TISM's Occasional Pieces

 

In the last few months TISM have played a variety of live shows. During the course of many of these shows, spoken word pieces have been performed, most of which were written with that particular show in mind. Because of their very nature, these pieces would find it hard to be understood in any context but that for which they were concieved. Rather than allow these occasional pieces to remain buried from the gaze of the wider public, it has been decided to reproduce them here, along with enough explanatory notes to make them understandable to the reader who may not have been at the actual performance(s) themselves.

The first of these pieces was performed late last year at a large outdoor festival designed to cater for a teenage market. TISM played on a dual stage, and were immediately followed by Jon Stevens and his band. The actor River Phoenix had died the week before.

Have You Ever Met...

Have you ever met a teenager like those found on
Coke ads and soapies - who do they impress?
Who could ever meet Brenda and Brandon
And not want to kick those arseholes to death?
Every actor on Neighbours deserves to bleed;
Every teenage supermodel should learn to read;
Everyone here is surely agreed
It was fucking great River Phoenix OD'd.

In teenagers an adult lies buried -
Adolescence is a grave, when unearthed,
Reveals the corpse that within you is carried:
It is Adulthood - your future is cursed!
Why are parents so boring and stupid?
Why are teachers such a pack of cunts?
How could you not expect them to be putrid
When all of them were teenagers once?

The best looking boy in your secondary school
Will become a moustached accountant;
The biggest rebel who breaks every rule
Always becomes the public servant;
The brainiest kid who always gets A's
Will be a junkie before twenty-five;
That school captain who gets all the praise
Will scream "Greg, the stop sign!" just before she dies.

Adulthood is a choice between famous and boring -
Both are shithouse, for differing reasons:
Fame is based on brainless adoring,
And boring? - Hang around and ask Jon Stevens.

****

Following this, the band played at the Coolangatta Big Day Out concert. For this occasion, they decided to comment on local political figures. Little further commentary is needed, except perhaps to share with readers the fact that during the performance of this piece, a pat of the compacted cow dung that littered the scene of the concert was thrown at the band. This hurtled in a near perfect parabola, striking Ron Hitler-Barassi flush in the mouth. This, and the resulting picture published on the front page of the next day's local paper, was undoubtedly the highlight of the concert.

I Can Forget...

I can forget that ten years ago
They made heroes out of Bond and Skase;
I can forget that ten months ago
Frente were all over the place;
I can forget that Elle MacPherson
Thinks she's more than a bit of tail;
But I can't forget that Bjelke-Peterson
Didn't go to jail.

I can forget that hippies are
Getting more street cred;
I can forget whatever it was
Kurt Cobain last said.
I can forget Bronwyn Bishop's a girl
And John Hewson is a male:
But I can't forget that Bjelke-Peterson
Didn't go to jail.

It's not a matter of left or right,
No matter what is said
It's a matter of self respect
That, until that man is dead,
He is hounded every day and night
Hounded 'till he pays;
Hounded in a spotters light:
Hounded to his grave.

I can't forget his trial was a farce,
And a retrial? - he oughta.
I can't forget he was a crook
Yet crapped on about law and order.
I can't forget his fake religion,
Can't forget he'd no remorse:
I won't forget to open his coffin
And piss on his ugly corpse.

***

Before embarking on the Big Day Out tour, the band played an unannounced warm up show at a small club located at the back of the Palace night club. This venue is called Grip, and many skaters and surfer types attend. The day earlier, in the main room of the Palace, the Lemonheads played. After this show, many rumours surfaced about Evan Dando and Kylie Minogue.

