Last night, Lindy Morrison was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Queensland Music Awards, slaying the audience with this incredible acceptance speech that will live on as an important moment. We present to you her poignant and important speech in full.
I’m so glad I’m receiving this award while I’m still alive because I hate receiving awards when I’m dead.
I am still playing now and on the road and recording with SnarskiCircusLindyBand and soon going overseas to record and tour with other UK bands. I play every other day in a studio in Sydney. I’m 70.
I feel like that young woman who traipsed from Toowong or Petrie Terrace or St Paul’s Terrace to the Smith and Patterson building in Marshall St the Valley to practice which we did daily in the late seventies. All the bands were there.
It was always about the politics and it was always about the art.
In early seventies Brisbane I was working with Indigenous people in their legal service.
Indigenous people lived all over Red Hill, Petrie Terrace through to the Valley and across the William Jolley to South Brisbane. We went to the courts, and we went on pig patrols at night to stop cops picking up people leaving the pubs when they were walking home. I saw the world through their eyes, I saw the racism they experienced, and it changed my way.
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I was only a social worker there for a couple of years but I came back to it when I helped to establish and then worked in Support Act the music industry charity in 1998 until 2021.
Throughout the whole of the seventies I lived in exciting and dramatic share houses with actors, musicians and people who did a lot of unconventional experimentation with different media. Fanzines, silkscreens, cassettes, posters, postcard art, super 8 films and slides. We were devoted to art, and would do anything as long as it was for art.
We marched for black rights, civil rights and the right to March. We played music in the streets for pro-choice rallies. There were Triple Z joint efforts at the Uni, gigs at the Exchange, the Queens, the Curry Shop, and The Atcherley and no gig could be held without the cops breaking it up. Clinton Walker quoted a cop in his book Stranded, “We’ll stop any punk rock in Brisbane.”
In the late seventies when The Valley was run by the cops in hand with the crims we played in every venue we could, we treated this Valley as our backyard. There was no music industry here. Zero’s first gig in the back lane of Wellington St Petrie Terrace was shutdown by the cops. Pinnochios, Romeos, the Silver Dollar and 279 club, we punks, we alternate music makers, opened these up as live venues for alternate music.
We musicians here in QLD have always been outsiders, misfits, alternate and counter cultural. That’s why there are so many great musicians in the legacy of QLD music and in this very room tonight. And this is what we know, this is why we are here. In our art there lies a truth and in our music a salvation.