FULL TILT BOOGIE

After over ten years as one of Australia’s most searing and influential bands, YOU AM I have finally released their first DVD, THE CREAM & THE CROCK. As FILMINK’s ERIN FREE found out, it was a real labour of love.

" We just did an audio commentary track over the video clips, which was horrifying," You Am I frontman Tim Rogers says with something close to genuine fear in his voice. When you’ve been working it for over ten years, looking back on old video clips must come close to going through your old high school photos. But they’re all here on the new career retrospective DVD The Cream & The Crock, from the flailing hair and wind machine of "The Last Thing You Can Depend On" through to the hot rods of "Who Put The Devil In You". Aside from the band’s often iconic video clips, the DVD is loaded with other rock nuggets: live footage, TV appearances, interviews and much more. It’s a fan’s paradise, and that’s no coincidence.

" If we’ve been on Roy & H.G we’re not going to race home to watch it," explains bassist and band manager Andy Kent. "You’ve got to go to the people who do watch that stuff, and that’s obviously the fans. They’re going to buy the DVD and they want to see certain things on it. So we went to our website and asked which TV clips and live stuff they wanted to see. Over a period of about three months they just started piling up and we found out which ones were obviously important to people, and we tried to find them."
Their choices weren’t always the obvious ones. "There was a performance on The 10:30 Slot where Tim’s microphone came off the stand and he stuffed it," Andy says. "Tim hurt himself and you’d think ‘Aww God, that was fucked!’ but the punters loved it. You really can’t tell what they’re gonna want."

According to Tim Rogers, it’s unfortunately not exactly an exhaustive compilation. "There was a lot of other stuff that we wanted to put on there, but that we couldn’t for either legal or financial reasons. It’s becoming a very expensive exercise. So it’s pretty modest, but there’s some great stuff on there."
Apart from some performances on Hey, Hey It’s Saturday that the band couldn’t get, some international appearances also slipped through, with live shots on Canadian, Dutch and American TV impossibly bound up in legal red tape. "There was a lot of over seas stuff that was just impossible to find," Andy sighs. "We tried to get a lot of the early Australian TV stuff too but a lot of that had been dumped. These were the days when the producers would get the biggest guys to go down the front and then tell them to stage dive, or to mosh. Those were the days…"

With a fistful of vital, incendiary albums to their credit and a reputation as one of this country’s finest live outfits, the DVD is like a breakdown of You Am I’s career, from early clips and appearances on TV shows like Denton through to Rove and Recovery. "We wanted something that reflected the personality of the band," says Kent. "We wanted something that gave you a bit of an insight, so you’d get to know the band a little more. So we took care with the art work, and the menus and all of that sort of stuff."
The band’s timeline is also succinctly tracked in a tight, crisply edited min-documentary. "There’s a wonderful EPK on there, and it worked out really, really well," says Rogers. "Thankfully I don’t say much and you get the facts from Andy and Russell instead of having to listen to me just prattle on."
For Andy Kent, the music DVD concept is starting to stake its claim as a bona fide piece of the rock memorabilia puzzle. "I guess DVDs are replacing the rock book," Kent says. "You’ll come across a fan and instead of saying ‘You’ve gotta buy the new Clash book’ they’ll say ‘You’ve gotta see the new Clash DVD; it’s incredible’."

But for Tim Rogers, the appeal of The Cream & The Crock DVD is a lot more simple. "I actually haven’t seen a lot of this stuff myself," Rogers laughs. "So it’s just great to have it out for my own personal interest."

The Cream & The Crock is available now through BMG. SRP: $32.95. For all your You Am I needs, head to www.youami.net