I was recently given a copy of this book by a gentleman who knows me as a long time fan of Robert’s group, The Go Betweens. It was news to me that Robert was writing for magazines but he has been doing a column in an Australian monthly for several years now and this book contains selected highlights. It’s rock criticism I guess, but it’s a little more interesting coming from such a gifted songwriter. It also contains some very moving writing on the subject of Grant McLennan, the guy who was Robert’s musical partner and friend for many, many years and who sadly passed away unexpectedly in 2006.
I went from this to reading a new book by Patti Smith called ‘Just Kids’. In it she writes of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. It comes Twenty years after he passed away, leaving Patti mourning for the guy she took on the world with, when on a mission to express their art in the New York of the sixties and seventies. Two incredibly driven and talented people cutting it under difficult circumstances in a pretty amazing period in the history of art / rock ‘n’ roll.
The Patti book is easily available and we should have copies of ‘The 10 Rules of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ in the Heavenly Emporium in a couple of weeks time.
You can read more about Robert’s book over at Caught by the River in a great article by an old friend of mine, Bill Prince. I first read Bill in the early eighties when he was working on the long gone music weekly, Sounds. I’m pretty sure that the first time I read him it was on the Go Betweens. If not it would have been Aztec Camera or Orange Juice or Paul Quinn. Bill played in a rock ‘n’ roll band too. It was called The Loft and they made records for Creation back in the day. I was a fan of the group (and a huge fan of the label at that time too but we’ll save that story for another day) and had them come play at a club I ran in Plymouth. We became friends and eventually it was he who set me on the path that I’m still on now, putting out records. Bill and I started putting out 45s on a label we called Head. Just one word starting with the same first three letters as my last twenty years.
Enjoy the weekend.