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I recently acquired a vinyl copy of the Starstruck soundtrack and am very impressed with Judd's contributions and the peformances on the album overall. It's a real new wave classic!

I'm dying to see the film. I thought I'd be getting it in the mail soon, but I mistakenly received some rubbish movie from a few years ago called Starstruck that stars Jamie Kennedy, not Jo!

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there has any thoughts or firsthand stories on the impact Starstruck had on youth culture in Australia and New Zealand. Was it a big deal with kids down there? Was Judd seen as a genuine new wave icon?

I think it's fascinating that after the Enz he went on to take a brief yet key role in NZ punk and then so convincingly embraced the new wave. I can't think of any other figure in music who made the journey from art-rock to punk to new wave so naturally and without ever appearing to be jumping on a bandwagon.
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i was 13 when it came out. the Swingers and PJ were NEVER a big deal in Aust. Sure, Counting the Beat was HUGE - probably the song of the year in '81 - but kids didn't really know who they were as individuals the way they might have done with the Enz or say, Duran Duran. Everybody knew who Tim & Neil Finn were but the Swingers were kind of invisible. They had pretty good clips but they weren't well known. Probably partly due to PJ's lack of interest in promotional interviews. The Practical Jokers lp definitely stiffed which is a shame cos it's pretty good (make that great).

As for the movie, years after it came out I tried watching it on video a couple of times and couldn't get through it. I remember some friends of mine saw it when it came out - I think it was released in summer or at least near school holidays when kids tend to go to the movies a lot more. I asked them what they thought of it and they said it was a good idea but that it was badly made. How insightful that is I don't know but that's what some 13 year olds had to say about it at the time. The Body&Soul song was pretty big but I don't think that the movie did all that well financially. Certainly everybody knew about the movie though but I wouldn't say it had much impact culturally the way, say, Fast Times At Ridgemont High did in the US.

As for the music, I'm not a big fan of Temper Temper but I LOVE Starstruck and the Starstruck overture. One of my favorite instrumentals ever. The dueling sax's at the end is awseome. (In the Middle of Nowhere is another great PJ instrumental.) I can't remember if One Good Reason was on there or not but I don't count it as a Starstruck record cos it was the b-side of Counting the Beat earlier and before that I think it was an a-side in NZ. Great track though.

As for PJ's seemless transition from artrock to punk to new wave, I'd never thought about that before but I couldn't agree with you more EE. Great observation. Such a shame we have only a relatively few songs from his heyday.
This is gonna hurt to hear, EE, but The Swingers actually appear in the film playing "One Good Reason" at a club with an actual close-up or two of Phil singing. It played here (in St. Louis) for a week, allowing me to go (only) 3 times to see The Swingers 15 feet tall! Nearly tall enough, barring an IMAX revival of Starstruck, one of those things you might consider arranging with lottery winnings. Personal favorite? Aside from "One Good Reason" which, as was noted, appreared elsewhere, has gotta be "Tough". Great great guitar sound and typically unique solo.
You may have also managed to get to a root of my Juddworship: his mastery of so many different styles and genres. Aside from John Cale, I can't think of anyone offhand who has stretched further with more frequency and artistic success.
Thanks so much, John, for sharing your memories of that time and shedding so much light on this for me. I searched a bit online for some insight into whether Starstruck had much impact, but only came across synopses and credit listings. You've given me the answers I was looking for.

And thank you both for sharing your favorite moments in the soundtrack. I need to listen to it more closely and I will look for the things you've mentioned.

Chris Knox has often been referred to as the "father of NZ's alternative music scene," but I think that title really belongs to Judd. These All Music Guide and Trouser Press writers and other journalists really need to do their homework and give Phil Judd the credit he deserves.

I wonder what Chris Knox's impressions of Phil Judd were and how much of an influence Judd was on Knox. I suspect that Judd's brief role with The Enemy/Toy Love was somewhat of a passing of the torch of NZ musical creativity and rebellion to Knox, but I really don't know many of the details of that time. Someone needs to talk to Knox about this.

