platform above the band. The room is a wash with pyjamas underwear and track-suits, while a thousand paying customers stare in apoplexy. TISM, satisfied that they had plunged into almost criminal debt, dissappear for six months.

 

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listen! >> tism at Livid Festival '89

watch! >> tism on Hey Hey! it's Saturday