Ladies and gentlemen - Ron Hitler Barassi!
It was at that very bar when I had my worst trip
It was only last Saturday - I'd come to The Grip
With Keegan and Troy, and a few other skegs
And this weird dude, he comes up to me and he says:
"I got some leaf the other day up at Byron
And a couple of cones - you wanna try 'em?"
Now, I know I was pissed, and the light's pretty bad,
But I looked at this dude - and it was my Dad!
I was speechless, I stayed, rigid with fright,
He said: "Do you know Evan ***** fucked Kylie ****gue on Friday night?"
His hair was in dreads, his T-shirt said 'SLAAM'
I couldn't believe this was my old man.
I'd seen him every day hanging round with bankers;
"TISM play here next Saturday", he said. "They're wankers."
"B-b-but Dad," I stammered, "Y-you're, you're, I mean - I mean, y-you're not..."
Just then my Uncle Leroy came up; "Woah," he said, "awesome pot."
I looked around this club - my sight, it was hazy
But there was Aunt Ethel, and Uncle Fred, and wife Daisy.
My eyes finally focussed on this host of drug-takers;
My whole family was here - and they'd turned into skaters.
"Gotta lash, dude!" said Dad, "Can't afford to linger!
I gotta get your mum home for a bit of stinkfinger!"
I fainted right there, in a swoon on the floor -
Keegan and Troy, they took me out by that very door.
It was like watching a movie from end to beginnin';
It was like forcing Michael ****son to fuck older women;
It was all in reverse, it was a horrid contrast;
It was like seeing Jennifer K**** put the Coke bottle up Johnny ****el's arse.
And I woke up this morning, and it was all normal again.
"Listen son," said Dad, "I want you home by ten.
You were raving last night, your friends are all thugs,
You were so out of it, I think you're on drugs."
I grabbed his hand and said "Dad! Thank God it's you!
And you're telling me off - oh, Dad, I love you!"
"Smartarse," he muttered and he went off to work -
The same boring, normal, conventional jerk.
So, skaters, and skegheads, and surfers - be warned.
Thank God for parents and teachers and policemen uniformed.
Remember, as you slag them off and you cuss,
When you're forced to do homework, and at the next drug bust -
I had a vision of a world even more suss -
Remember, it would be worse - if they acted like us.

***

TISM played one of their rare live shows at the Collingwood Town Hall late last year. At this show, the following piece was delivered to a largely bemused audience. The unusual solemnity of its message is a possible explanation for this. TISM's legal battles with Ken Done were at this point still unresolved.

Jesus Christ might love me and
Muhammad might do too;
The ozone is gone above me and
All human life is through;
My parents both molested me
Like Axl Rose's did
(Though it's probably justifiable
If you get him for a kid);
There's questions that need answering -
Why are we all alive?
I couldn't give a shit because
I work from nine to five.

Working from nine to five will turn
Philosophy to dust:
Is Elle MacPherson talented,
Or is she just a bust?
She keeps on saying that she is:
"I'm an artist!" she'll moan.
But those who insist most convince least -
Are you listening Ken Done?
Every goddamn celebrity
Who says how much they strive -
Well, give it up and join us jerks -
Who work from nine to five.

Together we form a mighty river,
The unacknowledged mass.
Our waters are that which over
The famous try to pass.

If you're a set designer, OUT;
If you're a plumber, IN.
This guy worked on a fashion shoot -
Hey bouncer, knuckle him.
If you've been gong ten years too long
And it's all tedium
You're beginning to sound just like
This Is Serious Mum.

Together we form a mighty river,
The unacknowledged mass.
Our waters are that which over
The famous try to pass.

Socrates died drinking hemlock;
Hemingway with a gun.
But we, we die at nine o'clock,
At five, to life we come.
The famous fifteen minutes get
With which to be alive -
But on Monday morning I'm going back
To working nine to five.

***

Another of TISM's rare headlining shows was at Selina's in Sydney. The band performed just after the announcement of Sydney's successful bid for the Olympic Games. Tanya Blenco, the young Sydney schoolgirl who appeared at the final presentations during the selection process, was at the time the media's darling. Hitler-Barassi falling off the stage midway through the second verse was an undoubted highlight.

I'm a visitor here in Sydney
Went to see the bridge - c'est magnifique
Don't mean the old one over Sydney Harbour
I mean in Rooty Hill, over Eastern Creek.
The surf wasn't any good in Penrith
Or in Mt Druitt or Kingswood too
But I've been in this city ten minutes
And I hate everyone with a harbour view.

Let's have a new event in the Olympics;
It don't involve too much sporting prowess.
There's only two rules: ONE - you're from Liverpool
And TWO - you gotta kick Bronwyn Bishop to death.
It's as certain as North Head faces South Head
That you'll have a dickhead facing you
If they've got an address - no need to guess -
With a goddamn harbour view.

Tanya Blenco told the world about Sydney
She was seen from Paris to Rio Digeneer
(But don't ask her about Campbelltown, boy
'Cause she's never fucking well been there.)
Where do surfies learn to be stupid
Or is that the way they're born?
It could be worse - living in Sydney's a curse -
But hey, you could live in Melbourne.
If TISM become the new Johnny Farnham,
Fans, this is what we promise you -
You'll be forgotten that fast, kiss our collective arse
We're gonna buy us a harbour view.

***

One can see therefore, the nature of the band's occasional pieces. Based at least partially on the specific show they are written for, these pieces find it hard to make the translation from live performance to the written page. Accordingly, they are often lost to a wider audience. Many would argue this is a fate they richly deserve.

 

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