Well, I still hope I can manage to get a hold of a copy of Starstruck. It will be worth it just to see those bits with Judd and the Swingers.

Thanks again, guys.
I think someone did talk to Knox about this. Oh no hang, he spoke up himself.

Albeit in a cartoon.

He did this cartoon for Real Groove magazine once and called Phil the true genius behind split enz. (kinda speaking up about it anyway. I think he has a high view of Phil. Better than his view of the finn brothers anyway).

Phil said something about Knox on here a few years back... you'll have to wade through the posts though to find it.
"Starstruck" was a Summer hit here, in the same way that "Puberty Blues" became a hit. ..
but "Puberty Blues " went a bit deeper into the "troubles of youth" *grin*....."Starstruck" was more glitz. They probably both made their money back...
The album did chart, and Jo Kennedy hosted Countdown (music TV show)....the cameo by The Swingers is one of the few good bits in the movie...
The Swingers themselves, one hit wonders here, Mushroom tried to get "Aint what you Dance.." off the ground, even buying copies to try and help it chart...they sent the media dye cast metal Swingers badges (pins) and full press kits but the album (and second single
were flops in Australia). The NZ Swinger singles, especially those few early ones are classics though and worth having in your collection.
There were also the orange coloured Swinger demo tapes that Phil & band sent out when they lived at "Brooklyn" (Emily Place- Auckland). Tracks include:
One good reason, Aint what you dance , Cant say No, Certain Sounds, The way we use to, All over town, Never Never.
The other side of the tape has "One Good Reason"- repeated 5 they were pushing this as the main song.
I'm not sure which company in Australia holds the rights to the Starstruck movie but some of the smaller companies here are releasing past "cult" Australian movies on DVD (Puberty Blues was released last month)
so you'd expect further down the track "Starstruck" to get a DVD release- at least in Oz/NZ anyway.
Thanks for the tips, Sara. You got me on a big hunt now for that Knox cartoon, which I imagine is different than the one Jaffaman posted. That one sure is great to see though. Thanks, Jaffa!

I read some of Judd's posts from that time. I need to go back and read them all--it's fascinating stuff. There's a great mad wit in his writing. I read the one in which he praised Knox and then he was talking about the Clean and referred to David Kilgour as "Wilson"--maybe he was remembering Martin Phillipps?

Anyway, in my hunt for the Real Groove cartoon, someone graciously forwarded my request to Chris Knox himself. I'm hoping to hear from him directly soon. Maybe he'll answer a few questions about Judd if he's got the time. I heard he's a pretty approachable guy, so if I hear from him and he has anything to say about Phil, I'll ask his permission to quote him here.

Thanks a bunch for your account of those times, too, Mr. Green! I just got my Enz of the Millenium T-shirt in the mail recently and have been wearing it proudly as often as possible. I found this glitzy gaudy frame for the Second Thoughts postcard that looks like an old theatre marquee or something that could have seen on an old music hall star's dressing table. It looks truly glorious. I love it. I'll have to get a good photo of it and share it here.

I love those tunes on the AK79 comp. I've been playing "Certain Sound" to death and I can't believe Judd's rhyme with Roy Rogers and Trigger in "Baby." Goodhearted song, but how nutty! Wait 'til the gangstas get a hold of those hard rhymes. Man, Phil was *gangsta* ahead of his time, too. Hah hah.

Alright. Thank you, everyone,
and take care!
p.s. - I think the USA cover of the Starstruck LP was different to the Aussie one....maybe one of the collectors can confirm this as I think our copies are locked away in the archives.... I seem to remember Jo Kennedy in a Tutu on the front on the USA release.
Glad you enjoyed the shirt & Enz postcard EE
we have just framed our set too- look so great when it's all four. Could be a good Club Prize offering a framed signed set of the cards......

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