So, what does Grant McLennan's death mean to me? Not a lot, to be honest; after all I never met the man, I can't claim to be a friend or in anyway connected to him. (Actually, I lie, I'm two degrees of musical separation from him: I was in a band with Ross MacLennan who was in the Far Out Corporation.) And as I said to someone at work the other day, I haven't heard anything the Go-Betweens put out since they got back together.
But someone dying at 48 is sad, even if you think their best years were 15 years ago. Boycat's Mum's Dad died at 48.
But what do the Go-Betweens mean to me? As a former wannabe rock star from Brisbane, a heck of a lot. There really were very few bands from Brisbane back when I was in a band. Not like today where Powderfinger are the biggest band in the country and Regurgitator get an entire digital tv channel to themselves for a couple of weeks; when I was learning to play the guitar, there was pretty much only The Go-Betweens and The Saints. (Note that the music writer from the Courier Mail, Noel Mengel's blog is called "Know Your Product", named after The Saints' second best known song.) If they could make it - and even minor-league-popular-in-England success like the Gobies was making it - so might we be able to. (If, y'know, we were actually any good, which we weren't.)
And the songs. I haven't heard People Say or Don't Let Him Come Back in years (my sister had an original Able Label single before it got stolen) but they still go through my head occasionally. Since last weekend, Cattle and Cane and Streets of Your Town haven't left my head.
I feel that the worth of a band is measured by how good a "Greatest Hits" record they've got in them. And if they didn't have 'hits' then a "Best of". Gee, I wish there was a Godfathers best of. I think - although I don't have it - yet - that the Go-Betweens would have a very good best of. And that is the true mark of a band.
>>>Why the hell isn't Right Here on Bellavista Terrace? (Double-Ls, I get it.)