Real Wild Child - Narelle Gee

Narelle Gee



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.
“I did say how nice it is to meet your idols so that they can make fun of you as well,” she says. “It’s great when you get to meet bands you’ve loved forever and then you meet them and they’re really lovely and then you love them even more.”
While we watch Rage usually late on a Friday or Saturday night, that musical television awesomeness comes at a cost to producers like Gee. The beauty of Rage is that there’s no host to guide the musicians, no one to prompt or ‘coerce’ the right response. But the bad side of that is often musicians, given that much freedom, are a little unsure of what to do.
“I have had people freak out,” Gee says. “I remember Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips, who was doing a wonderful job of hosting, a fantastic job, and then he sort of stopped half way and said, ‘Am I doing okay, is this what you want?’, and I said, ‘Are you kidding? This you can do this every Saturday night, you’re doing a great job.’ But lots of people are a little unsure. I remember David Byrne was particularly thrown by the concept. He was like, ‘Oh, I’m a TV host. Oh, how do I do that?’ And other people just love it.
“Australian bands you know, have grown up with Rage and dream of the opportunity to do it one day, to get their spot on the couch,” Gee says. Pausing, she adds the other beauty of Rage, how it lets musicians show their own fandom.
“Yeah, we get people [who come on Rage] who walk around with lists of what they would choose if they got to go on one day, you know, lists in their wallets, these tattered little lists – it’s fantastic when you encounter that.”
As you’d expect the book is a mixture of tales of ‘tired and emotional’ artists (told lovingly, but hilariously), as well as those who give those titbits that you wouldn’t have expected.
“I love the clowns [who muck about and don’t take it too seriously], but I also love the people who did get quite deep and meaningful on the couch and who talk about, I think Trent Reznor was one who talked about the difficulty of making music and told this wonderful story about being in this lonely beach house and trying to write songs and struggling, and how he would jump up and dance to hip hop tracks and was such a bizarre and unexpected insight into writing a Nine Inch Nails album.”

real wild child

Real Wild Child

What: Real Wild Child! Tales From The Rage Couch (Harper Collins)

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