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Working to Play in a Rock Band

From the website Australians At Work.
Video clip synopsis – In order to earn a living the members of this rock band must work in mundane jobs during the day. At night they pursue their dreams of musical success.
Year of production - 1979
Duration - 2min 41sec
Tags - belonging, music, work, youth, see all tags


Working to Play in a Rock Band

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About the Video Clip


Working to Play in a Rock Band is an excerpt from the film Bundy Into Dreamland (16 mins), an episode of the series Working (7 × 16 mins), produced in 1979. Working: The series is a window into the 70s and reflects different attitudes to work, including working for money, love, or passion, and working for an employer or being self- employed.

Bundy Into Dreamland: Part-time musicians discuss the problems involved in earning a living while playing in a band. In order to earn money, they must work at other more mundane jobs, such as in a factory or on a production line, and pursue their musical career in their spare time.

Working was produced by Film Australia.

Background Information


Artists of all genres, prior to establishing their careers, can experience a period of difficulty in supporting themselves financially. Balancing regular paid work with the time that can be devoted to a creative pursuit can be difficult and frustrating.
This can be a sorting out period when the talents and capabilities are matched against passion, dedication, perseverance and a commitment to producing a consistent and high quality work. In order to gain recognition, which may lead to financial success, these characteristics need to be supported by establishing good networks, excellent PR and support from within the sector or industry.
This period of gradually emerging into the public eye can be considered as a kind of apprenticeship.
Individual artists may find the isolation of working though this period challenging, although sharing studio space or accommodation can overcome this. A group of artists has the difficulty of developing and maintaining an equal level of focus and professionalism. The loyalty to the group can also be tested during this period. If artists/players shift their allegiance to other groups or drop out for any number of reasons, finding suitable replacements can create additional stress and even threaten the existence of the group.
Imagine dedicating two or three years or more to a group only to see it all crumble before you!

From the birth of rock and roll in 1954 thousands of young Australians have formed bands and practised in their garages, living in hope of being the next big thing.

Most have not succeeded, but many have maintained their love of creating music with mates in a group.

Classroom Activities


Pre-viewing exercises:

  1. Class discussion:
    1. Does everybody in the world like their jobs?
    2. Is it important to like your job and/or your workplace?
    3. Do all jobs provide opportunities for workers to feel connected to their work, or their fellow workers? Which ones? In what ways?
  2. As a class, or individually, create a set of criteria that must be met in order for people to enjoy their jobs and feel connected to their workplace.

Viewing questions:

  1. This film clip shows both footage of the band rehearsing and footage of one band member at work. Why have these scenes been juxtaposed?
  2. Observe the points at which the dialogue comes from within the scene (diagetic) and when one of the band member’s comments are used as a voice over (non-diagetic). What is the significance of these choices?
  3. How is the concept of Belonging conveyed through the representation of the band and their relationships with one another?

Class activity:

  • Students to break up into groups of 3–4. This will be their ‘band’.
  • Over a period of one week, the bands must work together in secret to form a band name, plan some songs and write a chart-topping single called ‘Belonging’ to be performed to and judged by the class.
  • Students must also devise a budget that allows them to live comfortably, but still have time to rehearse with the band. The band who can work out a way to get the most hours rehearsing together (without getting into debt!) gains extra points.
  • The best band will receive an award!

Creative composition task (40 minutes):

Imagine you are one of the members of this band. Write a series of at least three diary entries that show your changing attitudes toward belonging to the band.

Further Resources


Belonging – People – At Work

Belonging – A century celebrated: NLA News, September 2001