After almost two years of silence on this blog, how do I write something that might be music to your ears – or eyes?
This won’t be the most conventional way back in to writing about music in my life but that’s me, unconventional at best. This is not a story about a Thin Lizzy concert, either, despite the photo above. This is just a story about me and music, a relationship that does not feel as it should right now.
It needs to be said, unequivocally, that Little River Band’s album Sleeper Catcher is one of the most beautiful, exquisite, perfect rock albums ever recorded.
I say “one of” because of course there are many, and my tastes are particular, and don’t encompass a lot of the music that my friends and colleagues swear allegiance to. But as I recently wrote in “What was I thinking?” about the shameful, unforgivable culling of my music collection, and have had cause to look down the list of what vinyl I had owned, and what I still do, and what I have in my huge digital library, and make comparisons, I understand that there are some albums that really should only be heard in their original formats, and Sleeper Catcher is one of those. You need to play it on vinyl, as it was released to the world in 1978.
One year ago Andrew “Greedy” Smith of Australian band Mental As Anything died suddenly. While we lose our music icons more and more as we all get older, this one was even more horribly upsetting because Greedy hadn’t been ill, he was way too young, and he was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. To pay tribute to him on this first anniversary, I’m sharing the entire chapter from my book Songwriters Speak on the Mentals’ two key songwriters, Greedy Smith and Martin Plaza, Hope you enjoy.
So I’m watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony a couple weeks ago on HBO, like all awards shows this year being a largely virtual event, and the Doobie Brothers kick it off with some terrific archival footage and heartfelt acceptance speeches. Yeah, I think, I really need to give the Minute By Minute album a spin on my newish USB turntable.
So I go to my media cabinet, slide open the door and look through my small collection of vinyl that I preserved after culling so many of my possessions in 2014 when preparing for my big move from Sydney to Los Angeles.