Barry Manilow, Crime Fighter!
Tue, 06 Jun 2006 14:43:08
A residential and business district in Sydney has been overrun by "hoons" -- gangs of hooligans -- who blast loud music, cruise the streets, and drive customers away with their rowdy behavior. Frustrated Australian officials have turned to the one man powerful enough to clean up the neighborhood: Barry Manilow.
The hoons will soon find their revved-up car stereos overwhelmed by loudspeakers pumping the Manilow song catalog, a body of work that dominated the adult contemporary charts for years and includes "Brandy," "Copacabana," and "Looks Like We Made It." Officials are hoping that Manilow's featured appearance on the past season of American Idol did nothing to help his cred among Australian youth.
Councilor Bill Saravinovski is one of the men behind the strategy, and in touting Manilow's crime-fighting ability, he unavoidably offers a critique on his songwriting.
"Daggy music is one way to make the hoons leave an area because they can't stand the music," Saravinovski said. For those not up on their Australian slang, a quick search on the aussieslang.com website reveals that "dag" refers to the "bits of manure that stick to the long wool around a sheep's bottom... Also a term for a funny person, nerd, goof, loser. In this respect it can have either an endearing or disparaging meaning, although is usually used for a likable fellow." In other words, Mr. Manilow is a likable but goofy creator of music that is akin to sheep excrement. We're sure he appreciates the compliment, councilor.
The audio attack isn't without precedent. Annoying enemy combatants with loud music has been a favored technique of the U.S. Armed Forces in recent years. There has also been a more direct parallel in Australia, where a shopping center recently used Bing Crosby's music to successfully send an unsavory pack of teenage loiterers fleeing.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff