Thursday, February 18, 2010

Johnson's Areoplane

There's only one American President I have seen in person and that was LBJ - Lyndon Baines Johnson who visited Brinetopia in October 1966. I have to trust my folks and the historians as I don't really remember it, but my Dad took an iconic Kodachrome of LBJ's Airforce One jet surrounded by security in suits, dark glasses and #1 blade haircuts. On the other side was us local gawkers with nothing better to do plus an entourage of long haired demonstrators not keen to be sent off to the Vietnam War.

Fast forward 15 years and Aussie band INXS release The Swing produced by Nick Launay, who had already captured beautiful sound for Public Image Ltd, The Gang of Four, Midnight Oil and The Church. Great album. Great cover - trannies on a lightbox.
Johnson's Aeroplane was not one of the three singles that kept INXS on the airwaves and there's some speculation as to what exactly it's about - a farmer crop dusting fighting back against drought? LBJ and the little fields below the bombers? But every time I hear it I'm reminded of that visit by Airforce One.
"Johnson sees the fields from all the sides
Steel machines and black tar roads
Countryside where the spirit never dies
In his face all the history shows
Farmer's pride as the rains came down"
INXS Johnson's Aeroplane 1984

Surfing pic above from the same era as The Swing when channel bottomed thrusters with glassed on fins, manual focus prime lenses and Kodachrome ruled.

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