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Countdown Flipside

After having been able to reconstruct a fair amount of Countdown Friday from 1982 from information supplied by Nathan and Brad I will have a go at seeing what we can put together for Countdown Flipside. Nathan has sent me Kent Reports for 1982-1986 and there was no Flipside information on those like they had done for Countdown Friday in 1982.

I wouldn't attempt this unless I had some material to work off and for that I am thankful that Brett (2) recorded some Flipside material in 1983 and made copies of the tapes available to me. He has 6 full episodes and an assortment of clips. As far as is known there are no surviving copies at the ABC as I have never seen any archiving records relating to it. This may well be the case due to the clips all being plastered with the names of those that had requested the clips making them highly unlikely to ever be used again in this format.

So what was Countdown Flipside? It was basically just a request show that was shown on Saturday evenings at either 5pm or 6pm, depending on other programming for particular states. It's slogan was "You Say It, We Play It, On Flipside" with some occasional introductions in the typical Countdown style such as "Men Without Hats were once known as Men Without Hits until they discovered the Safety Dance." Similar to the way Gavin Wood introduced some acts on Countdown but that is no surprise as Jon Peters was the script writer for Countdown.

Countdown Flipside, which replaced Countdown Friday for 1983, began on March 5 1983. This was the Saturday following the return of the regular Countdown Sunday series on February 27. The original blurbs in TV Week stated the show was the same format as Countdown Sunday but this was corrected later in the year. I believe it ran for 37 consecutive episodes from March 5 until November 12 with a final 38th show on November 26 before Countdown Sundays were repeated in December.
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The intro was identical to Countdown Sunday but had the 'Flipside' graphic added.
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There were no closing credits and a general program ident appeared at the end.
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The show was hosted mostly by Jon Peters but occasionally Molly filled in. The hosting segments were very brief only on each episode as the format was just wall to wall clips.
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To get a clip played a letter with the clip requested had to be sent in.
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The clips that were then selected and played would display who requested them.
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On one occasion the wrong request graphic was shown suggesting the show was not screened entirely.
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And they didn't mind who made the requests either as I had to laugh when I saw this, there was an ELO fan doing time.
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Due to their format it is hard to determine the broadcast dates of the shows as there was little general information being a request show of varied clips. On one Jon mentioned that David Bowie was performing in Melbourne that night which dated the show as Nov 12 where he played before more than 40,000 fans at VFL Park. On another episode Jon mentioned the Grand Final being played that day so it dated it as Sept 24. Another mentioned David Essex - A Winter's Tale had just been released which was in August. Two other episodes had the final football scores which dated those as Sept 10 and Sept 17.
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On the 6 episodes there were what we consider to be mainly common clips and if Rage played this material these days during Retro we would complain of the common clips being shown.

There was however a very rare Countdown clip shown I believe. Countdown shot a clip for Melbourne ska band Strange Tenants - Two Steps Back but as far as I know it was never shown on an episode of Countdown but did surface on an episode of Flipside. The clip is on YouTube for those that want to see rare Countdown footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU9LrRKWAqY
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Another rare clip shown was Sydney band Avion - Diamond Eyes which never appeared on Countdown but did surface on Flipside. As it wasn't on YouTube I uploaded it 5 years ago here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_SlBFZkFvc

To get an idea of the types of playlists shown here are the run sheets of Brett's 6 episodes:

August 1983
Paul Simon - Late In The Evening
The Weathergirls - It's Raining Men
Original Cast - The Time Warp
Tim Finn - Day By Day
U2 - Gloria
Shakin' Stevens - You Drive Me Crazy
Manhattan Transfer - Twilight Twilight
Bob Dylan - Hurricane
David Essex - Gonna Make You A Star
Carly Simon - Why
Roger Voudouris - Get Used To It
Player 1 - Space Invaders
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds (live Countdown)
John Lennon - Woman

