Author Topic: Wide Open Road  (Read 34938 times)

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2004, 08:50:43 PM »
Quote
The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda is a great song, about ‘the legless, the armless, the blind and insane’ of the First World War. It's a story, very graphic. In fact, it inspired a film, Gallipoli (1981) by Peter Weir, with Mel Gibson. Not a bad film. My Youngest Son Came Home Today, also by Eric Bogle, is great as well. I only know those songs via The Pogues and Billy Bragg, though. Seems like I’ve got an artist to discover. With pedal steel work by Graham Lee- great.

KJD
Eric's in his sixties now. He's Scottish been in Australia since the early 70s. He's written many fine songs. No Man's Land is another. The record I speak of was recorded in the early 70s and I play guitar. Had never set eyes on a pedal steel in those far away days.

Offline Arc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Wide Open Road
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2004, 09:11:36 PM »
I see The Go-Betweens mentioned a bit here. I must admit, I'm a fan - for the uninitiated, I would say that their albums can tend to be slightly uneven but the peaks more than make up for any troughs...  

Offline Urpal

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6624
  • "Light on the water, We could sail on forever"
Wide Open Road
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2004, 11:47:36 PM »
Thanks Graham for the time and trouble you've taken to dig out that list and give us non-Aussie nationals an insight into the names on the list. I guess one advantage of The Triffids not achieving general public popularity is that you can have a proper engagement with your fans rather than the "autograph and off" scenario, keeping the dedicated at a more than Chapmanesque distance. I'll follow up the recommendations some time soon.

Thanks also to KJD for helping me out with the Bogle connection - I know No Man's Land as The Green Fields Of France (great song) and have a version of it recorded by Pogues style band The Men They Couldn't Hang dating back to Triffids peak times (also picked up on thanks to John Peel's sessions back then). I assumed from the content and style of the song that the writer was British or Irish (thanks to Graham for IDing his Scottish roots) so am amazed at his Australian domicile. Definitely an artist to investigate further. I'm slightly surpried that Bogle's only sixty, because the WW1 themes and folk style lead me to the assumption he'd pre-date Pete Seeger and the '60s folk revival.

Since I have Scot's blood, it would be interesting to know if there was similar flowing through Dave McComb's veins (apologies to Bill Drummond for my recidivist second generation nationalism). What's the geneology story?

I was also puzzling on a similar line of thought recently about fellow word and songsmith James Douglas Morrison (the Morrison clan tartan being available in any good Edinburgh Royal Mile outfitters, Jimmy and Dougie being stereotypical Scot's forenames and Whisky apparently being principally responsible for his untimely downfall). Anyone got any clues on that one?

Finally, since it's my older brother's birthday and he's asked me the unanswerable, why "Evil" Graham Lee? If you had to select the wicked one from a group photo, Graham would not be the obvious choice. What's the story?
 
We all have our croissants to bear

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2004, 10:07:32 AM »
Re "Evil" Dave had the idea that all steel players have nicknames  -  and quite a few do eg Lucky Oceans, Speedy West, Pee Wee Clark, Weldon Myrick (just joking that's his real name) - and that he would be shortchanged if his steel player was nick-less. So one night as we had a few drinks and watched the movie Evil Roy Slade on telly he had a moment's inspiration and I've been stuck with it since. Not many people call me that, just friends from the 80s who I rarely see and the remaining Triffids.
Re Eric Bogle you'll probably find his records a bit too folky for your liking (he has also written the likes of "The Aussie Barbecue") but every record has at least a couple of genuine classics.
Re Dave McComb's ancestry, I'm not sure but it sounds pretty Scottish to me. I'll ask Rob next time I see him.
Pleased to see the forum being used so much. The one I have on the W. Minc site withered on the vine. If you have any suggestions for categories etc let me know. Did you know you can begin a voting poll on a subject of your choice?

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2004, 11:05:04 AM »
Quote
Aren't Crowded House from New Zealand?
That's true (at least Neil Finn is) and I'm not sure exactly how Crowded House songs qualify. Perhaps it's just another of those things we've claimed as Australian because it's successful. Like Mel Gibson, Split Enz etc

Offline KrieB

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 241
Wide Open Road
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2004, 07:28:49 PM »
Just a quick reply about "scottish roots": understanding Triffidslyrics went together with learning English for me. So the dictionary was never far away and I even looked up sandy... Isn't there a scottish reference/nickname...
KrieB
Throw yourself into The Triffids darling, you haven't got a chance!

Offline Urpal

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6624
  • "Light on the water, We could sail on forever"
Wide Open Road
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2004, 08:37:16 AM »
That dictionary must have been pretty comprehensive, but, yes, I believe Sandy is, or was at one time, a not uncommon male name and has Scottish associations in my mind too(though a bit of internet research suggests it is a derivative of Alexander and has a Greek origin).

