Far North Queensland, early 1980s

I’m from a hippie town in Far North Queensland. I used to listen to Razor’s Edge all the time in junior high school.

Up there, Shane Howard’s views were the norm and not something revolutionary like they probably were in the ‘burbs at that time.

Anyway, I worked weekends for eight years as a waitress in a dive tourist restaurant where you could get away with recycling the salad garnishes for six  weeks straight (and we did) by rinsing them and storing them in ice water until the following weekend , because nobody from Japan or anywhere else that frequented that joint ever visited again.

Well, I was the youngest on staff and the crew I worked with all reminded me then and now of the characters in Razor’s Edge: my workmates were all well and truly on the edge in one form or another.

Ex druggies, pregnant at 15, split multiple marriages, wild Lebanese girls on the run from strict families in the southern states … that’s just a few of them.

I wanted out of that town and didn’t want to end up like them and I did leave and go on to better things. But 35 years down the track it sort of looks a whole lot different. They had a freedom that very few of us have now, even those who live outside conventional mindsets.

Suburbia 2020

Like a lot of songs from that era I believe this song plays quietly at the back of the national consciousness. Here’s an example. Tonight my husband was tinkling on the guitar. He’s a conventional boy from the ‘burbs so the likes of Huey Lewis and Van Halen were on his playlist back in the day. Definitely not Goanna.

Anyway, he’s strumming away and all I could hear was a variation on the Razor’s Edge guitar intro. I asked him what he was playing and he said he was just experimenting. Then I put Razor’s Edge on YouTube and he looks up and says “Gee, that sounds like what I’m playing, doesn’t it?”

So there you go.


Stereo Story # 549