There was a day when the sun shone brightly over Ringwood, billy-carts were fashioned and careered down steep suburban hills and Hey Hey It’s Saturday was years away from getting the ass from its revered 6.30pm Saturday Night timeslot.

Before ‘Round the Twist’, ‘Ship to Shore’, and ‘Saturday Disney’, ‘Pugwall’ and ‘Pugwall’s Summer’ were the best things an seven year old could tuck into on a given afternoon. It was also the closest thing Australia ever came to the moronic yet strangely addictive ‘Saved By The Bell’. (If you were wondering what ever happened to Screech, check this out.)

Lead singer-guitarist of fledgling suburban powerhouse ‘The Orange Organics’, Peter Unwin George Wall, aka 'Pugwall' was a regular suburban dude like you or me - a dude with a dream. Beset by painful sister Marmaloid, douchebag old man Hero Head (played to a tee by Ken James) as well as obligatory villains Con and Wazza, Pugwall overcame the odds of suburban hardship to realise his rock and roll dream.

Not the most attractive fella, nor a very good singer, Pugwall’s virtue lay in the fact that he seemed a pretty decent bloke, wailed reasonably on his cheap red Washburn copy, and got chicks, namely Jenny, the Organics permed lead singer, tambourine beater and sole sex appeal.

I don’t remember a great deal about Pugwall. I remember thinking it was awesome, and that being in a band would be sweet. Perhaps this early indoctrination was the eventual catalyst for my own musical exploits.

Notable memories include the brutal opening tune, sounding uncannily like the demo song on my 16 key Casio keyboard, as well as the cameo of a confused looking Molly Meldrum singing the Organics praises at some awards night at the closing stage of the series.

The Organics were a hell of an outfit. With huge bottom end courtesy of Stringbean and Orfo on bass and tubs and Bazza on flashy Roland Key-tar, Jenny and Pugwall were well backed up in their quest to make it big.

In real life, the dream was not so easy for Pugwall actor Jason Torrens, striving for similar success as drummer for Melbourne-based hard rockers Bugdust. The Orange Organics were always going to be a tough act to follow.

Ultimately, Pugwall had a dream and he made it. He had a chance. He took it.

It was an inspiration to us all. These were good days.


Alex said...

Great work Cam.
My old school music teacher played keys on these series. He copped crap from the music students, especially from one guy in particular who is now a famous well-regarded actor. At the time the acting student was just beginning his career in the 'loved' sitcom 'Late for School' (axed after 4 weeks).
The 'Late for School' guy hassled the teacher too many times for comfort so the teacher retorted
'Hey, at least my show ran for 2 series...how long did yours last again?'
Teacher 15-0.

Anonymous said...

Woah Man! Being a New Zealander, I have never seen this show! But I will be demanding for my government to explain why! You need not worry about that!

Anne said...

I can't believe you are writing about Pugwall, SP. 100% gold television right there. I you-tubed this recently during essay procrastination time... ahh the memories.

Dool said...

Alex, that is hilarious. That keyboard work was badass. Did he actually play the keytar, or was that just for the show?

Anonymous, damn right you need to get politics involved in this. I feel sorry that you never got to experience this glorious show.

And Jony, glad to prompt your much needed procrastination. Muhc love to ya.

Thanks for the comments guys.