Covid Island Discs

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Day 16: Money for Nothing by Dire Straits (and Sting)

OK I will admit this wasn’t going to be my original entry but then Anthony Holmes reminded me of this album in one of his posts. It makes sense to post it today because it also fits with my rock collaboration theme where Sting does the “I want my MTV”.

However, another reason for posting is because I have quite a funny back story to this song. In 1985, the year after I had left school this album was released. That year my school friend Mark Short, who was doing journalism at the time, rang me to ask if I knew anything about an unfolding story of the 1985 Higher School Certificate papers being stolen. I was nonplussed that he should think I would know anything about such seedy goings on.

Yet of course Mark was one step ahead of the game as it turned out that the whole unsavoury affair was centred around our local high school (Balgowlah Boys High School, oh yeah mate that the sort of names we give our suburbs in Aus) where some characters in that school managed to get hold of the national test papers before they were sat by the general public. How do I know this? Well my dear late friend Jonathan Higgs, who was one of the top students in the school, was approached by one of the boys, who had the 2 unit HSC mathematics paper, and asked if he could solve a particular problem from it. Of course Jon did not know it was his year’s HSC and given he was a 4 unit maths student, he never sat the 2 unit paper anyway. Looking back so many years later, it still makes me laugh.

So why is this story connected with this song you ask? Well after the fiasco blew over, some cheeky group released a cover song of Money for Nothing which was all about the stolen 1985 HSC papers. I don’t remember any of the lyrics except for the iconic Sting line: “I want my MTV” which they of course changed to “I want my HSC”.

My Video Summary

If you click on the Playlist Video for Week 3 (top right of this page) you will be taken to a single video which allows you to play each song in this week's list one after the other. Alternatively, if you watch my own video summary below of this week's songs at the end of the video two playlist links will appear. The one on the left hand side will take you to the video playlist for this week while the one on the right will take you to a single video playlist that allows you to play the complete Covid Island Discs collection for all the currently completed weeks so far — well over 200 songs and counting!

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