Saturday, September 10, 2005

Mel's sordid musical past. Earlier today I was listening to a 1991 compilation CD entitled Kool Skool, which has been cheering me up no end. Right now "Do the Bartman" is playing. Anyway, I was googling "whatever happened to ya kid k" and came across an old Supermercado Project post, which I remember enjoying vastly at the time. In this post, Adam asks:
Who was the Jive Bunny? Would you own up to it if you were? And just how much money would he/she/it actually have made given that all the royalties would have been going elsewhere and I’m sure they didn’t dress up in bunny suits and play ‘live’ gigs anywhere. Farcical.
Well, Adam, I've got news for you. I was the Jive Bunny!*

Search your feelings; you know it to be true!

Back in those days, I was just a naive young girl who enjoyed shouting "C-c-come on everybody!" with an insane grin on my face. I also had a talent for gyrating to rock'n'roll classics as if I were wiping my arse on an imaginary towel while brandishing cocktail frankfurts impaled upon my thumbs. A trio of Svengali producers discovered me doing my thang at the Billabong family restaurant in Doncaster.

As the face of Jive Bunny, I was hurled into a maelstrom of recording sessions, TV tapings, nightclub and mall appearances, and of course, marathon dance classes (it got pretty fucking sweaty inside that bunny suit, I can tell you). Tough work. I used to get mobbed when I did instores at Brashs and the Virgin Megastore. And we had sold-out live appearances at the Royal Melbourne Show and the Swagman in Ferntree Gully. That was before it burned down, of course. I had nothing whatsoever to do with that...

My buddies were the costumed luminaries of the day, and we had some fun times. Me and Marty Monster used to get blitzed and ride our BMXs to the Dandenongs, where we'd shoot our AK47s at random trees. Marty explained the finer points of remote-controlled car racing and warned me to stay the fuck away from kangaroos. Then there were the forties and blunts aboard Humphrey B Bear's yacht. One time I spewed in my bunny head, and Humphrey clapped his hands spastically and then held them in front of his mouth. Plus, I had a torrid interspecies affair with ambiguously gendered TV superstar Fat Cat. It was a real eye-opener for an eleven-year-old.

A rare photo of me in the studio, putting my signature "C-c-come on everybody!" a little higher in the mix.

But it wasn't all long ears and fluffy tails. I had beef with the Wilderness Society koalas. They were sick of campaigning to save Australia's precious natural resources and only getting mockery, abuse and sexual harassment, whereas I got sexual harassment, plus truckloads of cash, merely for gyrating to a shonky megamix. The cheek of it: getting resentful at me when they were the ones with costumes so saggy they looked like they'd been dipped in napalm. Some advertisement for the environment!

Just after our second single "That's What I Like" came out, I was headed for an appearance at Karingal Hub. I was getting into my limo when the stench of eucalyptus hit me and I was surrounded by four matted-looking koalas wielding plastic buckets in a menacing fashion.

"So kid, you think you're really somethin'," said one. "But we don't care for your fancy American antics."
"And we own this fuckin' town, so when we don't care for shit, you better start caring," chimed in another koala.
"You best believe we got koalas in high places, and we gonna get native on yo' ass!" said a third.
"Yeah man, fuckin' introduced pest!" added the fourth, for good measure.

"Jam it, Blinky," I said. "Sampled retro megamixes are here to stay! Now if you'll excuse me, the good people of Frankston are crying out for a Chubby Checker impersonation."

"C-c-come on mami, what you say we swing the mood? I got twenty-fo' carrots!"

Pissing off the koalas was really my downfall. Record sales fell dramatically. I had been receiving $500 a week salary as Jive Bunny, an astounding amount in the days when $2 could buy a mink-blowing amount of lollies at the local milk bar. But I soon found out that my producers had frittered away my money buying superseded Communist fighter jets in Turkmenistan, breeding super-intelligent bionic geese, and financing paramilitary decoupage organisations in Nebraska. This left me with no option but to return to Grade Six, where my absence had gone almost completely unnoticed. However, my Victorian Cursive Script had deteriorated to near-illegibility, and I had missed the crucial pedagogy of long division, a mathematical technique that remains a mystery to me to this day.

* Jive Bunny was actually the creation of British producer Andy Pickles, his dad John, and DJs Ian Morgan and Les Hemstock. The John Anderson Band recreated the Glenn Miller samples to avoid paying royalties. The rest of the samples are a hodge-podge of original artists and studio musicians.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter