ATN Australian correspondent Alex Jackson reports: The late actor River
Phoenix is the subject of a new song by Australian
alternative cult act TISM (This Is Serious Mum). The song, "(He'll Never Be
An) Ol' Man River," starts with the chant "I'm
on the drug that killed River Phoenix" over a techno beat and continues in
tasteless fashion with lyrics such as: "I drank the slab that Bon Scott
drunk; I injected some of Hendrix's junk; I booked a seat on Lynyrd
Skynyrd's plane; Mama Cass's sandwich? - I ate the same".
TISM are no strangers to controversy, having emerged from the Melbourne
rock scene in 1985 with the debut single "Defecate On My Face." Over the
years they have thrived on their reputation as purveyors of
cynical, humorous, anti-establishment rock and have become notorious for
never showing their faces on stage, instead opting for garish face masks,
even Ku-Klux Klan style hoods.
"Ol' Man River" has been receiving regular airplay on Australian youth
network Triple J, and the album from which it is lifted, Machiavelli and
Four Seasons (Shock Records), was named the station's album of the week
At this stage "Ol' Man River" is only available on the album, but due to its
sudden popularity, will be issued as a single this month.
Finding the album is no picnic. It comes packaged with no reference
to TISM, only Machiavelli, a pseudonym the band started playing under late
last year. According to the outer sleeve, the 10 songs are "I Love You
Baby", "You and Me Baby Love"...and eight other pathetically titled love
containing variations on "love" and "baby." Rest assured if you do track a
copy down, the 12 songs include "Ol' Man
River" and priceless gems such as "All Homeboys are Dickheads," "Lose Your
Delusion II" and "Jung Talent Time," a hilarious number which pokes fun at
international rock stars and celebrities, fame, and the long running
talent show of the 1970s and 1980s, "Young Talent Time."