Why is AC/DC Lane in Melbourne and not in Sydney?
AC/DC is not a name normally bandied about in the seats of power, unless it’s some American Midwest senator trying to get them banned for devil worship links.
But The Seedies were brought up in NSW Parliament last Thursday (August 20) by shadow minister for music and the night time economy John Graham.
It was as part of a speech about the need for Sydney to honour the artists and venues which helped the city’s music to global status.
The City of Melbourne acknowledged them with AC/DC Lane because early in their career they lived in Melbourne.
They wrote many of their early hits at their pad at 6 Lansdowne Road, East St Kilda (legendary for its 24-hour parties), and shot the iconic video for ‘It’s A Long Way’ on a truck going down the main thoroughfare of Swanston Street.
“Melbourne’s AC/DC Lane is a wildly popular selfie destination for rock fans,” Graham said.
“I think of it as a great Melbourne laneway celebrating a Sydney band.”
He cited how Malcolm and Angus had “begun in Sydney” arriving in Villawood, growing up in Burwood, going to school in Ashfield, rehearsing in Newtown and playing at Chequers Nightclub, which was their first gig, the Hampton Court Hotel, Kings Cross—their first known recording—the Rockdale Masonic Hall, the Hordern Pavilion and the Cronulla Theatre.
“I do not want to pick on Melbournians — our thoughts are with them right now, and especially with the hard-hit beautiful Melbourne music scene — but they should stop stealing our music history.
“Good on them though, because in Sydney we have not done enough to celebrate it.”
Graham’s point was that it was time Sydney needed to honour its musical history.
“If we are in the statue-building business we should build some right now to the artists who are fighting for the grassroots music scene in NSW,” he reckoned.
His suggestions for statuehood included Dave Faulkner, Jack River, Urthboy, Set Mo, Mahalia Barnes, KLP, Josh Pyke, Jonathon Schwartz, Izzi Manfredi/The Preatures and Fanny Lumsden.
He told fellow-parliamentarians, “Sydney and NSW should celebrate their music history.
“The industry needs to do more; there is too much focus on being legends, not building legends. The state government should do more to save our music history.”
Also waiting to be honoured are past venues as The Basement, The Bexley North, The Sylvania, The Revesby Workers and The Sundowner as well as hubs like Alberts, “the house of hits” which once dominated the local music scene through its record label, publishing operations and recording studio.
Melbourne also has Chrissie Amphlett Lane, Rowland. S. Howard Lane, the Molly Meldrum statue, venue tours and rock walking tours through the St. Kilda entertainment precinct.
Adelaide is renaming laneways after the likes of Paul Kelly, Sia, Cold Chisel and The Angels. Brisbane has its landmark plaques and Ed Kuepper Park.
Fremantle, which has a Bon Scott statue, is planning a laneway to honour The Stems’ Richard Lane who died in autumn.