Sunday, November 28, 2010

Teenage Radio Star

I wrote a thousand words about the death by suicide of James Freud. But it was all about me, and the bad feelings I continued to harbour in relation to what I perceived to be his takeover of my beloved Models, and why I now realise I was wrong and misguided to have those feelings. But then I read it back, and I imagined it sitting on the Internet, exposed to the public and to the possibility (however faint) that it might be read by Freud's family, and I imagined that they would not be impressed by some pathetic whining bag of misery wallowing in self-pity on the occasion of their own grief. And so I junked it.

Instead, I just want to say this: when Sean Kelly invited James Freud to join the Models, in 1982, Freud had already shown his hand in terms of shooting for pop stardom. Kelly, himself no shrinking violet, knew what he was leading the Models into, and seemingly made no effort to stop it. The Models, James Freud version, were not for me. "Barbados" and "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight" are both, it still pains me to say, horrible songs. But that was their choice, and plenty of good, right-thinking people like those songs, and the betrayal I felt might have just as easily been directed at persons other than James Freud.

And this: no matter what else he might have done, or been responsible for, or struggled through, or carried the can for, James Freud deserves a place in the annals for "I Wanna Be Your Baby", one of the few truly great Melbourne punk-era singles, by his early band the Teenage Radio Stars.