In 1997, during a road trip to Adelaide, the greatest garage band in the world made a stopover in Tintinara and were not impressed by what they found. It’s getting a bit hazy now, but at some point Matt wandered off slightly with his guitar and came back with song lyrics and performed a quick serenade for the locals within earshot. We recorded it back in Melbourne later, accompanied by a high-pitched whining sound and you can listen to that now if you’d like.
If you go to Tintinara, you’ll find they’re genetically inbred.
The Beckers own the supermarket, the hardware store, and the pleasure shed.
You can’t ride your bike on the footpath, the townsfolk they have no slack.
You might as well drive on to Adelaide, ’cause they’ve got weird mud and they’re perverts.
The buses drive by every hour, filled with footy kids and a slab.
The tourists think it’s all very quaint, but they don’t have to live in this shithole.
We weren’t even there that long. The song’s lyrics are pretty much a rundown of all the injustices we saw in quick succession. A kid on a bike yelled at, a puddle of “weird mud” that someone stepped in getting out of the car, a bus full of kids with footy jumpers on that pulled up and descended loudly onto the streets … and the Becker family.
OK, we didn’t see any Beckers that we know of – but the supermarket was right next door to the hardware store and they both proudly displayed something like “Becker Hardware” or “Becker IGA” – the name was right there on the front. Plus, the name of the street they were on, the main strip of Tintinara, is “Becker Terrace“. They were clearly a family of great power and influence. We didn’t know them, but it was obvious that they ruled with an iron fist and we were basically obliged to write a little protest song in order to help take them down a peg or two.
Did we judge Tintinara hastily and completely unfairly? Damn right we did. We didn’t want to stick around in that crap place long enough to form a considered and justified opinion of it. The creative process is what it is and can’t be having any of your justice or consideration.
So here we are in 2018. I was driving to Adelaide again for the first time since that 1997 trip. I had to stop and take stock. What had 21 years done to this little village? I decided I was going to stop in at the supermarket, get a Coke or something and see what I could figure out about the political situation. I found something I did not expect.
The hardware store and supermarket are both closed and for sale, not a Becker in sight. No kids on bikes and no mud. Didn’t see a bus anywhere, let alone rowdy footballers. Did we do this? Did that one performance by Matt in ’97 spark nothing short of a revolution, that ended with Becker heads on reasonably priced stakes purchased from their own hardware store? I’d like to think so. We planted a seed twenty-one years ago, and the people rose up and spoke. The Beckers are done. Their reign of terror is over. People of Tintinara, we give you your freedom.
You are welcome.
The status of the Becker Pleasure Shed is unknown. Please let me know if you have any information.