Trailer for doc on Stooges/MC5-loving 1970s Aussie act Radio Birdman is here

click to enlarge Trailer for doc on Stooges/MC5-loving 1970s Aussie act Radio Birdman is here
Radio Birdman performing live at Bingham Hall, photographer unknown. Courtesy photo.

Thanks to Tim Perlich, today we learned that the documentary film on Australia's cult act Radio Birdman (1974-78), Descent into the Maelstrom: The Radio Birdman Story, is nearing completion. It has its own trailer and everything.


Though they formed in Sydney, Australia in 1974, the group's leader, US-born guitarist/main songwriter Deniz Tek, is from Ann Arbor. He moved to Australia at the age of Radio Birdman's sound not only owed a lot to the hard-driving and high energy music of the late 1960s, but lyrics to songs like "Murder City Nights" referred to Detroit, of course: "Moving to the sound of the midnite masses/ Fighting up terminal seventies stasis/ Cruising down Woodward gotta find me some action/ Looking for a lover with a power reaction." In 1981, Tek formed the unfortunately-named supergroup New Race in Sydney, with the Stooges' guitarist Ron Asheton and the MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson.


Radio Birdman reunited a decade ago to tour and record sporadically, and reviews have been positive; they're touring Australia this summer with Died Pretty, in fact. A separate soundtrack to the documentary, called Funhouse Jukebox Soundtrack, is currently available for pre-order. No word yet on when the film might show in Detroit, but Third Man Cass Corridor would seem to be the obvious spot for it to.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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