The Money or the Gun
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
The Money or the Gun was an Australian comedy/talk-show on the ABC network. It ran from 1989 to 1990, with occasional specials until 1994. It was written by Andrew Denton, Simon Dodd, Bruce Griffiths, and George Dodd, directed by Martin Coombes and produced by Mark Fitzgerald.
Each episode was based on a significant theme, with Denton interviewing a number of people as well as conducting vox pops on the street. Significant episodes include "Guns-The Musical" and the award-winning episode on disabilities, "The Year of the Patronising Bastard" (which picked up a United Nations Media Peace Prize). In 1993, a one-off special was called "Topic of Cancer", which talked to teenagers with cancer (while at a CanTeen weekend). In 2003, Denton held a 10-year reunion for the people on the 1993 show, as part of his ABC interview programme Enough Rope.
"Stairway to Heaven"
Each week a guest would perform their own version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Versions would occasionally tie in with the theme of the episode ("Guns - the Musical" had a Broadway-style version by Jodie Gilles as the conclusion, while the episode on Australian Comedy had the Doug Anthony All Stars performing it with the assistance of Barry Crocker) but the most surprising of all was the version by Rolf Harris which eventually reached number 7 on the UK singles chart. Generally the performance of "Stairway" would be a break in the program and the artists would have no other part in the program. The CD release won an Aria Award in Australia in 1993 and was subsequently released on the Atlantic Label In the USA though truncated.
Performers and styles included:
- Kate Ceberano and The Ministry Of Fun, in a cool funk style with woodwind
- John Paul Young, in the style of Love is in the Air
- Pardon Me Boys, in a swing style (with numerous references to Glenn Miller songs)
- The Beatnix, a Beatles tribute band, in the style of I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me and Twist and Shout
- Nick Barker & The Reptiles, in a heavy blues style
- Rolf Harris, in the style of Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport
- The Australian Doors Show, in the style of When the Music's Over by The Doors
- Sandra Hahn, Michael Turkic and chorus, in the style of an epic Wagner opera
- Robyne Dunn, in the style of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles
- Elvis impersonator Neil Pepper, in the style of Viva Las Vegas
- Toots - Jenny Lovell in the flesh, voice by Helen Jones, a femme fatale performance in the style of
- The Whipper Snappers, in an indie rock girl group style
- Friends Of The Castanet Club, as a sea shanty
- Toys Went Berserk a post-punk version
- Bob Downe, in the style of a lounge singer
- The Rock Lobsters, a B-52's tribute band, in the style of Rock Lobster
- Jodie Gillies, in the style of a Broadway musical (with numerous references to One from A Chorus Line)
- Etcetera Theatre Company, as a techno dance in the style of Talking Heads
- The Jeff Duff Orchestra a chamber orchestra with vocals
- The Fargone Beauties, as a country thrash in the style of Dueling Banjos
- Judi Connelli, as a gospel song
- Barry Crocker and Doug Anthony All Stars in a unique style
- Vegimite Reggae, as a modern reggae
- The Symphony Chorus of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, as an a cappella chorus
- Leonard Teale, as a dramatic poem
- Rory O'Donoghue in the style of an advertising jingle and an Australian ballad
Two compilations of the performances were released in 1992: a video which featured 25 of the 26 performances, and an album, called "Stairways to Heaven", which featured 22 of the 26 performances.  An album consisting of 12 tracks was released internationally in 1995. 
- Not including Rory O'Donoghue.
- Not including Rory O'Donoghue, Friends Of The Castanet Club, The Jeff Duff Orchestra and Bob Downe.
- The 12 album tracks were by: Kate Ceberano and The Ministry Of Fun, John Paul Young, Pardon Me Boys, Rolf Harris, The Australian Doors Show, Sandra Hahn and Michael Turkic, Robyne Dunn, Neil Pepper (Elvis), The Rock Lobsters, The Beatnix, Vegimite Reggae, and Leonard Teale.