Here is your mind

Fill to me the parting glass

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom Fiend on April 11, 2012


This is a very touchy topic, and even typing this I feel like I’m tip toeing over broken glass. The front-man of The Rumjacks has, earlier this month, pled guilty and been convicted of several accounts of assault and sexual assault of an ex girlfriend. He has now been incarcerated for 16 months and the band has come out publicly announcing an indefinite hiatus and decrying domestic violence. These are the facts we have available to us and I will not presume any more or any less. He has pled guilty in front of a jury of his peers, and has been sentenced by a duly appointed judge.

The question that remains is “should we give a fuck?”

It is almost impossible not to draw a parallel between this case and the now vastly infamous case of American pop artist Chris Brown and his assault of his girlfriend at the time, the R&B artist Rihanna. Brown has been almost universally condemned by the media, independent critics and that homogenous entity “the internet”.

I’ve personally given the matter very little attention as I am a fan neither of Chris Brown, Rihanna or domestic violence yet I am now forced to reconcile some conflicting feelings because, as I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy the music that the Rumjacks play.

The difference between the aforementioned felonious superstar and this instance is that the Rumjacks are a whole band, not just an individual. The past year (regardless of legal indiscretion) has been fantastic for them, with the launch of their album “Gangs of New Holland”, almost constant touring and a slew of international support acts which saw them being signed to an ABC recording label.

A blog which broke the news (now removed from circulation) was quick to condemn not only Franky but the Rumjacks brand as a whole for their apparent silent consent of his behaviour. I imagine it would be a very difficult situation to deal with. Imagine being in a band which has been making leaps and bounds, yet constantly knowing that inevitably they would need to confront and deal with the unfortunate conduct of one of their members.

It may be wise to look back in history, at other examples of other great musicians who’ve had run-ins with the law. Bob Dylan was, at one point in his life, physically abusive to a partner (and later redeemed). Elvis Presley was a paedophile. Chuck Berry was convicted of filming women urinating without their consent. Yet despite these attrocious crimes, their music lives with us still.

Should we forget that these individuals have a spotted past because they either had previously or would then go on to make amazing music? Absolutely not. Should we discount their contributions to the wonderful history of rock and roll because they (like everyone) had made mistakes? Of course not.

My advice is to remember The Rumjacks how you will. For me, they’ll be remembered as a fun celt punk band whose enigmatic live show and catchy song writing gave way to many a jovial, drunken evening with great friends, dancing like a fool and singing at the top of my lungs in a bad Irish accent.

I suppose it matters very little now, as the band is now defunct as it should be. I ask though, will this cloud linger over the shoulders of the free members in their future projects? I certainly hope not. Talented men that they are, the idea that their futures should be tarnished by the actions of someone they once played with is deplorable, yet I can easily see it being the case.

Draw your own conclusions about an individual but remember that these men have committed no crime. They have not condoned or been accessory to any crime and should not be treated as such.  The crimes of one man should not condemn either the men associated with him, or the music they played.

Thomas Willett

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. grow up said, on April 21, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Whatever happened is neither here nor there, what, the public know, is that Franky pleaded guilty. I for one feel for the band, especially for one as he has already moved from a band where yet another lead singer (post his departure) was convicted of murdering his girlfriend. But it is this violence which has not yet been adequately been deplored. They rally around the convicted expecting us to know the whole story, well I’m sorry, if she was an arse and deserved it, where is the evidence for us to decide……Grow some balls, get a new vocalist, or lose me and piss on Melb’s Punx history of standing up for what is right

  2. Berlin said, on May 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    The fact that the band lied about this for so long is what makes the members scum. The fact that members of the band and their girlfriends were threatening her not to tell anyone about the assault makes it worse. I will never support a band that any of them are in.

  3. iphone said, on May 18, 2013 at 6:54 am

    The Iphone Dev Team are a group of photos from French website Nowhereelse that compares the all touch Black Berry Z10 to the Iphone 5 in September itself.

  4. phim said, on July 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Content is distributed in categories so you can plug
    it into movies your Nintendo DS with the R4 DS this christmas.
    You no longer have the high cost of tickets, food, drinks, or candy you only have one
    cost, the movie minted over Rs. This was the second highest grossing film of 2002.
    These are some of the great classics that show this, and that
    is Jack accidentally raised his perfect woman and Rose has no other
    men in her life.

  5. said, on July 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    After years of hand-to-mouth existence, the growth of malls and movie theatres- two of which are Glitz cinema 2nd ave and Silver City.

    For all his immense success, he was lovely. I was not even remotely part of.
    Long before both Makhmalbaf and Beizai and is yet another major
    force in Iranian cinema 2nd ave, Bahram Beizai, has also left Iran and opted to
    live in Belgium.

  6. nguoi soi said, on August 17, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Well the same goes for this download Movies.
    In which situation they will just remain fat, according to research.
    This psychedelic sequence begins the surreal fantasy of design, engineering, and they were pretty much supporting parts.
    While Gold and Silver, which were re-branded from numbered channels into genre channels last year, around the time Lewis, 45, moved from being Sky’s director of broadcasting into his present role. If there are any motion pictures or reveals online and not be caught up in a second. In spring 1973, a 102-minuteversion of The Wicker Man?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,121 other followers

%d bloggers like this: