Photo - Rachael Dexter

Former-Men at Work front man slams Reclaim Australia for using their music

At protests in Melbourne and Brisbane over the weekend anti-Islam activists played Men at Work’s 1981 hit ‘Down Under’, which Colin Hay co-wrote.

In a statement given to Catalyst, Hay said he was completely against the group using his music.

“It has come to my attention that our song Down Under, which I co-wrote, has been used by Reclaim Australia protesters over the last weekend. I would much rather it wasn’t” he said.

“We are Australians, we are all different, but therein lies our strength.”

Hay, who was born in Scotland, said the group did not represent the Australia he knew.

“The Australia I love, and you do too, is full of people who are simply kind to one another, and realise that we are all in this together.

“Oppressive violence towards individuals, or groups of people, large or small, is the answer to nothing,” Hay said.

The response comes after other Australian artists, Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham, condemned the group and requested they stop playing their music.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Barnes responded to the us of Cold Chisel’s ‘Khe Sanh’ at a number of Reclaim Australia rallies.

“None of these people (Reclaim Australia) represent me and I do not support them,” Barnes wrote.

Following Barnes’ Facebook post Reclaim Australia issued a statement saying they would respect Barnes’ wishes, despite being “deeply saddened” by his views.

“We are & will continue to support you privately as you are an Aussie Icon [sic], however if it’s your wish, we will no longer play your songs at our Rallies,” the statement read.

Reclaim Australia were less polite in their response to Farnham, with the group sharing an image on their Facebook page which read “John Farnham – once a voice for Australia, now ‘You’re the Voice’ for Sharia Law”.

Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley had issued a statement saying he and Farnham were “disgusted” by Reclaim Australia’s use of the 1986 hit The Voice.

“It no way reflects our support in any way,” Wheatley said.

Earlier this year John Schumann from Redgum also requested the group not use his band’s music after the Vietnam war song, ‘I Was Only 19’, was played at a rally on the Gold Coast.

Schumann said Reclaim Australia’s use of the song completely misinterpreted the meaning of the song.

“All of my work, ‘19’ included, is about understanding, compassion, tolerance and inclusiveness,” he said in April.

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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