posted on May 6, 2006 at 9:12 pm

good morning my darling fiendss
last nite i received some terrible news about a dear friend
as i havent confirmed it yet for myself
im hoping against hope that it isnt true
that theres been a mistake…
so i write todays blogge in that spirit…
i first met grant mc in a bookstore in new york
he and amanda b and bobby f. were playing a gobetweens gig there
so on a freezing cold december n.y.c. night replete with snow
i stumble into the blah blah bookshoppe
a real old style nyc bookshop, my little pigs
not a boreders or barnsey and knowable
i stand around for a while
i dont really know a lot about the gobees
they gotta lotta mora critical acklaim than us
and i’d kinda tuned em out
i’d filed em under too soft in the backa my mind
anyway they come on
(well…on, i mean they came out in the middle of the floor
on a tiny little stage)
there were about 60 people there
they were stupendous
the harmonies spot on
the acc guitars inventive
amandas fiddle incredible
they played a few songs
grinned sheepishly
and finished
the crowd loved em
and were stunned to see something like that
playin in a bookshop somewhere
later i met em
robert was kinda statesmanlike and seemed aristocratic
looking down at me with an imperious smile
amanda was nice
grant was different
he was vulnerable, thoughtful but he loved a laugh too
we talked of this n that
he went out of his way to make me feel at ease
and we both realised we could be friends easily
the next nite i saw em slay new york accousticall again
just the 3 of em
if you were there in the knitting factory, ny
dec 1988
like me
youd still be thinking about it
emotions i didnt really think rock could do
or could do without being soppy and maudlin
roberts distance and irony
his jokes at yours n his expense
grants open childlike strange songs
unashamedly australian
a sensitive new age bloke with unexpected darksides
a sweet melancholy voice
a gentle lovely guitar style
(but with rock)
they killed nyc
i was smitten
i got all the albums immediately
couldnt believe i’d been avoiding em so long
i liked both the songwriters
(they didnae write together)
they coexisted well within the one band
(like the you know whos)
about 2 years later in 1990
i gotta call from grant
after we met atta party one night
he hadda plan for forming an aust supergroop
featuring him, me, neil f, and paul k,
we never got the others really
tho we had lunch with paul ….
so grant n i formed a pared down soopergroop
jack f
(ha)
so i go over grants place for our first writing seshh
boy o boy he operates a lot differently to me
1st of all hes got all his songs
written out in one big exercise book
that he musta had since high school
he never really let me look at it
but i guess you woulda found cattlen cane
or bye bye pride
or anything in there
i thought that was quaint
he was a strumm em out type writer
not like me..
constructing stuff in my 8 track home studio
anyway
he then proceeded to play 10 new songs to me live
each one preceded by a preamble
explaining whatta “beautiful” song it was, steven
(always called me steven,never steve)
he finished with a song about jesus called
“the man that died in rapture”
he sang this most lamenting melancholy achingly lovely song
all with his trademark off in the distance look
his eyes slightly unaligned that made him seem unfathomable
his soft voice filling up the sunroom of his bondi junction flat
so please dont forget…the man who died in rapture
i was moved and surprised
i felt like i’d seen a man bare his soul
grant finished
good lord grant that was amazing..are you a christian..
no he says
i wrote that for a competition..
eventually that day
i was allowed to pick up my 12 string
and we immediately on 1st chord
wrote didnt know where i was
off jack f.
grant seemed to have a way of opening up his mouth
and singing instant choruses
hed plucked outta the ether
words flew to him
he walk with melodies at his beck n call
we wrote a few more that day
then we started having days where we would write
20 or 30 songs inna day
all of em great
they were all on cassettes
where are they?
who knows
we werent that careful with em
we couldnt believe we could keep on writing and writing and writing
i never wrote songs like this before
me n another bloke strumming along
i rented a house in surry hills
and me n grant would just walk around strummin and writin all day
laughing because it was so easy, baybee
we did the first jack f in a studio in balmain
that was bit by bit being repossessed
cos they hadnt paid the bills
we’d be halfway thru a song
and someone would be carting the limiters away
we didnt care
we were high on our creativity and our record
it was interesting to see grant working my way
constructing songs..
if ya listen to the record
you can hear the constructed ones and the 2 guitar strum ones
grant loved a drink and a smoke
and by the end of each night he was on fine form
never drunk or boorish
but always merry and mischievous
tho sometimes hed sink into a distant melancholia
where he couldnt be reached
hed split up with miss a.b. by this stage
and a lotta those songs carry a genuine ache
that is tangible
grant n i wrote and played the whole thing together
a real 50 50 deal if ever there was one
i brought my recording techniques and song strategies
he brought his melodies and lightness
the record is a masterpiece
it did pretty good
arista even released it
and we did a short tour of the states
just acc guitars n little places
grant taught me so much about everything
he was a great guy to be on tour with
i think the audiences liked it
at the same time grant was working on watershed
which i heartily recommend
for sad lonesome songs
as well as his colloquial stuff