I don't suppose Born Sandy Devotional was intended to be taken that literally, but it does beg the question. It is on odd title. Does it mean anything? An ironic take on Australian beach culture perhaps?

Graham, I find I do know of The Loved Ones through their track "Sad Dark Eyes" on The Original Seeds compilation. a good tune and I remember working out the chord pattern for it on my guitar one time. It shares some things in common with The Animals version of "House Of The Rising Sun", but has enough individuality and drive to stand on its own merits.

I'll have to follow up your recommendations of them, Paul Kelly (does a recording of Chris Bailey & Paul doing WOR exist?), Eric Bogle (does a "best of"compilation exist?), the Divinyls and The Reels. Blimey, that's quite a few quids worth of following up.
We all have our croissants to bear

Offline Urpal

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6624
  • "Light on the water, We could sail on forever"
Wide Open Road
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2004, 09:24:45 AM »
Postscript - Graham, please pass my anonymous regards to Rob when following up that Scottish connection query. I always thought he and his brother had a striking physical presence together on stage - blonde/dark, loud/quiet, both cool (not at all Gallagher brothersish, though there must have been occasional creative frictions - I'm particularly thinking of that "Spinal Tap or what" reprimand Dave delivers when Lonely Stretch opens with a little too much overdrive on the BBC In Concert performance broadcast in the days of Tiananmen Square)  . It seems to me he may have been single handedly responsible for a ripple effect that made the violin/fiddle a legitimate tool in the rock'n'roll arsenal again. Apart from listening to old records of the exemplary use of the instrument by John Cale in the Sixties, I had not previously come across an act in the new wave era brave enough to tote a tool then unfashionably associated with C&W/folk and all things hippy - and look at how many rock acts have used single violin or (more lavishly) full string orchestration since. A convincing job he made of it too. The pedal steel fell into the same catagory of "non-rock" instruments then and generally still does, although you do occasionally come across others in the act. Frank Black has a Catholic who moves between standard electric and pedal steel guitars over the course of a set. You never know, it might catch on if his Blackness takes the country dood on the road if and when The Pixies reform this year.  
We all have our croissants to bear

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2004, 01:49:51 PM »
Quote
I don't suppose Born Sandy Devotional was intended to be taken that literally, but it does beg the question. It is on odd title. Does it mean anything? An ironic take on Australian beach culture perhaps?

Graham, I find I do know of The Loved Ones through their track "Sad Dark Eyes" on The Original Seeds compilation. a good tune and I remember working out the chord pattern for it on my guitar one time.

I'll have to follow up your recommendations of them, Paul Kelly (does a recording of Chris Bailey & Paul doing WOR exist?), Eric Bogle (does a "best of"compilation exist?), the Divinyls and The Reels. Blimey, that's quite a few quids worth of following up.
Born Sandy Devotional is a song that Dave never really finished to his satisfaction, hence the fade-out on In The Pines album version of the song. I'm sure there's meaning there if you want to find it and Sandy is at least partly meant to be someones' name. Sounds good is probably the main thing.

Funnily enough, the 26th being Australia Day, Brian Wise played two hours of Australian music on 3RRR including Dave (The Lord Burns Every Clue), Paul Kelly (a track from his new album, the name of which I didn't catch but I played on a couple or three tracks and it's very good), The Loved Ones (Ever Lovin' Man I think it was but I was in the shower at the time) and probably Chris Bailey, The Divinyls etc later but I'd turned off to watch the tennis. The live stream of local community station 3RRR is really worth a listen for an insight into the current state of Aus music.  

I'd trawl around for some mp3s first. I'm sure there's a best of Eric Bogle. No recording that I know of of Bailey and Kelly doing WOR.

The Reels were a great band. I haven't listened to them for years but I suspect they've probably lasted ok.  

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2004, 01:59:24 PM »
Quote
Postscript - Graham, please pass my anonymous regards to Rob when following up that Scottish connection query. I always thought he and his brother had a striking physical presence together on stage - blonde/dark, loud/quiet, both cool (not at all Gallagher brothersish, though there must have been occasional creative frictions - I'm particularly thinking of that "Spinal Tap or what" reprimand Dave delivers when Lonely Stretch opens with a little too much overdrive on the BBC In Concert performance broadcast in the days of Tiananmen Square)  . It seems to me he may have been single handedly responsible for a ripple effect that made the violin/fiddle a legitimate tool in the rock'n'roll arsenal again. Apart from listening to old records of the exemplary use of the instrument by John Cale in the Sixties, I had not previously come across an act in the new wave era brave enough to tote a tool then unfashionably associated with C&W/folk and all things hippy - and look at how many rock acts have used single violin or (more lavishly) full string orchestration since. A convincing job he made of it too. The pedal steel fell into the same catagory of "non-rock" instruments then and generally still does, although you do occasionally come across others in the act. Frank Black has a Catholic who moves between standard electric and pedal steel guitars over the course of a set. You never know, it might catch on if his Blackness takes the country dood on the road if and when The Pixies reform this year.
Yes to the odd piece of brotherly friction. You're right it must have been a little daring to inflict violin on audiences in the early eighties. Pedal steel really was unheard of though there was a bit of a tradition in the late sixties to mid seventies of steel on Aus pop/rock music. Mainly due to a guy called Mike Burke here in Melbourne. Mike tells me he used to do five sessions a day and made a lot of money. I know that my first exposure to the steel was from rock rather than country - Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills and Nash (the steel player in question on Teach Your Children was Jerry Garcia.) These days every man and his dog seems to use one.  I'm thinking of Calexico, Neko Case and the like.  I find it very curious how tastes change. Six or seven years ago country music was a dirty word  in indie rock circles and now everyone has a Ned Kelly beard and plucks a banjo.  

