Fred Dagg, Fred Dagg’s Greatest Hits (1975)
I reckon Fred Dagg was an incredible comic creation and of course not the only one from one of the most brilliant of comic minds. Growing up with a bit of Fred Dagg and other works from the mind of John Clarke had me reading and watching anything else I could get my hands and eyes across – from satirical poems to sitcoms, if Clarke was involved I was into it. I also like that he hung up the gumboots and black singlet, managed to side-step, swerve and score tries elsewhere. So many comic actors that come to prominence with a particular character end up bound to them. Fred lives on for Kiwis that want that I guess…and he lives on for many that don’t even know it, don’t know they’re the embodiment of it. They were the influence. That said to listen back to it on record you realise the humour is horribly dated in places. I once tried to play We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are as part of a DJ set of Kiwi music. It was quiet, the bar had emptied but it was still a bit of a cringe to listen to the sexism, racism and bluntness. Satire, sure. But it still stung in a way that made it very hard work. We didn’t know how lucky we were, and lost him to Australia. A great move for Clarke to make of course. Good on him.
Sample Track: 21st Speech
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