Thursday, December 16, 2010

whatchoo talkin' 'bout, willis

I've just finished watching Sky Sports' highlights programme after the highly gratifying events of the first day of the third Ashes Test in Perth. Afterwards they did a bit of a round-up of the morning headlines in the Australian papers, complete with much crowing and general schadenfreude. Charles Colville expressed some bemusement at the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald, though, which read "The feeble and the damage done". Some sort of obscure Aussie cultural reference, he concluded. Well, not quite: I can only conclude that Colville isn't a Neil Young fan, or he would have spotted the reference to Young's 1972 song The Needle And The Damage Done, a grim lament for the heroin-induced death of guitarist Danny Whitten. It features on Young's most commercially successful album Harvest, better known as "the one with Heart Of Gold on it".

I would have thought Bob Willis, who was in the studio as a summariser, might have picked Colville up on it, though, as Willis famously added "Dylan" as a middle name (in addition to the "George" he already had) as a tribute to his musical hero Bob Dylan. A liking for Dylan doesn't necessarily imply a liking for Young, but they're in the same sort of ballpark. Incidentally the Sydney Morning Herald's original headline has now been amended to something a bit blander, so they obviously concluded no-one else was getting it either. Philistines.

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