Offline Urpal

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6624
  • "Light on the water, We could sail on forever"
Wide Open Road
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2004, 09:23:35 PM »
I expect Johnny Cash's American recordings and recent passing may have helped in putting the concept that Country music was capable of something special onto the indie agenda. In my mind, C&W has in the past been too closely associated with conservative middle America, bible bashing and dressing up in ten gallon hats and chaps to be taken seriously as an art form. Johnny was obviously the real deal and there must be others in that scene worthy of attention.

I see that Paul Kelly is touring the UK in February and performing in my neck of the woods, so I hope to be able to check him out.
We all have our croissants to bear

Offline martinh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Wide Open Road
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2004, 07:10:14 PM »
A surprising list - not too far removed from the track listing of Messenger, the covers album by Jimmy Little. That particular LP features covers of Quasimodos Dream and Cattle and Cane, and all are Australian songs.
Given the breadth of this list a bit surprised that Under the Milky Way didn't make it (I know it's about a club in Amsterdam but of all the Church's songs it has that Australian feel).
On the country/rock crossover - it was the Triffids and Dave's courageous addition of pedal steel that opened my ears to the potential beauty of that music. And the blues. In terms of musical enjoyment the Triffids have led me to a lot of places I wouldn't have expected and I'm grateful.
And thanks Graham for putting all this effort in to keeping it alive
Martin

Offline david nichols

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Wide Open Road
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2004, 07:27:13 PM »
Crowded House were from New Zealand only inasmuch as... yes, of course they were. Though Nick Seymour wasn't.

On the topic of Quasimodo's Dream, or should I say, off the topic of Wide Open Road entirely... QD has had quite a few covers in its time, a rubbish Kate Ceberano one in particular springs to mind. I like that song well enough but I really don't think it's even in the top 10 best Reels songs, and I always thought it was odd that it took on a life of its own in that way.

Craig Hooper, the other mainstay of the Reels for their existence, was in an early version of Crowded House (The Mullanes). He also played keyboards with the Church for a while. I feel I am slipping into some kind of senile potpourri of useless facts and opinions.

Back to WOR, I am pretty sure that it's been used as advertising music recently... has anyone heard it in this context lately? Maybe it's my senility.  

Adam

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2004, 08:42:20 AM »
disappointing not to see 'Swampland' or 'Murderess in a purple dress' on that list.  Kidding - but how are The Scientists seen over there now?  I sort of get the impression from this distance (UK) that Kim Salmon is now a respected elder statesman of no-sales rock, is that right?  

amazed there is no INXS on that list - not because I liked them myself but they always seemed so...Australian.  Is Michael in disgrace over there for the way he checked out?

glee

  • Guest
Wide Open Road
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2004, 02:07:15 PM »
Quote
disappointing not to see 'Swampland' or 'Murderess in a purple dress' on that list.  Kidding - but how are The Scientists seen over there now?  I sort of get the impression from this distance (UK) that Kim Salmon is now a respected elder statesman of no-sales rock, is that right?  

amazed there is no INXS on that list - not because I liked them myself but they always seemed so...Australian.  Is Michael in disgrace over there for the way he checked out?
E(a)rnest is Kim's most recent independently released album. Respected elder statesman of no-sales rock is a description I'll pass on to him next time I see him. I think he'd be amused. Kim keeps bobbing up with new and surprising projects. He did a residency in an art gallery to promote E(a)rnest. I believe he's got an instrumental gig of some kind coming up soon with a strange concept behind it. I'll look into it and let you know.
Dave played a song on a Scientists tribute night put together by Kim. I don't recall which song he did but do recall that he tuned his guitar electronically before walking out, unfortunately not keeping a close eye on the exact notes he was tuning to. So each string was perfectly in tune but to the wrong note. He soldiered on and pulled of a passable if tonally confusing version of the song. Tuners and Dave were never the best of friends.    
No idea why INXS don't appear on that list.