Greg! The Stop Sign!!

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"Greg! The Stop Sign!!"
Greg-the-stop-sign.jpg
Single by TISM
from the album Machiavelli and the Four Seasons
B-side
  • "Strictly Loungeroom"
  • "There's More Men in Children Than Wisdom Knows"
Released31 July 1995
FormatCD single
RecordedPlatinum Studios, September 1994
GenreAlternative rock
Length3:28
Labelgenre b.goode
Songwriter(s)TISM (Peter Minack, Damian Cowell, John Holt, Eugene Cester, Sean Kelly)
Producer(s)Lawrence Maddy
TISM singles chronology
"(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River"
(1995)
"Greg! The Stop Sign!!"
(1995)
"Garbage"
(1995)

"Greg! The Stop Sign!!" is a single by Australian alternative rock band TISM. It was the second single from the album Machiavelli and the Four Seasons (1995).

The song, along with its predecessor "(He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River" is one of TISM's most popular tracks, and reached #10 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 1995. The Guardian has called it "a metaphor for our collective mortality" and "thrillingly bizarre".[1]

Song[edit]

The song is based on a series of speeding advertisements released by the TAC (road and safety authorities), who are even mentioned in the song. One TAC advertisement in particular that was in heavy rotation on Australian television in the early 1990s featured young people driving in a car on a country road. The atmosphere in the car is jovial; the driver is speeding, though on a country road he doesn't seem to mind and the passengers are not wearing seatbelts. The young driver is momentarily distracted as the car travels into an intersection at the same time as another car. Moments before the accident, the female passenger yells out "Darren!" but it is too late to avoid the accident.[2]

The song features a combination of dance-pop beats, alternative rock guitar riffs, and The Beach Boys-influenced vocal harmonies.[3]

The bridge is recycled from an earlier song called "Consumption Tax", which was recorded during The Beasts of Suburban sessions in 1992 and released on Collected Recordings 1986-1993 in 1995. The solo is a variation on the intro riff from The Shadows' composition "FBI".

Video[edit]

The "famous" scene in the video clip of a dog eating vomit.

The video for the song, directed by Mark Hartley, begins with four players of the St Kilda Football Club exercising in slow motion (Shane Wakelin, Chris Hemley, Justin Peckett and Josh Kitchen)[4] before then moving into the club's locker room where TISM is seen dancing and singing. Seen on the lockers are the names of famous players, and the walls feature various sporting success cliches (including the prominent "Your (sic) a professional. 'Keep it simple' ")

Eventually the scene shifts to a football field where the band are singing and dancing on the grass turf. According to Tim Webster on the Gold! Gold!! Gold!!! (1998) video, this was an effort to "Save the St Kilda club". As they dance, the band members begin mimicking various sporting or working activities, like skiing or digging.

Eventually the video turns to a group of teenagers partying in a house. The camera moves into the house to see them all drinking and enjoying themselves, as a standard teenage party would expect to be seen. As the camera moves into the back room, a teenage girl is seen vomiting on the floor, overlooked by a member of TISM.

The video then turns into two scenes from black and white fictional films ("There is more men in children than wisdom knows" and "Le Rape De Mururoa") which are given contrasting "stars" by Margaret and David, with both scenes starring a member of TISM. These two film scenes are broken by more footage of TISM in the locker room.

Back in the house one of the most notorious and well known scenes of the video shows a dog eating the vomit from earlier. The video ends as a couple outside the house argue while once again a member of TISM watches on.

Throughout the video, the members of TISM are dressed in black uniforms with high shoulder pads and with faces covered by a Balaclava mask, giving them a strange and threatening visage. In the scenes where members of TISM are in the film clips or at the party, they are seemingly invisible to the people around them, able to move and interact with the music video audience, but seemingly ghostlike to the woman in the clips or the teenagers at the party.

Track list[edit]

  1. "Greg! The Stop Sign!!"
  2. "Strictly Loungeroom"
  3. "There's More Men in Children Than Wisdom Knows"

Both B-side tracks appeared on the compilation Gold! Gold! Gold! For Australia - A Bonus Disc in 1996, although the compilation version of "There's More Men in Children than Wisdom Knows" is shorter (3:14 rather than this version's 3:36) due to extra noise after the song itself being truncated.[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

  • Peter Minack - lead vocals
  • James Paull - guitar, backing vocals
  • John Holt - bass, backing vocals
  • Damian Cowell - drums, backing vocals, lead vocals (bridge)
  • Eugene Cester - keyboards, backing vocals

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[5] 59

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greg! The Stop Sign!! by TISM – a metaphor for our collective mortality, by Adam Woolcock, in the Guardian; published 2014-11-24; retrieved 2016-11-23
  2. ^ TAC advertisement
  3. ^ Jonathan Lewis. "Allmusic review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-22.
  4. ^ Woolcock, 2014, ibid
  5. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 15 Oct 1995". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 2017-07-06. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.