Saturday, November 23, 2013

Music, Melbourne + Me

This afternoon I had the pleasure of checking out the Music, Melbourne + Me exhibition at the RMIT Gallery.  It not only celebrates 40 years of Mushroom Records but also the Melbourne music scene.  As an added bonus a group of us got a guided tour through the exhibition by Peter Green, who has worked with many Mushroom artists including Skyhooks, Split Enz and Crowded House.

As you enter the lobby you see the Pegasus horse from Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite tour.  The first room we went into had various concert posters on the wall along with a huge Skyhooks stage backdrop and a sculpture hanging in the middle of the room that had assorted videos and album covers projected on it.  Along with some old Crowded House and Split Enz posters was a wooden Crowded House burning building with wings sign, which is one of two in existence.

The next room was dedicated to the Melbourne music scene and lists every single music venue past and present on the walls.  There are posters and live photos from different local gigs throughout the years, including the SLAM rally sign.  Another room in the exhibition is dedicated to Michael Gudinski and Ian "Molly" Meldrum with a wall of gold records, some really rare memorabilia from both their collections and a replica desk so the room looks like Michael's office at Mushroom.

The best space in the exhibition though is the costume room, which has lots of great pieces from Kylie Minogue, Skyhooks, Split Enz and Crowded House.  It was such a privilege to see them up close, especially Nick Seymour's artwork on the Crowded House items.  My favorite was probably the iconic red jacket that Neil Finn wore on the cover of Crowded House's debut album.  The other really amazing item was the original album artwork for Conflicting Emotions by Split Enz, which was painted by Noel Crombie.  I had no idea it was such a big painting.

Overall it was a great tour and entertaining to hear all of Peter's stories around working with the artists and the history behind some of the pieces in the exhibition.  If you are in Melbourne check it out (especially if you are a Split Enz or Crowded House fan).  Music, Melbourne + Me runs until 22 February 2014 and it's free!

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