years later we did the second jack f
this was recorded as a band with timmy p. playing drums
a totally different record
much had changed in the between years
my little problem was now a huge gorilla
pushing me around all over the place
i wassa innercity drug hermit
grant was never as bad as me
tho he was plagued with his own daemons too
the record captures the roiling boiling turmoil
of those days
i can hardly bear to listen to it myself
its agony is apparent
but it bleeds for you
and its a great falling apart record
a la sister/lovers…
tho it wasnt a pleasant experience..
we did a little tour of aust when it came out
that would be best forgotten
grant and i sometimes popped up
at each others shows
but our connexion was gone
and we drifted apart
in 1998 i saw em play in stockholm, grant n robert
just the 2 of em
the swedes were in love with em
they were better n funnier than ever
we hung out a little
grant never seemed to eat anything!
but always the constant coffee, wine and stuyvesant ciggies
after that
years of silence
a couple of years ago
ian haug from powderfinger gave me grants number n said
you should ring him….why not?
i did
and we met up here in bondi
when he was down doing something for the new gobees record
oceans apart
he played me 2 tracks
i played him block
oh steven, its a little too….autobiographical isnt it? he winced n grinned
we went down the pavillion where i had a veggie burger n chips
grant had coffee and cigs
we talked about the gobees, a.b., jack f, all the cool dudes
and all the fucking idiots we had met in our travels
at the end of lunch grant came and picked up my kids and met nk
he caught a taxi off to his next interview
and i felt well pleased
maybe there could be 3rd jack f record after all…
one of australias most beautiful singers and writers
an amazing human being
a poet, bohemian, adventurer
raconteur and nice guy too
grant, i hope it was just a rumour…
steven

62 Responses to “a teenage rasputin takes a sting from a gin”

  1. avatar
    persephone2u | 6 May 2006 at 10:38 pm #

    I just heard about this elsewhere and was going to ask about it because you of all people would know if it was true or not, but it’s officially up on the Go-Between’s website now. My day is officially ruined.

  2. avatar
    eek | 6 May 2006 at 11:40 pm #

    That was beautiful, Steve.

    So very, very sad.

  3. avatar
    LittleSecret | 6 May 2006 at 11:43 pm #

    What a sad day indeed. We have just lost another musical genius and a get guy as well.

    My love and deepest sympathy for the loss of a great friend

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 11:46 pm #

    Steve – what can I say? Devastated. I’ve been playing Grant’s songs from his solo albums a lot lately – he was an exceptional talent and this is an enormous loss.

    boy D

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 11:50 pm #

    Unbelievable. Steven, I share your sadness and pain. Sounds like it is not a rumour…

    Peace and happiness with all who are close to Grant.

    ULTC will take a well-deserved rest this evening for Bye Bye Pride and all of the others…

    A very sad day in the world of music.

  6. avatar
    damien | 6 May 2006 at 11:52 pm #

    Oh, fuck no!

    I became a Grant/Go-Betweens fan as a result of your collaboration with him. The first JF album is an absolute masterpiece.

    Damn!

    🙁

  7. avatar
    Fandorin | 7 May 2006 at 12:15 am #

    first time in my life i’m devastated because of the death of a pop star.

    lennon? ha, i was 4 years old, but saw my dad crying.
    mercury? ha, i would have finished him off myself to shut him up forever.
    zappa? well he was interesting somehow.
    townes van zandt…i saw him playing 3 months before his transmigration and he was dead already.

    GWMcL…whew… i’m crying. i called my buddy, huge GoBee fan, Germany’s number one Church fan….i discovered the GoBees via Jack Frost…
    and last year, he was playing on a Berlin stage. and i was in awe about the gallons of sunlight pouring down when he started playing… now we’re here, almost adult men, and we’re crying because something’s gone totally wrong today.

    your post was beautiful. a wonderful epitaph just ignoring the sad bits. and your loving words somehow comfort me tonight, in a horrible moment.

