Go between days

12 08 2017

Grant & I by Robert Forster

In early ’77 I asked Grant if he’d form a band with me. `No,’ was his blunt reply.” Grant McLennan didn’t want to be in a band. He couldn’t play an instrument; Charlie Chaplin was his hero du jour. And yet, when Robert Forster wrote Hemingway, Genet, Chandler and Joyce into his lyrics, McLennan couldn’t resist a second invitation to become 80s indie sensation The Go Betweens. The friends would collaborate for three decades, until Grant’s premature death in 2006. Beautifully written – like lyrics, like prose – Grant & I is a rock memoir akin to no other. Part `making of’, part music industry expose, part buddy-book, this is a delicate and perceptive celebration of creative endeavour. With wit and candour, Robert Forster pays tribute to a band who found huge success in the margins, having friendship at its heart.

As a fan since first being introduced to the Go Betweens by an Aussie friend (thank you Andrew Rohl) back in 1983 or thereabouts I couldn’t wait to read this. It’s a lovely but melancholy tale which is a true and heartfelt memoir about love, loss and music and quite like nothing else I’ve read in this genre.

Bit of a fanboy rating therefore but it is genuinely a really good read.





The rules

18 01 2014

The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll by Robert Forster

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In his first book, The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll, Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster takes readers on an idiosyncratic journey through the past and present of popular music – from Bob Dylan to Cat Power, from AC/DC to Nana Mouskouri, from The Saints to Franz Ferdinand. With 30 years experience as a recording artist/performer and an undimmed love of popular music, Forster’s observations about his fellow artists balance the enthusiasm of a fan with an insider’s authority. He is that rare thing: a musician who can write about music, and he brings to this collection of critical essays the erudition, wit and craft of his songwriting.

In this collection of essays by one of the creative engines of the absurdly under-rated Australian band, the Go-Betweens, Robert Forster has delivered a terrific commentary on music past and present. Perhaps surprisingly he demonstrates three things: first, he can really write, secondly, he has great taste,and thirdly his insider knowledge delivers a set of genuine insights into music and its creators.

four stars








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