'Song Doctor' wows music fans at Smithy, tells of fixing marriages and writing hits
Last night at the Smithfield Cultural Centre, Eric 'Song Doctor' Murray gave a public lecture detailing some of his more famous collaborations. Locals were thrilled with his stories about how, with a little bit of expertise, songs that were destined for the scrap-heap became massive hits.
"Sometimes I'm more of a counselor than a supremely gifted songwriter," opined Murray. "Like when I was working with Sonny and Chezza at Television City in the sixties. They were always at each other, sniping and bitching. Which is OK until it spills over into the art. Then it's a problem."
Murray described his work on the song 'The Beat Goes On'. "Sonny kept giving Chezza all the shit lyrics," said Murray. "He'd sing 'Boys keep marching off to war' and then give her "electric-ly they keep a baseball score'. I ask you - what the fuck is that? And that lyric about the bum and the dime. Probably the worst fucking line in any song. Ever. Except maybe the teenybopper-king catastrophe. Fuck. I couldn't believe my ears. Still can't."
The Sonny and Cher assignment was one of Murray's first, and he felt unable to enforce his opinions on the tempestuous couple. "These days, if an artist like McCartney feeds me some babble I tell him so. 'Macca,' I say. That is guff. What would John say? Fucking write it again, you fuckwit.' And he does. Back in the sixties I was still an unknown, so Sonny got away with murder. He's sadly missed though. Taught me how to ski."
Mr Murray is on a national tour promoting his book 'Making a Hit: Song Doctor to the Rescue'. He was due to visit Cairns last week but was delayed by an in-song emergency at Delta Goodrem's home recording studio in Sydney.
"Dellie was in a bit of a tizz," explained Murray. "I'm a massive fan so I had to help. She's in the middle of recording a concept album with Peter Blakeley and Joe Dolce. She was having some trouble with getting a couple of rhymes for 'twitter' and 'shrinking violet'. I managed to connect it all up for her by using 'shitter' and 'flushing toilet.' Del loves the mono-letter-transpose-sight-rhymes. And it worked really well with the thrust of the piece. Watch out for it. I expect the song to be at least a solid number two on the download charts."
The 'Song Doctor' will be signing books tomorrow at QBD, Cairns Central.