Monday, September 14, 2009

Stevie Plunder (thanks, Jack)

Stevie Plunder....another name that is completely mysterious to me. Out of the four names Jack gave me, I only recognize one of them. Well, now I recognize a second since I wrote about him yesterday.

I shall go and talk to Lord Wiki.

Crap. It's a music person.

I dread music posts.

But I like this guy...well, I like his music. He's from the Whitlams.

Oh. Sad. He's dead. He died very young.

I thought I was misreading something at first.

He died on Australia Day. That's pretty awful.

Anyway, let's rewind a bit and go to his birth.

Stevie wasn't always Stevie. He was born as Anthony. His birthday was sometime in 1963.

I'll go to that fun timeline website from yesterday.

In 1963, a loaf of bread in America cost 22 cents. It would be fun to take the money we have now and go back in a time machine to that time. We'd feel so damn wealthy.

In 1963.....

There was a big Tsunami in Pakistan.

JFK was assassinated. In America, I think that's what 1963 is the most famous for.

There was a lot of earthquakes and hurricanes around the world. I wonder if people believed these were signs of end times.

Alcatraz Closed. That's funny because when I looked at the timeline for yesterday's post, the year was when Alcatraz opened.

The KKK killed four young girls in a church.

The pope died.

MLK did his I Had a Dream Speech.

The first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast.

In Australia, Menzies was Prime Minister. That's all I have for Australia. Maybe I need to find another that's more Aussie-oriented.

Lord Wiki actually has a post about it.

He says that in 1963, Indigenous Australians could vote in the Federal Elections. There's a bunch of other stuff, but I should probably move on and talk about Stevie Plunder.

So far we know he was born in a very eventful year.

Okay. This is totally off the subject, but Tim just emailed me this video. It's about the state I live in, and gives some ideas about why I want to run away to Australia.

I really need to get on task here.

Baby Anthony was born in Canberra.

In his teen years, he formed a band called The Plunderers. 

In 1992, Plunder and Tim Freedman were at a a Big Day Out concert. They chatted, and decided they'd form a band together. Lord Wiki says they did this because they were unhappy with the current music scene. Really. See, I think if you're unhappy about simply whine, whinge, bitch, complain, etc. You don't need to actually go out and DO something about it.

No, I'm joking....of course.

Freedman and Plunder added some more guys to their group.  Andy Lewis and Stuart Eddie.

The three guys did their music stuff on Saturday afternoons. This was in Newtown. I'm not sure how Plunder got there from Canberra. This entry from Lord Wiki is pretty short...not very detailed.

In 1993, the Whitlams released their first album. One of the songs was "Gough". It was about that Prime Minister guy whose last name was the same name as the band name.

Here's the video for it. It's a happy jolly song. I like it, but can't really understand the lyrics. I'm going to go look at them.

The lyrics say that the dismissal day was anniversary of Ned Kelly's death. 11 November. Is that true?

Yep. Lord Wiki says it is.

That's eerie. Ned Kelly and Gough Whitlam are both such huge Aussie heroes. It's weird that the dates connect. Plunder himself is mentioned in the lyrics.

The little boy he's on the stage tonight, his name is Anthony Hayes and he's doing alright They both went to the same local Canberra school, but Stevie was nine in 1972

Then Plunder died on Australia Day.
Am I reading too much into all of this?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Lord Wiki says that the Big Day Out conversation was on 26 January. Exactly four years later, Plunder was found at the bottom of Wentworth Falls in The Blue Mountains.


His death was a suicide....very tragic.

This article says that Plunder had drug issues. I guess the drugs could have made him depressed enough to jump, or maybe they just caused him to act irresponsibly.

Another band member (Lewis) left the group in 1995, and then hung himself in 2000.

Are the Whitlams cursed?

Suicide isn't really a curse though. It's a choice. And I'm sure one can inspire another. However, maybe there was a curse of unhappiness and bad luck that pushed them to choose suicide.

Here's a news broadcast about The Whitlams. Tim Freedman says out of the three guys who started the band, he's the only one that's still alive. I guess the fourth person had come a bit later.

I'm kind of at a loss about what to write. I'd probably be better off if Jack had given me Tim Freedman's name. I'd add him to the list if I didn't dislike writing about music people so much.

I guess I'll just watch some of their old videos. Then I'll have another day of quitting early.

Maybe I'll look at lyrics too. Lyric websites are so annoying though. They have so many damn pop ups.

I can't find any videos for their first album. Then after the second album, Plunder is sadly no longer there. So, I shall have to hope and find something from Undeniably the Whitlams.

Here's a video of a concert. Plunder sings "Following My Own Tracks". This was from 1994; two years before he died.

Here Plunder talks about the song. No wait. It's Freedman talking about the song. Freedman says Plunder was a great songwriter. I wasn't sure if he wrote the lyrics or not. Lord Wiki has his name by the song, but I didn't know if that meant he wrote it, or sang it. Now that I know he wrote it, maybe I'll look at the lyrics next.

Freedman says it's a happy-sounding song about falling prey to your weaknesses. Are most of the Whitlam songs happy-sounding? The ones I've heard are.

I'm often falling prey to my weakness. I think that's probably the two big CH things....chocolate and cheese.

Some of the lyrics sound like they could be talking about bipolar issues.

I'm never happy in the middle
I've gotta be up or down

Just when i think I've found level ground
I turn around and destroy all of the life I've found

There's some drug abuse lines.

Well self-destruction's kinda dumb
But if you do it well

You can find heaven if you can handle hell
Here's more lyrics written by Plunder. This is for "End of Your World".

I hate to read too much into it, but some of these lines kind of hint at what's to come.

You're on a plane to the end of your world
You're going down down down
It's one hell of a way to go out

Very sad.....

And there's....

You never thought it was a crime
To be so sad and lonely
But now you're down down down
It's one hell of a way to go out

Plunder wrote "Pass The Flagon".
My body's floatin' up in the stars
The alcohol seems to cleanse the scars
As another bottle hits the ground I feel as empty as it sounds

Tim Freedman wrote a song called "The Curse Stops Here" It's about losing his two band members.

Here he talks about the song. Freedman talks about how crazy it was the week that Plunder died. He had to do a bunch of traveling....flying. I guess the rock star life doesn't give you much time to grieve. Freedman says the song is in response to someone asking if there was a curse. The song is Freedman declaring that no, he's not going to go down the same path as his deceased band mates. He plans to live.

The song plays in the background of the interview. I can't hear it much, but it does sound more melancholy than the other song of theirs that I heard.

Here's the song by itself.

Part of the lyrics say,

My first days back and I was rolling round the town
Saying stay away from edges,
Stay away from ropes if you can
My friends said I was saying it, too many times
Leave the gallow humour for the gallow people that it finds

Well, whether it's a curse or copycat type thing, hopefully Freedman's life will have a much different path.

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