Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Missing Legends

For a nation with a relatively small population (at 20 million, Oz has about 16 million fewer people than California), Australia has certainly produced a large number of "legendary" bands.
There's Radio Birdman, the Lime Spiders, The Denvermen, The Loved Ones and Scientists for starters.
For my money, however, one band stands alone when it comes to creating indelible legends in the annals of Down Under rock.
The Missing Links.
The "new rock and roll group with the Rolling Stones sound" were nonetheless kicked off a support slot for the touring Stones in 1965 for being "long-haired animals," according to promoter Harry M. Miller. Legend has it Miller feared the Missing Links would upstage Mick and the lads.
They were baned from the TV pop show "Sing Sing Sing" for being "a particularly obnoxious gaggle of guitar thumpers."
It's not their persona, but the way this gaggle thumped their guitars that truly made them legends.
Their signature tune, "Wild About You," would not sound out of place on the Nuggets compilation of other 60s garage rock. They were among the first Aussie bands to employ feedback in their sound, and the result sounds menacing -- even 41 years later.
The fact that they burned brightly for about two years before fading into the ether of failed bands contributes to their legend, I think. Like many enduring legends, they died before they got old -- or stale.