Sept 10 1983
James Freud - Modern Girl (live Countdown)
Bureau - Only For Sheep
Jacksons - Blame It On The Boogie
Toyah - I Want To Be Free
Naked Eyes - Always Something There To Remind Me
The Cars - Let's Go
Jimmy & The Boys - They Won't Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me
Kim Wilde - Kids In America
Skyhooks - Horror Movie (live Countdown Awards)
Skyhooks - Ego
Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Visage - Fade To Grey
Mark Bolan - New York City
Mondo Rock - Primal Park

Sept 17 1983
The Who - You Better You Bet
INXS - The Loved One
Haysi Fantayzee - Shiny Shiny
ELO - The Diary Of Horace Wimp
Wham - Wham Rap
FR David - Words
Dire Straits - Twisting By The Pool
Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger
Duran Duran - Girls On Film
Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
Rod Stewart - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
Flying Lizards - Money
Pretenders - Kid
Carol Bayer Sager - You're Moving Out
Culture Club - I'll Tumble For Ya

Sept 24 1983
Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town
Exile - Kiss You All Over
The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi
Bob Marley - Is This Love
Split Enz - One Step Ahead (live Countdown)
Foreigner - Urgent
Tears For Fears - Pale Shelter
The Orphans - Hop Skip Jump (live Countdown)
Avion - Diamond Eyes
The Veterans - There Ain't No Age For Rock 'n' Roll
Boney M - Rasputin
Todd Rundgren - Can We Still Be Friends
Jay Duck - Jay Duck theme
Two Man Band - Up There Cazaly
Roxy Music - More Than This

October 1983
Joe Jackson - Stepping Out
Freeez - IOU
The Stranglers - Golden Brown
Rickie Lee Jones - Chuck E's In Love
Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance
Bob Welch - Ebony Eyes
Bucks Fizz - Land Of Make Believe
Renee Geyer - Trouble In Paradise
John Lennon - Imagine
Cheap Trick - Dream Police
Pat Wilson - Bop Girl (live Countdown)
ELO - Don't Bring Me Down
The Jam - A Town Called Malice
Divinyls - Only Lonely (live Countdown)
Graham Parker - Hey Lord Don't Ask Me No Questions
Roxy Music - Over You

November 12 1983
10CC - The Things We Do For Love
Eurythmics - Who's That Girl
Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now
Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House
John Cougar Mellencamp - Hurts So Good
Police - Walking On The Moon
Strange Tenants - Two Steps Back (Countdown clip)
KISS - I Was Made For Loving You
M - Pop Muzak
Cold Chisel - Choir Girl (live Countdown)
Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
Johnny Warman - Screaming Jets
Style Council - Long Hot Summer

Re: Countdown Flipside

Amazing work Guru Bob, thanks for piecing together this fascinating part of Countdown history.

Re: Countdown Flipside

This is excellent Guru Bob and thanks for putting all this research together. Wonderful bit of history now permanently preserved thanks to your work. Thanks heaps

Re: Countdown Flipside

How very brilliant indeed!!!!!!

Though Countdown Friday seemed to feature a bit more rarer material overall

Re: Countdown Flipside

So that's what John Peters looked like? I don't think I've ever seen him before.

I was first aware of him via the Top 8 at 8, which aired in Melbourne on Triple M FM, though played very non-Triple M music in it, like New Kids on the Block, Mandy Smith, Sinitta, Neneh Cherry, Bros, Tina Arena (the first album) etc. The chart was supposedly voted for by listeners, but often had songs that didn't chart very well (or at all). They often played the 12" version of tracks, too. It was regularly the place I first heard new releases, as they often featured tracks that had just been released/had not yet been released locally. I think it's where I first heard Kylie's 'Hand On Your Heart' and 'Wouldn't Chang a Thing', for example.

I remember him back announcing Transvision Vamp as 'Transsexual Vamp' once, and asking Tina Arena if she'd let some air out of her breasts for the 'The Machine's Breaking Down' video, as the focus wasn't on them as much as in 'I Need Your Body'