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Particularly impressive is the leading role that many of Australia’s most prominent artists played in the development of the exhibition, with many objects donated or lent directly from the artists themselves. Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Molly Meldrum, Tina Arena and Michael Gudinski were all founding patrons.
Packed with stunning costumes, iconic musical instruments and classical objects, the exhibition goes behind the scenes and provides an insight into the lives of artists, producers, managers, record companies, promoters, roadies and technicians.
Without a chronological or thematic sequence, it becomes a truly immersive experience, most incredibly illustrated by ‘The Amplifier’: a 360-degree audio and visual space that immerses participants in the sight and sound of sunny days at the Sunbury Festival, the thrill of to be a part of a live Countdown audience, the intoxicating world of triple j Unearthed, and what it was like to be at Melbourne’s SLAM Rally, the biggest cultural protest in Australia’s history. And once again, it’s all completely free.
Highlighting new objects in the exhibition
Jacket, headphones and boots worn by Baker Boy in the ‘Cool As Hell’ video, 2019. Hand painted by Josiah Baker, lent by Baker Boy.
In his fractional career so far, Baker Boy has been nothing short of a hip-hop pioneer who has changed mainstream attitudes to how Australian hip-hop can look and sound, while at the same time expanding its international appeal. His effortless rap in both English and Yolngu Matha – a legacy inherited from the original Baker Boys, his hip-hop performing father and uncle – has won over 20 prestigious awards, and his unique visual aesthetic is a fascinating experience up close .
Coat in imitation fur worn by Mo’Ju in the ‘Native Tongue’ video, 2018. Made by Frankie Valentine, lent by Mo’Ju.
By merging blues, jazz, soul, R&B and hip hop, Mo’Ju has quickly built a strong reputation in the Australian music industry and toured with the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Paul Kelly, Hilltop Hoods and Aloe Blacc. Of the title track of their third album ‘Native Tongue’, which garnered three ARIA nominations, Mo’Ju wrote: “I wrote this song as an expression of some complex emotions, such as grief over the loss of culture and indigenous language and other effects of “Assimilation, colonization and money laundering of non-Western cultures. This is not a song about self-pity, it is a song about self-empowerment.”
Guild Thunderbird guitar played by Ross Hannaford from Daddy Cool, approx. 1970-1975
Daddy Cool’s propeller-encapsulated riddle Ross Hannaford was also a founding member of The Pink Finks, The Party Machine, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, Mighty Kong and Relax with Max. The guitar virtuoso responsible for ‘Eagle Rock’ created the best-selling Australian single from 1971 and their debut LP Dad who? sej far became the first Australian album to sell over 100,000 copies. He ended his remarkable career in the streets of Melbourne, and this incredible guitar sets in motion all these stories and more.
Visit here for more information about the exhibition.