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LOVE AN ADVENTURE FOR 30 YEARS
During the glory days of Pseudo Echo, when Brian Canham
beat Michael Hutchence to take the trophy for Most Popular
Male at the Countdown Awards, the singer walked outside
his South Yarra house to collect his rubbish bins. They
were gone. He later received a letter from two women who'd
been stalking him. They admitted they'd stolen the bins,
claiming they had "got off" on Brian's rubbish. "This sort
of stuff used to happen all the time," Brian says. "It used
to freak me out." He also had to avoid public transport,
high schools and shopping centres. "And I used to love shopping,"
Brian adds, noting that you couldn't shop online in the
'80s. To go out, Brian ended up buying glasses, a fake moustache
and a beret. "I had a baby face, so imagine what the glued-on
moustache looked like," he says, laughing. "It worked pretty
well, except people would know I had a fake moustache. They'd
be thinking, 'Who is this crazy kid?' It was a fine line,
which was the most humiliating. But at least they didn't
recognise or hassle me."
It's been a long, strange adventure. After becoming the
first unrecorded band to appear on Countdown, Pseudo Echo
had seven Top 40 hits in Australia, a Top 10 smash in the
US and UK, an album that spent more than six months in the
Billboard Top 200, an appearance on The Joan Rivers Show,
a meeting with Bob Hawke, and victory in the World Popular
Song Festival. They also knocked back an international tour
with Madonna. "After our Funky Town success, there was a
resurgence of '70s rock, with Van Halen kicking goals, and
we were getting on that trip, too," Brian explains. "With
the Madonna offer, we thought it'd mean going back to a
sound we'd just got out of. Bad move, in hindsight! But
it's cool to say we knocked back a Madonna tour."
Brian formed Pseudo Echo with his old school friend Pierre
Gigliotti, who became known as Pierre Pierre, which ranks
alongside Garry Gary Beers as the greatest name in Australian
music. Brian will never forget spotting Pierre at Greenwood
High (now Bundoora Secondary College), carrying a Fender
bass case. Brian thought, "Wow, who has a Fender?" He stopped
Pierre and asked if he'd like to join his band. "He got
the gig on the basis of the Fender logo," Brian laughs.
Brian and Pierre went through several lineups and names,
including The Lites and Secret Agents, before settling on
Pseudo Echo, which came from a keyboard manual. "We didn't
even know what it meant, but we thought, 'Woo, that sounds
fancy.'" Brian made flyers that stated: "Pseudo Echo, Modern
Electronic Music". They are now celebrating their 30th anniversary
with a gig at The Palms at Crown on Friday, 2 March, with
Wa Wa Nee.
Pseudo Echo never officially split. They simply "limped
away" after their rock album, 1989's Race, sank without
a trace (though one website has since hailed it as an "AOR
classic"). "We'd lost a lot of confidence," Brian recalls.
"There were no farewell shows because we thought people
would say, 'So what?'" Brian had also lost interest in performing.
"I was sick of being hassled and being famous, I just wanted
to spend time with my family." Brian became a producer,
helming two hit albums for Chocolate Starfish. Pseudo Echo
reunited in 1997, and Brian - who's 50 in July - doesn't
rule out more recordings. Success, second time 'round, has
been sweet. And much more manageable. So far, no one has
stolen Brian's rubbish bins.
BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
Will Melbourne ever become home to an ARIA Hall of Fame,
an actual venue that music fans can visit? A report commissioned
by the Melbourne Council has urged the state government
to turn unused land behind the Arts Centre into a music
hub. By the way, Happy SLAM Day (Thursday, 23 February).
OWL BE THERE
She records under the name Owl Eyes. Her real name is Brooke
Addamo. And one YouTube commenter reckons she looks a little
like Lindsay Lohan. "Lindsay Lohan?" Brooke shrieks when
Howzat! mentions it to her. "I have not heard that one before.
When I was in school and The O.C. was the big thing, I used
to get called Mischa Barton. I never really never saw that
either." Owl Eyes is doing a special show at the Spiegeltent
As it takes off around the world, Gotye's smash has spent
eight months in the Australian Top 40.
Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (number three)
I Love It HILLTOP HOODS & SIA (nine)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (14)
Into The Flame EP MATT CORBY (16)
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (26)
Don't Worry Be Happy GUY SEBASTIAN (32)
Triple J's Nick Cave tribute lands at 32.
Falling & Flying 360 (number eight)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (19)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (23)
Vows KIMBRA (24)
The Big Red JOHN WILLIAMSON (31)
Straight To You VARIOUS (32, debut)
Reece Mastin REECE MASTIN (40)
125 JIM KEAYS
Going Straight LACHLAN BRYAN
All Day STEPHEN CUMMINGS
You're Boring Us All I, A MAN
Listening PSEUDO ECHO
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