Thursday, 26 November 2015

Recovery Revival This Weekend

RAGE on the ABC are having a celebration of all things 90s Indie rock this weekend with repeats of their now-classic Saturday Morning show Recovery.

The show ran from 1996 until sometime in 2000. Why would anyone in 2015 really care about this show?

At the height of the Indie rock boom in the mid-90s came this program on Saturday morning, live to air, commercial free, with live performances, interviews and stories of interest to the Triple J crowd of the time. It gave voice to a series of young people who had very little television experience and a public stage for many bands for whom we might not have been able to see live anywhere else.

Recovery was truly a unique animal. Sure there were crazy variety shows on TV at the time, like Hey Hey It's Saturday, but they were mainstream and had different intentions for their audience. Recovery was completely off the chain, a 3-hour blast of anarchic mayhem where anything that was possible would probably happen, however unlikely. Led by eyebrow-ringed, skate-show wearing host Dylan Lewis, this program was somehow held together with his patience and off-beat personality.

Lewis was also a lightning rod for some of the show's more memorable on-air mishaps. For example, Frenzal Rhomb were interviewed by him while they decided to take an electric razor to his head. Green Day came on for an interview completed off their faces and proceeded to spend most of their interview swearing live to air before kicking the house band off their instruments and launching into two verses of their most recent swear-along anthem "The Grouch".

Along with some memorable performances, it was a program of the sort that just doesn't occur on TV anymore. There's too much at stake for such risk taking these days.

Towards the end of its run the show's format changed, to a shorter show with fewer (and then, in the last few shows, none) live performances as the then Liberal government (with its anti-ABC bias) squeezed the broadcaster's budget.

Above all the show was just damn good fun. For those who think nothing good musically happened after the 80s, take a look at this special on Saturday night...

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