Tonight ABC’s rage marks 25 years on air, the longest-running music video show in the world.
It was first screened on the weekend of Friday, 17 April 1987. The first two music videos shown were “Weirdo Libido” by the Lime Spiders and “(You Gotta) Fight For The Right (To Party)” by The Beastie Boys.
Since then just about every musical genre has featured on the show at one time or another: pop, rock, vocal, hard rock, indie, instrumental, electronic, dance, tribal, country & western, hip hop, reggae, jazz and more.
A who’s who of music glitterati have guest-programmed rage across more than two decades. The show has also featured numerous tributes, including to those we have lost plus wildcard specials, favourite videos, retro specials,
In 2008 producer Narelle Gee told TV Tonight, “Our demographics are all over the place. Everything from the kids who love pop releases on Saturday mornings to an 80 year old who sent us a fan letter.
“There’s such a wide mix of genres that we try and give everybody a little bit of what they like. We’re not very locked into what genres we play, it just depends what part of the show you might find yourself landing.
“The metal fans are always saying ‘play more metal.’ We always have metal at a 3:30 morning timeslot. At 4:00 it’s a little bit of an indie zone, with completely unknown stuff that doesn’t really fit in anywhere. It can be kind of eye-popping, you don’t quite know what might happen. And then around 4:30 we tend to go into urban dance and then into more popular music for the morning.”
John Safran once cheekily attached a video camera to his dog with looping music just to prove that “…even a dog can get a video on rage.”
In 2006 rage dropped its Top Fifty, causing a fan backlash that has never really been forgotten.
“That was massive,” acknowledged Gee, “ It was a management decision that maybe (the Top 50) wasn’t right for the ABC. Certainly the audience weren’t too thrilled with it. We still get people lobbying…”
Tonight Tim Rogers from You Am I will take viewers through a quarter-century’s worth of rage – from the most unforgettable guest programmers and their music videos selections, to special rage memories from prominent musos and well-known Aussies including Peter Garrett, Sarah Blasko, Kram from Spiderbait, Children Collide, Temper Trap, Chris Taylor from The Chaser, The Jezabels, Quan from Regurgitator, The Grates, and Zan Rowe and The Doctor from triple j.
Viewers have been invited to join in the celebration by hosting their own ‘Maintain the rage’ all-night viewing parties and to upload their own party pics and videos to the rage facebook page (facebook.com/rageabc) or twitter (@rageabc). The best party will win a piece of rage history – the iconic rage Red Couch!
The rage Silver Jubilee screens Saturday April 21 at 10.20pm on ABC1.