DOCO: A still from  Descent into Maelstrom - The Untold Story of Radio Birdman (2017).
DOCO: A still from Descent into Maelstrom - The Untold Story of Radio Birdman (2017). John Needham

Watch the film Albo wants on the ABC

LABOR MP Anthony Albanese has actively lobbied to ABC to purchase the rights to Jonathan Sequeira's 2017 documentary Descent Into The Maelstrom - The Until Story of Radio Birdman.

Albanese, a well-known music lover, posted on social media a letter he sent last August to ABC management to reconsider their decision not to purchase the rights to the film.

"Radio Birdman's journey was integral to the development of the independent music scene in Australia - Share if you think that an important piece of musical history should be broadcast to the public free-to-air," the post read.

"The band's visceral performances, attended by thousands, are an important part of Australia's musical history," Albanese continued.

"Through the cunning use of archival and present day footage spliced together, Jonathan Sequeira has managed to capture the band's journey and outlaw reputation on film - a journey that was integral to the development of the independent music scene in Australia."

The film shows how in 1972 in Sydney, medical student Deniz Tek moves into 'the cupboard under the stairs' in a student share-house with drummer Ron Keeley.

When Tek is kicked out of his rock band, TV Jones, for 'not being commercial enough', he combines with the remnants of Keeley's and singer Rob Younger's recent band The Rats.

With keyboardist Pip Hoyle and Carl Rorke on bass, they form Radio Birdman, forever determined to control their art.

They are derided by rival bands for their intense attitude and fascistic imagery, but Ramones US label owner, Seymour Stein signs them on the spot.

The intensity that drives Radio Birdman exacerbates the stresses in this art-before- all-else combo, driving wedges between the members, threatening success. A long tour of England accompanied by great personal enmity, squeezed into a 'Van of Hate' touring Kombi is a nightmare.

They break up.

There was a surprise resurrection, the metaphorical patient emerged from his coma: In 1996, Birdman were asked to re-form for the Big Day Out festival.

The gig became an astoundingly, unexpectedly successful rebirth, a vindication of vision.


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