Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Dubious achievements

Satellite Spies weren't a great band.  The only single of theirs I can remember, 'Destiny in Motion', with its stabby 80s synths and fussy keyboard arrangement, attracted a couple of "most promising" awards in the 1985 New Zealand Music Awards, but it sounds almost comically dated now. And yet, the band -- complex concept that that turns out to be -- has achieved its own dubious distinction.

Their Wikipedia article has been proposed for deletion essentially because it is driving everyone nuts. In his deletion notice this week, Wikipedia admin JohnCD shared his frustration:

This is an unusual situation. I am proposing deletion not because of the subject but because I think the article is a net negative - the work involved in maintaining it and protecting it from COI edit-warring outweighs its value.

"Satellite Spies" was a band formed in New Zealand in 1984. Two principals were Deane Sutherland and Mark Loveys. In 1987 they split up. Each of them claims that the other one left, so that each thinks that he owns the rights, and at times there have been two bands calling themselves Satellite Spies. Unbelievably, 25 years later they are still quarrelling about it, and this article has become the battleground.

Poor JohnCD only got involved when he was asked to help remove a defamatory statement after the band's article had been protected:

While the article has been protected the argument, involving both of the principals and their supporters, has raged on the talk page. After a time I archived the talk page and asked them to shut up, but they have continued at interminable length. If you want to take the risk of your head exploding, you can read all the accusations and counter-accusations at Talk:Satellite Spies/Archive 1 and Talk:Satellite Spies.

You'll want to set aside some time for this. Even the fresh-start Talk page includes the likes of a 2009 legal opinion provided to Satellite Spies singer Mark Loveys, scorning a trademark action by Deane Sutherland, who claims, along with what appears to be a small army of sockpuppets, that he founded and still owns the group. A considerable complicating factor is that Sutherland's version of the band had a Top 10 hit with a song called 'It Must be Love' in 1994.

Loveys is now CEO of the corporate IT company Enprise Solutions, but, amazingly, his biographical summary on LinkedIn includes, right up the top "Singer, songwriter and founder of popular 1980′s New Zealand band “Satellite Spies”." No one's letting go here.

JohnCD, in what might be read as a cry for help, proposes not only deleting the article, but "salting" the title so it can never be revived. Other editors are inclined to simply select a reasonable draft from the many that have appeared and lock that to prevent fuether edit warring.

In voting to Keep, Colapeninsula wrote:

If we can maintain articles on Mitt Romney and Israeli–Palestinian conflict we can manage this.

Awesome. Dubious achievements don't come much better than this.


It's deadline time at TheAudience --votes close today -- and it'll be interesting to see whether Mark Vainlau's song keeps the chart-topping place it's held for most of the month:

Or gets overhauled in the final week by this:

Jellphonic seems to have been hailed as much for his blog as his tune. And rightly so. It's amazing.

The other big noise this week? A new She's So Rad tune on TheAudience:

Oh, sweet.


Meanwhile on Soundcloud, a nice junglist take on Shinehead's classic 'Know How Fe Chat':

Another one of those JT remixes:

And a pretty amazing thing from local beatmaker S.F.T. There's plenty to dine on at his Soundcloud account:

Okay, I'm hungry and tired and it's a fine day out. So that'll do.

The Hard News Friday Music Post is sponsored by:


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