The making of identity and its relation to place and success: The case of ‘mainstream’ popular music in Newcastle NSW, 1973–1988
Issue: Vol 8 No. 3 (2013)
Journal: Popular Music History
Subject Areas: Popular Music
This article reports on findings from research into the development of ‘mainstream’ popular music in one Australian city, that of Newcastle, NSW, in the period 1973–88. This period became known more generally as the Oz/pub rock era and coincides approximately with the period during which the national music programme Countdown was televised (1974–87). It is argued here that the formation of a musical identity is strongly connected to a local habitus, which includes the cultivation of social, symbolic, economic and cultural capital that are built up over time, such as connecting musicians with audiences and venues in Newcastle. Given Newcastle’s proximity to Sydney and the attempt by local bands to achieve success there, it was found that these accumulated capitals were not easily transferrable to other areas. What Newcastle came to offer local musicians, as a result, was the ability to recognize and use to its full extent the social, symbolic and cultural capital available to them in their home town.
Author: Gaye Sheather, Phillip McIntyre
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). 1976. ABS Census of Population and Housing, 30.6.1976, Profile of Legal Local Government Areas Usual Resident Count, New South Wales, Census of Population and Housing, (accessed 29 July 2011).
Baker, J. 2004. Belonging. London: Walker Books.
Barton, P. 1973. ‘Hopping Up’. Newcastle Sun, 17 July: 29.
Bennett, H. S. 1980. On Becoming a Rock Musician. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press.
Bourdieu, P. 1986. ‘The Forms of Capital’. In Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, ed. J. G. Richardson, 241–58. New York: Greenwood Press.
—1990. The Logic of Practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.
—1994. ‘The Field of Cultural Production’. In The Polity Reader in Cultural Theory, ed. R. Johnson, 50–65. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Burton, A. 1976. ‘Rabbit Flambe—Smoked, with a Side Order of Gelignite’. RAM 35 (2 July): 11.
Cohen, S. 1991. Rock Culture in Liverpool. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
—1994. ‘Identity, Place and the “Liverpool Sound”’. In Ethnicity, Identity and Place, ed. Martin Stokes, 117–34. Oxford: Berg.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1997. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: HarperPerennial.
Della-Grotta, L. 1978. Newcastle Sun, 28 December: 12.
Finnegan, R. 2007. The Hidden Musicians: Music-making in an English Town, 2nd ed. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Frith, S. 1981. Sound Effects. New York: Pantheon Books.
Gully, L. 2006. Personal interview. September.
Harvey, D. 1989. The Condition of Postmodernity. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Homan, S. 2003. The Mayor’s a Square: Live Music and Law and Order in Sydney. Newtown: Local Consumption Publications.
Jenkins, P. 2009. Personal interview. April.
Johnson, R. 1993. ‘Pierre Bourdieu on Art, Literature and Culture’ [Editor's Introduction]. In P. Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production, ed. R. Johnson. New York: Columbia University Press.
King, R. 1995. ‘Migrations, Globalization and Place’. In A Place in the World? Places, Cultures and Globalization, ed. D. Massey and P. Jess, 5–44. Milton Keynes: Open University.
Kirschner, T. 1998. ‘Studying Rock: Toward a Materialist Ethnography’. In Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory, ed. T. Swiss, J. Sloop and A. Hewman, 247–68. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
McGuirk, P., and D. Rowe. 2001. ‘Defining Moments and Refining Myths in the Making of Place Identity: The Newcastle Knights and the Australian Rugby League Grant Final’. Australian Geographical Studies 39: 52–66.
McIntyre, P. 2007. ‘Cold Chisel: Cool, Creative or Clods?’ Music on the Edge: Contemporary Popular Music Studies, Australian/New Zealand Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Annual Conference, Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand. Unpublished.
—2008. ‘The Systems Model of Creativity: Analyzing the Distribution of Power in the Studio’. Proceedings of the 4th Art of Record Production Conference, University of Massachusetts.
MacLean, M. 2009. The New Landscape. Newcastle: Hunter Press.
—2011. A Year Down the Drain: Walking in Styx Creek, January to December. Newcastle: Hunter Press.
Massey, D. 1995. ‘The Conceptualisation of Place’. In A Place in the World? Places, Cultures and Globalization, ed. D. Massey and P. Jess, 45–86. Milton Keynes: Open University.
Massey, D., and P. Jess, ed. 1995. A Place in the World? Places, Cultures and Globalization. Milton Keynes: Open University.
Newcastle Sun. 1973. 7 August: 12.
—1975a. 14 January: 11.
—1975b. 21 October: 16.
—1976. 27 August: 2.
—1978. 5 January: 10.
—1979a. 30 August: 12.
—1979b. 20 September: 1.
—1980. 13 February: 8.
Robinson, M. 2006. Personal interview. May.
Rose, G. 1995. ‘Place and Identity: A Sense of Place’. In A Place in the World? Places, Cultures and Globalization, ed. D. Massey and P. Jess, 87–132. Milton Keynes: Open University.
Ryan, G. 2007. Fall of the Bar: Last Drinks for the Working Man’s Pub! Winnellie, NT: Bow River Publishing.
Sandner, J. A. 2009. ‘Communicating Community: Cultural Production, Habitus and the Construction of a City’s Identity’. PhD thesis, School of Design, Communication and IT, University of Newcastle.
Sault, J. 2006. Personal interview, February.
Shank, B. 1994. Dissonant Identities: The Rock’n’roll Scene in Austin, Texas. Hanover, NE: University Press of New England.
Sherry, P. 1981. The Newcastle Herald (Leisure Guide). 28 August: 2.
Shuker, R. 2001. Understanding Popular Music, 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Soper, D. 2006. Personal interview. April.
Spencer, C. 1999. Rockin’ and Shakin’ in Rock City. Golden Square, Vic: Moonlight Publishing.
Tinson, M. 2006. Personal interview. February.
Walsh, P. F. 1997. ‘Rosella’. In Novocastrian Tales, ed. Paul Walsh, 317–36. Newcastle: Elephant Press.
Webb, J., T. Schirato and G. Danaher. 2002. Understanding Bourdieu. London: Sage Publications.
Wilmoth, P. 1993. Glad All Over: The Countdown Years 1974–1987. Ringwood, Vic: McPhee Gribble, Penguin Books Australia.