30 Years of rage! The world’s longest-running music video program is now entering its dirty thirties. Go to http://www.abc.net.au/rage/ and check out Instagram @rageabc and Twitter @rageABC. #rage30 #watchingrage
For Guest Programmer snaps and behind-the-scenes moments go to Narelle Gee’s Real Wild Child Instagram account @30yearsofrage_ABC_
Back in 1987, ABC TV began broadcasting screams of r-r-r-rage into the night. Why and how was rage created? What happened behind the scenes during three decades of rage? How has the world’s longest-running music video program survived for 30 years? The full story of rage’s creation, evolution, and unlikely survival, is now available online. Go to QUT ePrints to read Narelle Gee’s Maintaining our rage: Inside Australia’s longest-running music video program. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/85665/
Real Wild Child by Narelle Gee
It’s Australian music’s most famous couch, and Real Wild Child ($35, ABC Books) tells the tale of those who have sat on it, guest programming Rage. Beautifully written by Narelle Gee, a Rage producer for 14 years, it’s not essential, but it is a fun read, with loads of anecdotes and Rage facts (the show’s working title was Rage Til You Puke). The first guest programmer was Andrew Denton (January 6, 1990); the first musician to do the job was the Go-Betweens’ Amanda Brown. Have enough Aussie acts been on the couch? By Howzat!’s count, 614 acts have guest programmed Rage between 1990 and 2010; 202 have been Aussie acts (33 per cent). As James Freud says of Triple J, we’re paying for it, so shouldn’t it be promoting Australian music?Tags: Amanda brown, go-betweens, james freud, narelle gee, rage, rage couch, real wild child
Narelle Gee spent fourteen years as head programmer of iconic Australian music show rage, during which time both she and the program’s infamous couch cosied up to hundreds of the world’s most famous, and occasionally infamous, musicians.
The resultant list of guest stars is, of course, a who’s who of the music world. Over the years the show has been graced with the likes of Nick Cave, Beck, the Strokes, Public Enemy, Greenday, Kings of Leon, KISS, Coldplay, Chris Isaak, Tool, New Order, Gwen Stefani, the Prodigy, Ray Manzerek from the Doors and many others. Gee saw her fair share of tantrums, rampant ego and prima donna preening, but more often than not was relieved that her idols were as cool, and relatively sane, as she’d hoped. And as for the poor couch? Its fabric, we learn, has been marked by all manner of substances, including cheap wine, fine Champagne, cocktails, beer, cigarette ash and a variety of foodstuffs. One time it was even set on fire, when a shoot with the newly-famous Avalanches got particularly rambunctious.
Perhaps slightly surprisingly given the vices and predilections of some of the above luminaries, and occasional bouts of arson notwithstanding, Real Wild Child is hardly an unceasing compendium of vice and vitriol. Gee is incapable of saying a bad word about anyone and the guest programmer’s are, for the most part, on their best behaviour, seemingly rather honoured to have been chosen to spend the next several hours as music video demagogues on a renowned national TV program.
In fact many of the book’s mini-chapters, each of which runs about 4 or 5 pages, consist of Gee expressing considerable relief that a number of rock’s ‘bad boys’ – Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan among them – are actually rather likable, if intense, fellows. There are bouts of extremely non-rock star behaviour, such as when Gee answers a knock at the door, only to find an immaculately dressed Andre3000 helping an assistant lug the rage couch into the room designated for filming.
Other musicians, however, are more than happy to live up to their not inconsiderable reputations. Courtney Love arrives five hours late and immediately begins barking orders at a hapless cameraman, declaring she’ll only be shot from certain angles and demanding a demonstration of his lenswork before allowing the actual filming to commence. James Iha and D’Arcy from Smashing Pumpkins, so affable when interviewed by Gee in 1994, have, unbeknownst to her, ended a relationship by the time their turn as rage hosts comes around in 1996. The tension in the air is palpable, and the pair’s bickering makes for one of the most unintentionally entertaining, and popular, episodes of all time.
So while it doesn’t exactly dish up an abundance of dirt, Real Wild Child is still a sprightly, readable and eminently enjoyable account of Gee’s time as rage director. Interspersed throughout are dozens of pictures, factoids and snippets of insider info, and while it may not be exhaustive it’s still the next best thing to actually guest programming the show. And for us music lovers of a tone-deaf persuasion, that may be the closest we ever come.Tags: Beck, Billy Corgan, chris issak, Coldplay, Courtney Love, D’Arcy, greenday, Gwen Stefani, James Iha, KISS, Marilyn Manson, New Order, Nick Cave, Public Enemy, ray menzerak, Smashing Pumpkins, The Kings Of Leon, The Prodigy, The Strokes, tool, Trent Reznor
Real Wild Child: An Insider’s Tale From The Rage Couch- Narelle Gee (Harper Collins)
What happens when the world’s biggest musical acts sit down on Australia’s most famous couch? Drunkenness, dark introspection, mania, hilarity incoherent rambling sharp edged commentary and fiery ‘artistic differences and the occasional food fight’ are common ground on Australia’s most famous couch. Author Narelle Gee, has had an impressive 14 year reign over the iconic couch as the rage producer and has seen the likes of musical maniacs Gene Simmons, the contortions of Courtney Love and the golden hot pants clad bottom of Kylie Minogue. This insider tells all about the biggest names in music and complete with juicy backstage anecdotes, Real Wild Child is packed with real wild moments, rock and roll tales and plenty of secrets from the couch.Tags: gene simmons, kylie minoguerage, narelle gee, rage couch, real wild child
BEHIND THE RAGE
RAGE PRODUCER NARELLE GEE TALKS TO LIZ GIUFFRE ABOUT HER NEW BOOK, REAL WILD CHILD! TALES FROM THE RAGE COUCH.
Narelle Gee is the lady many of us have to thank for our musical education. As the producer of Rage for over a decade she handed musicians the keys to the Rage kingdom and let them reign supreme. Now that she’s out in the real world again she’s put pen to paper to share with us mere mortals some of what went on behind the scenes. The resulting book, Real Wild Child! Tales From The Rage Couch is an insider’s view, but also a fan’s notebook.
What: Real Wild Child! Tales From The Rage Couch (Harper Collins)Tags: Beastie Boys, Beck, Beth Ditto from Gossip, Billy Corgan, Coldplay, Courtney Love, flaming lips, Green Day, Gwen Stefani, Jack Black, KISS, Kylie Minogue, lilly allen, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, narelle gee, nine inch nails, Powderfinger, rage, real wild child, Silverchair, The Black Eyed Peas, The Dandy Warhols, The Kings Of Leon, The Living End, The Prodigy, The Strokes, Trent Reznor, wayne coyne, wild child