    S.H.

  8. avatar
    rubikon | 7 May 2006 at 12:17 am #

    Why do the good always leave us too soon.

  9. avatar
    12str | 7 May 2006 at 12:23 am #

    can this be true?
    sorry for all our loss!

    remember to take good care of eachother,life is fragile.

    12str

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 1:32 am #

    well thats fucked isnt it.

  11. avatar
    Tony Pucci | 7 May 2006 at 1:33 am #

    This is terrible news, SK. Absolutely awful.
    Wow…
    Damn…
    I feel like I did when Lennon died.
    That’s how much Grant’s music has moved me.
    Loving you, I bought the JF albums.
    Loved them too, so I bought the GB CDs.
    And loved them, so I bought his solo stuff.
    How very sad, I adored Grant’s music, and always will.
    Here’s to you, Grant.
    Thank you and God bless.

    Nice blog, Steven.

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 1:34 am #

    That’s really sad news sk. His beautiful songs and voice will always be remembered though.

    Take care and love always,
    Amanda

  13. avatar
    sue cee | 7 May 2006 at 1:44 am #

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece about Grant. It left a lump in my throat. I’ll be listening to those albums again with differnt feeling. My condolences to you, so sorry. love Sue x

  14. avatar
    the white balloon | 7 May 2006 at 1:46 am #

    very sorry for loss of your friend sk thanks for your story and memories
    i went to homebake last december to hear the finns, saints, and of course the go betweens who played on that beautiful afternoon on the dome stage under the spreading trees, looking at the photos now reminds me of db’s lyrics for memory of a free festival

    Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon
    To paint that love
    upon a white balloon
    And fly it from
    the topest top of all the tops
    That man has pushed beyond his brain
    Satori must be something
    just the same

  15. avatar
    harry flowers | 7 May 2006 at 1:50 am #

    Wind in the wires and you don’t know where it’s coming from…

    No matter where it came from, he had this way of capturing it somehow and focusing it through a guitar.

    I am absolutely shattered.

    hf

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 2:23 am #

    Wow…earlier today my girlfriend and I were listening to some of “Horsebreaker Star”, perhaps his masterpiece album. We both have adored him for years, and the Jack Frost records are top, top favorites, unique and unforgettable. ‘Ramble’, from J.F.1, the most exquisitely poignant of songs, to mention but one of many.
    I’ve often wondered how that magical collaboration between you two worked, and eagerly hoped for a third record.
    Thankyou for the moving tribute.

  17. avatar
    mal | 7 May 2006 at 2:36 am #

    So sad. So sorry I missed their tour last year.
    You couch the words of loss so beautifully.

  18. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 7 May 2006 at 2:37 am #

    What a heartbreaking loss. Prayers and condolences to Grant’s family, friends, and fans. I wept as I read your beautiful tribute to Grant. Thank you for that Steve; I’m so sorry for you and the pain you must be feeling now. My favourite song from JF was/is always “Providence.” I can hear some of the words now:

    ‘It was over before we knew it
    Gone from both our minds
    So if you get the inclination
    Just think of me sometime.’

    Grant will not soon be forgotten for he left a legacy of great beauty to the world.

  19. avatar
    si-kli | 7 May 2006 at 2:49 am #

    shit bugger poo. Ride on black mule.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 3:02 am #

    so sad to
    hear this news
    sk
    best thoughts to
    you and
    to grants family
    and friends
    love
    diane

  21. avatar
    Thomas Irvin | 7 May 2006 at 3:24 am #

    I’m also one of those who didn’t pay much attention to the Go-Betweens until Jack Frost, despite having a number of friends who were Go-Betweens fans. Now I’m also a big Grant fan.

    Thanks, Steve, for introducing me to such a great songwriter. And we should all be thankful Grant had the grand idea to get together with you.

  22. avatar
    tofu | 7 May 2006 at 3:29 am #

    never having met Grant in this life, but having been affected by his work — thank you for opening a window on your time with him…

  23. avatar
    dig | 7 May 2006 at 3:38 am #

    I keep going to write something, but can’t find the words.
    I can’t believe it!

