Countdown Memories


Jason: When did you start watching Countdown?

Matt: Probably around 1981. My cousins got me into it. But, looking back I should have watched it more often than I did.

Jason: What are amongst some of your greatest Countdown memories, favourite Countdown episodes?

Matt: I remember seeing Debbie Harry wearing some leopard skin outfit, probably circa 1979? (I was only 6 y.o.!) The best Countdowns are between 1979-1983. All these shows are great. 1984 was a good year for Countdown too, but I think I lost a little interest after that, although I still loved the new music at that time. The show didn't have the same feel about it as the early episodes. It was like the producers became tired of it all, and it become more a chore to them, rather than a love.
I remember thinking how cool it was when Countdown first began showing partials of video clips for the top ten hits, rather than just a pic of the LP cover. I guess this was 1980? My mum used to be a little mad about it, because she'd hear only a few seconds of a song she thought was ok, and complained that they should play the whole lot!

Jason: Who were your favourite artists that Countdown introduced you to?

Matt: Oh my goodness, that's a tough one! TOOOO MANY! I could go through my record collection... Many really, when I think about it. e.g. Blondie, Duran Duran, Police etc. But definitely lot's of Aussie acts.

Jason: What were or are your favourite segments of the show?

Matt: Humdrum and the Oz top 10!

Jason: Were you shocked when the show ended?

Matt: A little, I remember I was in year 8 at the time. By this time Countdown didn't have the same influence on me as earlier on. I could see the writing on the wall. Shows like "Rage", which began in '87 became more important to me at this stage.

Jason: Do you think that given the chance, Countdown could have kept going to this day?

Matt: No, the music, the talented artists, etc. of the day no longer exist, so no it wouldn't. Countdown Revolution in 1989-1990 proved that.

Jason: What do you think it is about Countdown that makes it still stand up today?

Matt: The simple fact of it's simplicity and it's set format. People enjoyed seeing what was going to be on each segment, it was dedicated very much to Aussie acts, and had most of them in the studio live at some stage. Not too mention the amount of overseas talent, e.g. I’d say Elton John was on at least 15 Countdowns over it's time.

Jason: Do you think it's important that Rage keep repeating Countdown so that a new generation may be introduced to the history of Australian and overseas music through Countdown and just in general?

Matt: YES YES YES!!!!!!!

Jason: Do you think the ABC should repeat Countdown on a regular basis?

Matt: I think too much would be overkill, but once a year is certainly not enough. At least Rage appears to be dedicated to playing shows that they haven't shown before.

Jason: How do you think music and music programs differ today compared to the scene in the 70's and 80's?

Matt: Manufactured, unoriginal, don't write their own songs, don't play their own instruments etc. Exhibit A: Shannon (bless his cotton farm sox) Noll. I have said it before and will say it again, "There will never be another Madonna, Pat Benatar, Elton John, Billy Joel or Beatles."