Peter Russell

Pete is a technology expert. He founded Joomla with a great group of people in Europe. He is an author of a range of content including stories and tutorials.

Do Yourselves a Favour ... Watch Molly!

Do Yourselves a Favour ... Watch Molly!

The legend that is Ian “Molly” Meldrum and Count Down has been immortalised by Channel 7.  The irony is not lost on me, given the iconic Count Down program which shaped Australia’s embryonic music industry during the 1970s and 80s was born at the ABC (our taxpayer funded national broadcaster).

The drama which showed on Channel 7 last night, starring Samuel Johnson as Molly, was outstanding.  His depiction of the crazy, talented visionary that was Meldrum, is simply outstanding.  Johnson looks and sounds like Molly and carries the role with great gravitas.

Molly is based on Meldrum’s hit book The Never, Um ... Ever Ending Story, released last October, which was written with acclaimed journalist Jeff Jenkins.

For those of us who grew up with Count Down and Molly’s regular review segment can vividly remember the randomness of the one hour long live television every Sunday night.  From its beginnings it had become part of youth culture’s essential diet.  Rock, pop, disco ... you name it almost any professional act that wanted to “make it” in Australia needed Molly’s blessing to do so.

The show touched on Molly’s troubled childhood and even mentions him seeing the Queen as a child in Shepparton.  He also spent some time growing up in Kyabram, where his father had a hardware store.

The show starts with Molly preparing his outdoor Christmas decorations, leading to a near fatal fall from his badly placed ladder.  Rushed to emergency he lapses in and out of consciousness remebering his tumultuous rollercoaster ride to fame.

For me it was a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Seeing the “behind the scenes” storyline about stars like John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Sherbert, Split Enz and so many more was uplifting.  Was it really 30 to 40 years ago?  Indeed, it was.

And it became apparent that many of the acts that became household names would never have reached the giddy heights they did without Molly’s nod.  Those big names he influenced include ABBA, Kiss, Olivia Newton John, Little River Band, Madonna, Leo Sayer, Renee Gayer, Marcia Hines, Hush, The Ferrets, Supernaut ... the list is semingly endless.

The drama defines itself around Molly’s antics and confused sexuality and the ABC’s battle with its own standards.  Poor old Aunty ABC found herself with this crazy genius who held the highest ratings of any show on any network in their midst.  Tough for the men in brown suits trying to adhere to standards dictated to them by an Act of Government.

The second installment looks likely to be just as brilliant and I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the story.  They say that the gap between insanity and genius is, in fact, very narrow.  Molly absolutely fills that void.

Part Two is on Network 7, Sunday 14th from 8.30pm.



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Tuesday, 21 November 2017
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