Lucas – Lucas With The Lid Off (90s – 86)

May 26, 2013

Years late I can still see his silly grin now. In his hand was the CD single for Lucas With The Lid Off. And this from someone used to broadcasting the sounds of The Clash and Jello Biafra. It was late, he was only slightly tongue-in-cheek in his idiot grin. It just goes to show an anarchist broadcaster need not be stereotyped.

At 2UNE, the program grid consisted of largely generalist programming in the day, with speciality programming from 6pm until 10 or midnight. Overnight, most of the weekend and anytime an announcer was absent the airwaves was filled by our sustaining service. In the late Nineties this consisted of an 8 hour video tape on repeat. We did not have computers in our studios at this point, which meant a new tape had to be recorded live to air overnight.

This night of pizza and caffeine was my first experience of recording a tape. Ever announcer took a two hour shift. It was 1999 but I cannot remember much else of the night; who the other two participants were on this night have been conflated with subsequent recording night. But I do remember my friend not only pulling out Lucas With The Lid Off, but also realising I enjoyed it so much it soon began appearing regularly whenever I filled in for general music shifts.

I missed the whole Lucas thing when it was released. For a whole chunk of the Nineties I simply did not watch film clips, nor aviod as much pop music as possible. If I’d seen the clip I would have goggled at it with my own idiot grin on my face. So I came fresh to this track, four years after its release. Stripped of the hype of newness I was introduced to it simply as a piece of pure fun. I’d never really thought of pop music as fun before. Actually that’s wrong: I thought the pop = fun had died in the late 80s, replaced by the posturing boy bands and mock soul singers who pushed me away from the radio.

Unknowningly Lucas With The Lid Off made me reconsider then modern pop music, so much so that within a year I was writing the music review column for the student newspaper. I’d actually taken over from my anarchist friend. By this time the thought of him reviewing Ricky Martin wasn’t so outlandish. He taught me it was worth giving things at least one listen. You didn’t have to like it – and most pop was still crap to us – but sometimes it was just a piece of fun.


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