A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Door Is.....Always Open Wide

Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens died a couple of days ago, in his sleep.

If you've ever had the slightest inclination to check out the Go-Betweens but maybe never quite got around to it - go on, do it now. Start with last year's Ocean's Apart - the best record ever made by a band almost three decades old - and work your way through the albums from there. You can't go far wrong, whatever you choose.

You'll find Grant's songs alongside his bandmate Robert Forster's. Alternating, taking turns, impressing each other, outdoing one another. Just like they did on stage at the Mercury Lounge (and countless other venues) last summer. Robert stole the show (as Robert was born to do) but Grant - Grant simply sang his songs and played his guitar and made every single person in that crowd feel glad to be there, glad to be alive. They played for two hours, but could have played for six - the quality of the songs wouldn't have dropped even slightly.

I remember hearing Simon Bates play "Streets of Your Town" on Radio 1 in 1988. An extraordinary thing, at the time. Of course, it didn't help. The single stalled just outside the Top 40, no matter how many times they re-released it. Couldn't we make it a hit now, for Grant? It still sounds like summer, after all these years.


Anonymous said...

Yeah the Go-Betweens are a great band. The day I heard cattle and Cane I rushed to buy Before Hollywood and that has been my fave G-B album ever since.

It's funny that the group never had a bad album. Very consistent.


Mikey Golightly said...

Today is a beautiful, quiet spring day here in Portland, and I can think of no better way to honor Grant and the Go Betweens than by throwing on "Oceans Apart" and taking a bike ride to the record store, where I will finally buy "16 Lovers Lane" and think fondly about Grant and all the other songwriters and singers that made up my youth, and who start to pass on far sooner than we'd care for them to.

"I still don't know what I'm here for", either...

M said...

seeing the GBs in Seattle, at the beautiful, sit-down Triple Door was easily the best live show I saw in 2005. they played song after song after song and at no point did I want them to stop. they could have played all night. the generosity and affection between everyone onstage was as plainly visible as the instruments. and you are not kidding about Oceans Apart. I've played the hell out of it already this year, before Grant's death, and I've just been playing it even more.