The album

The album was originally released by Skyhooks in 1975 on vinyl by Mushroom Records. The CD came out in the late 90's. Up until that moment, I had never appreciated the complaints about the CD. My vinyl copy of this album was soooo badly scratched, that the CD would be my saviour.

It was a single album in a double album cover. The front had a caricature of the band with bright colours and very glam rockesque.

The middle spread of the album cover had some average photo shots of the band.

The back page. Oh, this was the brilliance. There was a hand-written letter from a fan. And it starts all quite typical:

Dear Skyhooks (symbol:loveheart)
I am not a bandmole, but because you are so fantabulous and so groovy, I just thought that I'd drop youse guys a shoort note to let you know I think off you all day at school (yuk) and all night. I can't sleep because I keep seeing FRED (symbol:lovehearts on either side) Fred is so beautiful and Greg looks very SPUNKY with make-up on, but I hope you don't think I don't love you all. I am writting this letter mostly because I've been thinking and dreaming about all you guys for ages. You all make me feel so good I now that I had to give youse guys a toko toka memento so you could see how much I love you all and I wi a little part of me would allways be with SKYHOOKS (symbols: surrounded by lovehearts) I would love to be all your girlfriend (if you know what I mean) but I hope this is enough (scrawled on the top of the line to avoid sticky tape) lots of love and hit records
love Denise
(symbols: 21 x; 4 O)
PS, look for me at the dance on Saturday. I will wave. (squished in three lines at the bottom left-hand corner of letter)
D (symbols:loveheart; 2 x)
And taped to the bottom of this fan mail, is a perfectly manicured, severed finger. Granted, it is all drawn - but it looks like the finger is actually stuck to the album cover from the right angle, with the right lighting.

The CD has a smaller version of the front cover. I was feeling confident. But of course, it was missing both the middle spread and the amazing back cover. The CD had lost the very essence of the vinyl album.

There were about six slightly different versions of the album released in different countries, so if you don't have the Australian album, you might be missing the cool letter/finger trick.

Enough about the cover - these are the songs found on the album:

    Side 1

  1. Ego is Not a Dirty Word - (single) Title song.
  2. Love on the Radio - A groovy song about groovy advertising.
  3. Saturday Night - Cold Chisel has a song by the same title, but the two songs have nothing else in common really.
  4. Love's Not Good Enough - Prophetic, cynical song about love not comparing with career.
  5. The Other Side - I think I was born too late in the 70's to really understand this song.

  6. Side 2

  7. Smartarse Songwriters - Another non-love song, oh, that's the point of the song.
  8. Mercedes Ladies - a heart-warming satire of the wealthy.
  9. All My Friends are Getting Married - (single)
  10. Every Chase a Steeple - The only song on the album not written by Greg.
  11. Private Eye - Very funky.

Acknowledgements: Cover illustrations - Neil Curtis, Lead Vocalist - Graeme 'Shirley' Strachan, Guitarist - Redmond Symonds, Guitarist - Bob 'Bongo' Starkie, Drummer - Freddie Kaboodlesechnitzer, Bass Guitarist/Songwriter - Greg Macainsh, with guest appearances by Ross Wilson (aka Daddy Cool) and his wife Pat Wilson.

The song

Whilst researching, I realised that one of the foremost criticisms of the music was that it was just 'cheap laughs' that did not require or provoke any real thought. Appealing to the masses. Since I was an old toddler when I first listened, I fell for it.

The shocking reference to Jesus Christ and Richard Nixon enthralled me. And I cannot get rid of that nostalgic awe that I have for the band, the album and the song:

If I did not have an ego
I would not be here tonight
If I did not have an ego
I might not think I was right
And if you did not have an ego you might not care the way you dressed
And if you did not have an ego you'd just be like the rest

Ego - is not a dirty word
Ego - is not a dirty word
Ego - is not a dirty word
Don't you believe what you've seen or you've heard

Well if Jesus had an ego he'd still be alive today
And if Nixon had no ego he might not be in decay
And if you did not have an ego you might not care too much who won
And if I did not have an ego
I might just use the gu-u-u-uun


Instrumental/ change of pace

Some people keep their ego in a bottom drawer
A fridge full of Leonard Cohen
Have to get drunk just to walk out the door
Stay drunk to keep on goin'
So if you have an ego
Better keep it in good shape
Exercise it daily
And get it down on tape


Permission to reprint lyrics written by G.Macainsh granted on 17 Sept 2003 by Mushroom Music Publishing.

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