Readings book review: ‘Real Wild Child’ by Narelle Gee, November 2010
A book review for Readings. Excerpt below.
Real Wild Child: An Insider’s Tales From The rage Couch by Narelle Gee
As head programmer of rage – ABC TV’s late-night music video fixture since April 1987 – for nearly 14 years (1995-2008), Narelle Gee is well-placed to report from behind the camera lens trained upon some of music’s best-known names, while they hold forth from ‘Australia’s most famous couch’ as rage guest programmers.
In Real Wild Child, Gee – a former print journalist – paints herself as more of a music fan than a professional television programmer. It’s a style that suits the book, whose study of artists’ off-stage personalities is frustratingly shallow. Too often, the author glosses over important information that would otherwise form unique insights into world-famous artists. The book seems skewed toward the casual music fan – or in rage terms, those viewers who stumble upon the television program.
Judging by the brevity of most chapters, Gee didn’t apply her journalistic background during her rage tenure by taking notes or keeping a journal, as much of Real Wild Child’s content focuses upon the artists’ music video selections and the resultant conversations. Such observations could be gleaned by watching archive footage of each band’s to-camera footage and glancing at their playlist; in short, hardly the ‘insider’s tales’ stated on the cover.
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