Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Limbo Diaries. 14. 'Perry and Simone'


TJ: Chills... 'Simone and Perry' from 'Horsebreaker Star' was playing on the ipod 'select' as I heard the news this morning of Grant McLennan's passing. 
“Come see the paradise” indeed. 
I've got a few skeletons in my musical attic, albums that haven't survived or aged well, but I'll pat myself on the back over The Go Betweens. I got there fairly early with 'Liberty Belle', fell for 'The Wrong Road' and, later, the mysteries of 'Cattle and Cane' and was forever smitten. The songs seem just as 'right' now as the did then; they breathe their very own exotic air, yet maintain a whiff of the mundane; something special to fuel anyone’s day. The sensibilities aren't male, or ‘cock ‘n’roll’, girl friends connected as much as I did. I loved the vulnerability of the poetry, and that, particularly with Grant, the songs seemed inclusive, "an open invitation" to his world, the songs going exactly where I hoped they would, (with a few twists along the way) me grinning like a loon as they did. There'd always be that 'favorite Beatle' discussion, Robert and Grant's bittersweet combination is beyond that, but I do love those solo albums; there are times when a cup of sweet milky tea is 'just right'.  
'Oceans Apart' was a welcome return, hearing 'The Statue' was like bumping into a best mate years down the line. Of course he'll be missed, but there's a big heart to be heard in his words and music. 
God bless him... I'm off to the attic to review my collection.


  1. Watch out for those house dust mites. Xxx

  2. Having recently read the GoB's bio by David Nichols, I learned a lot about the band, maybe more than I really wanted to know? It's obvious the author has an infatuation with Robert, who appears to be a conceited twat (can I say that?), and generally belittles Grant's solo output, allowing only a few sentences to his entire solo career. For example, commenting on 'Horsebreaker Star'... "sounds less like a great songwriter stretching his wings than like a desperate man clutching at straws." Hmm, contrary to most reviews I've read generally considering it GM's best work. Myself, I enjoy Grant's solo work and find it more consistent than the GoB's. I never 'got' Robert's quirk. OK, shoot me!

    Although the book is uneven and messy, it has some memorable anecdotes. My favorite is when the band had just released the splendid "16 Lovers Lane" and had a crucial gig in front of the Capitol record company execs. With Grant's concurrence, Robert wore an attractive slinky DRESS... The record A&R guys jaws dropped, got up and walked out of the venue, saying all promotion for the album was OFF which killed the record. When Grant was informed he was genuinely bewildered, assuming it was not because of the dress, but because Robert's shoes didn't match the dress, a styling error, a fashion "faux pas"...

    Sorry, I just love that story. Grant... we miss Your Bright Ray!.

  3. We went to see the Go Betweens at the Jazz Cafe in Camden Town the last tour that they did in the UK; got to briefly chat with Grant and Robert afterwards. Seemed that Grant just wanted a beer and a chat with his mates. Robert was wearing the jacket that Redford wore in 'The Electric Horseman' and did seem a little 'uppity'...
    There was always that Lennon/McCartney thing about the two of them, although Robert's aloofness always seemed more affectation; Lennon's detachment more disfunctional...
    I love all of Grant's solo stuff; listening to 'Fingers' as I type...