Boris the Moth

Mp3 Link: Boris the Moth (demo version).

Did you ever read something called the Knowhow Book of Spycraft? It was in the library at our primary school and I must have read it a dozen times. Nothing – other than Get Smart – has ever tapped into the fundamental silliness of spycraft and detective work in the way that book did.

I don’t think it was entirely deliberate; much of the information provided was supposed to be for serious fun, the kind where you spend hours cutting and glueing elaborate masks and so on – but I don’t think anyone at our school ever actually made the masks or did any of the other activities it suggested. It was a book for daydreaming.

Strange But True: Muzak Jazz for the Modern Amateur Spy is the name of an album of home studio nu-jazz I made in Adelaide in 2005-6, in honour of that book. I gave quite a few copies to friends but took it no further than that.

Here’s a tune to get you started – this is the story of how that shady character Boris the Moth skipped town. It features Greg Osman on the saxophone and Louise Kleinig on vocals. This is a demo, so don’t be surprised if it’s a little crunchy in places.

Boris the Moth


Would You Believe It?

Mp3 link – Getting Smarter.

Would you believe that they’ve made a Get Smart movie? No? Well how about a Get Smart play? No? How about a picture of a guy with a shoe?

But alas, it’s not one of those glorious Don Adams gags. They really have made a movie of Get Smart. And would you believe, it really sucks? I bet you would.

Why are they (those ageing, cynical Hollywood moguls) going back through all my finest childhood memories of TV, comics and movies and systematically kicking the crap out of them? Hey, it wasn’t even made in my childhood. My mum used to watch that show in her twenties. It was only ever second-hand humour to me, and even as kid I knew that it was timeless precisely because it was so much a product of its time. Don’t they understand that shows like Get Smart were only funny because they were period-pieces, because actors like Adams managed to satirise their own times as well as being very much a part of them? That kind of thing can’t be replicated. It’s like trying to, well, it’s like trying to make a Get Smart movie and have it be any good. Why bother?

Here’s my own tribute to Adams and Co, a rocked up fast-tempo parody of the theme tune, with some sound bites from the show and some fine sax playing by Greg Osman. It’s a slightly ‘boxy’ recording and the Mp3 rip hasn’t helped but it still gets the point across.

Incidentally if you want the original soundtrack, go to and while you’re there, check for most of the sound files I used in here.

This tune was the opening track on the Strange But True CD.