Ah, the ‘70s right? Bell bottoms, disco, rampant cocaine usage, Title IX passing through Congress...those were the days. Many popular white, cis male rock stars operated under the “When you’re a star you can do anything” line of thinking. Decent people across all walks of life have since moved on from this idiotic and inhumane approach, if they even believed it was OK in the first place.
Despite an industry-wide reckoning of sexual harassment and abuse, some perpetrators of this culture are all hold up, hit the brakes on our collective purge of shitty male behavior. The latest (but far from the first) to make these thoughts publicly known is Kirk Pengilly, a founding member of the great dance rock act INXS.
The longtime guitarist spoke to the Sidney Morning Herald (appropriately abbreviated as smh.com.au for web viewing) at a Movember charity event in Melbourne, Australia. He was asked about the demise of Harvey Weinstein and former Australian celebrity gardener Don Burke, and, well, had a take:
“I really loved the ’60s and ’70s when life was so simple and you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment, not as sexual harassment.”
It’s possible that Pengilly hadn’t actually read the news on Weinstein or Burke, both of whose transgressions far exceeded a mere “slap on the butt,” but it nonetheless reveals how some long-held attitudes may never change.
If you have stories of Pengilly, or any artist who might have crossed a line in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, ‘00s, ‘10s, or yesterday, TrackRecord now has a tip account (firstname.lastname@example.org).