Go-Betweens and Russell B. Farr

Time and alcohol draw a veil over many things: specific dates, exactly who was there, precisely what was played. Still, I watched a documentary on the making of The Go-Betweens extraordinary final album, 16 Lovers Lane, and was motivated to send a shout out from the blog to my friend, Russell B. Farr.

Sometime during my semi-social years, back before I was married and actually lived on Coode Street, Russell B. Farr bought some tickets to go see Robert Forster and Grant W. McLennan play in a fleabitten pit underneath His Majesty’s Theatre on Hay Street in downtown Perth.

The building is wedding cake affair, lovely and perfect. The venue was basically a subterranean bar into which several hundred soon-to-be-sweaty folk could be pressed. Farr told me I was going. I aquiesced – as I recall – out of good manners. Karen might have come along, but I don’t recall right now. I knew of The Go-Betweens, but had paid no attention to them when they were a live band (they were outside my Countdown centred world). I only really knew of McLennan from his solo material (an album the title of which now escapes me ).

Anyhow, I was dragged into this fleapit and was given a revelation. From “Cattle and Cain” to “Streets of our Town” to “Lee Remick”. It was marvelous, transcendant – one of the great music experiences of my life. So, my thanks to Russell for a gift I cannot repay. And, one more spin down lovers lane.

We hear what we want to hear

Colin Barnett, recently reinstalled leader of the WA Liberal Party, says he believes that the WA electorate has stated that it wants the Liberal Party to the govern.  This was said not long after current Premier, Allen Carpenter, had said that things were so close that the most likely outcome was a hung parliament.  While the outcome lies in some combination of postal votes, preferences, and the whim of the National Party, it seems interesting to me that that it didn’t occur to Barnett that maybe what the electorate was saying was that it wasn’t all that fussed about either option. Certainly, that was my take.