90s Style — Episode 06 (Working in the battery factory, Pearl Jam live, Prince films)

This was very much a cold- and codeine-inFLUenced iteration of 90s Style, with Patrick sparing much of the gibber-jabber to just focus on the music (and spare his waning vocal chords). After a few opening tracks to set the mood, Patrick recalled a story from one of his first jobs:

After finishing my HSC in November 1999 I got a job a market research company in St Leonards, a very poor man’s excuse for a suburban business centre. This company was a magnet for some of the most eccentric casual workers in all of Sydney, from John, a man with one the most powerful voices I’ve ever heard, to Philip, a noted connoisseur of the Daily Telegraph. There was also April, the first successful New Zealander/Penguin sentient hybrid being and Ben, a man whose monotone made Ian Chappell seem exciting. It was here I met several friends I retain to this day. One of these friends tells the story of his painful summer job in a battery refitting factory, in which he would take used batteries, lick the grimy leakage emulsion till they were clean, and then recharge and repackage them for secondary and tertiary markets. While doing this important work, the factory’s radio station was set to Triple J. The combination of this grueling work and the dour music being played, according to my friend, made everyone miserable. Except, that is, every few hours, when Triple J would play a particularly popular song of the day. Everyone would be miserable, licking their batteries, unable to even conceive of a brighter future, and then this song would come on, and the staff would be overjoyed, if only for around 4 minutes. My friend has never forgotten this experience and had refused to listen to Triple J since. But the song remains. Happy Birthday Paul.

So you’re going to need to tune in to find out what that song was! Next up was a quick chat about Live, a band that was very popular very briefly in the mid-90s. Patrick shared his rule of thumb re Christian Rock bands, which is, essentially: if you have to ask…

…and then a seamless segue from Live music to live music, viz Pearl Jam’s 1998 concert album Live On Two Legs, which included this liner note:


The text reads:

As a band we all agree that the 98 tour has been one of our most fulfilling and exhilarating to date. Our sincerest thanks to everyone that attended and participated. The band also owes a huge debt of gratitude to our crew and manager who have not only given us outstanding technical and organizational (sic) support over the years, but who have also become our friends and loved ones. These are some of the faces that made this last tour possible. Thanks again.

And a PS to the Raleigh, NC and Hartford, CT police departments. Get a life. Leave those kids alone.

Patrick once again delved into his Year 12 diary…


…and the episode closed with a brief reflection on Prince’s 1990 film Graffiti Bridge.

And all throughout there was great music!

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