Soundtrack to a generation

Boadz Simpsonified by artist Caragh Brooks.

NO TV show has ever had the same quality of songs as The Simpsons, and Perth-born Melbourne-based muso Dale ‘Boadz’ Boaden is bringing the classic tunes to his hometown for a one-night nostalgic singalong. 

Boadz studied jazz guitar at WAAPA and says the quality of the songs is top notch, with the writers’ love and knowledge of music clearly shining through. 

Other shows like Family Guy or South Park have had a decent song here or there, “but not enough to fill a show,” Boadz says.

“The Simpsons? Banger after banger.”

Those who grew up watching the dysfunctional but sweet yellow family every night share their own dialect of one-liners that’ve wormed their way into every day speech, and songs like ‘Monorail’ or ‘Dr Zaius’ have likewise been lodged deep in our brains like a forgotten crayon stuffed up the nose.

“What’s so fun about doing it is, I’m 32, and everyone around that age knows them all,” and even when people think they don’t remember them the lyrics seem to come flooding back as the show rolls on.

The show’s had a resurgence among 90s kids in the past couple of years. Until recently the episodes were hard to access, leaving us to hunt down DVDs or search obscure pirate sites hosted in countries that no longer exist. 

Nostalgia

In the chaos and lockdowns of 2020 the whole Simpsons back-catalogue was finally made available for cheap, legal streaming, and many 90s kids flocked back to the show to nostalgically bask in television’s warm glow. 

“I hear it all the time,” Boadz says, from those who grew up doing “the exact same thing: 6pm, Channel 10, chuck it on, let’s go.”

He says part of the value is picking up all the little jokes we never got as kids. “Something that’s so good about going back and watching it as an adult… the amount of content they pack into an episode, coming right down to the songs, it’s insane. It’s such an artistic achievement that will stand the test of time, those golden years.”

He first performed Simpsons songs at a gig booked at a pizza place. “10 people came down, and eight of them were my friends.”.

Since then he’s kept adding songs to try to get to every single song in the golden years of the first 10 or so seasons, from the ballads like Can I Borrow a Feeling? to the short one-line songs rolled into medleys.

“Once the show gets going, it’s not that much about my performance: I feel like I’m hosting a party, and the audience is so involved that I really feel like I could get them started and then go get a drink,” he says. “A lot of people know every word!”

Value

He says non-viewers get a lot of value out of it too when they suddenly realise the weird idioms their partners have been saying for years are actually iconic references: “They’ll say: there’s so many lines I didn’t realise were from the show.”

He’s been trying to get the show back to Perth for the past 18 months but with lockdowns here and in Melbourne “I think we’ve rescheduled this about seven or eight times”.

But hometown Homer-heads are still dead keen to see him: Even when refunds have been offered for cancellations, Boadz says “people are holding onto their tickets, they really want to come!”

Boadz’s Songs in the Key of Springfield plays June 10 at the Rosemount, tickets via rosemounthotel.oztix.com.au

by DAVID BELL

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