    My Love to eveyone
    Dig

  24. avatar
    Brian | 7 May 2006 at 4:08 am #

    I’m lost for words – goodbye Grant. I shook your hand once but wish I’d said more than HelloILikeYourMusic. Humanity is a little bit poorer today. And thanks for telling us your memories of him, Steve, that means a lot to us all.

  25. avatar
    jeanz | 7 May 2006 at 5:31 am #

    Steve

    I thought your tribute to Lennon the other day was beautiful but it pales in comparison to this.
    You knew and worked with Grant , we loved his music.
    Its a very sad day.
    Today I’m gonna play nothing but Go-Betweens and Jack Frost.
    RIP Grant

  26. avatar
    lily | 7 May 2006 at 6:37 am #

    RIP Grant. You will be missed, but your amazing music will live on.

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 7:04 am #

    Words can not express my sadness, Thanks SK for your moving blogg today,
    DR

  28. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 7 May 2006 at 7:09 am #

    I will send my long distance reiki for Grant McLennan, Hon – Sha – Ze – Sho – Nen again and again. I am listening to Jack Frost “even as we speak”…
    mjnjr

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 7:15 am #

    so so sad. Went to read about Richard Carleton on news.com.au and got a horrible nasty added extra piece of bad news (because I don’t actually consider the other bloke a loss.) loved the go b’s almost as long as the church. i met my first boyfriend at a go b’s gig. they were touring spring hill fair. very sad now.

    metal petal

  30. avatar
    public savant | 7 May 2006 at 7:45 am #

    Thanks for introducing me to such a beautiful being SK – both back then with the first Jack Frost album and again today with your lovely post.

    Fuck, what a loss, but wow, what a legacy.

    I agree with Sartre that the only afterlife to be had is in the minds of those you leave behind. This being so, Grant McLennan will have absolute immortality.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 8:33 am #

    I got a text message last night, but like you I hoped it was just a rumour. Unfortunately, Grant is gone and I think the world is a much sadder place for it. His beautiful music and his beautiful soul will live on. Thanks for the words, Steve… they are really comforting.

    And Providence, is still one of my favourite songs.

    Amanda Magnano (afterimage)

  32. avatar
    Malika | 7 May 2006 at 9:02 am #

    Writing this to U Steve,

    While having a very nice slightly & delicately flavoured green tea…
    Listening to the very “poppy “, cool and nice ‘ULTC’
    & some delightful tracks from ‘Offer The Light’…

    And curiously feeling good…
    Thanks to U partly.

    All that at the right time !

    And me working on my drawing papers & canvasses
    And writing some verse again.

    What else can I do to express myself ?

    All that at the same time :

    Listening to the most human, interesting & fascinating band in the world,
    Writing, painting, singing, even dancing sometimes…
    Feeling a little blue too…

    But, how can I do so many things at the same time ?…
    Mmmm…

    Who knows there are always Church songs in my head over here ?…
    I love U ’cause U always make melancholy songs…
    Songs that make me feel less blue…

    Thank U for the well-being U all bring me.

    Love,

    Malika

    —————————–

    A Post Scriptum :

    To Marty too,
    A very happy birthday to U.
    Your new Noctorum album :
    Beautiful, sweet, delightful & moving…
    Congratulations again.

    Love

  33. avatar
    Andrew Macrae | 7 May 2006 at 9:14 am #

    I’m totally shocked at this news. Thanks for sharing the memory. I remember going to the Spring Hill Livid in Brisbane in 1990 and seeing SK and GWM doing solo acoustic sets.

  34. avatar
    ImberbeQuim | 7 May 2006 at 10:10 am #

    I saw the Go-Bees in 1989, THE best gig I ever saw.
    Thank you Grant for your melodies and words.
    Thank you Steve for sharing your thoughts on him.

  35. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 10:11 am #

    Go-betweens, the Triffids…soundtracks to my life for more than twenty years and losing their engines so young. How unfair to all that loved Grant and David.

    Steve, and others as well that also meant so much to me growing up in Sydney (Ron S. Peno included): stay well. AK

  36. avatar
    Galamor the Wizard | 7 May 2006 at 10:17 am #

    That was a very fitting tribute Steve. I don’t know either of you, but your music, both together and apart has been part of the essence of my life. Thanks for putting it again so beautifully.

  37. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 10:34 am #

    terrible news. I got very familiar with GBs and Grant’s work after the first JF album. Never heard of him before that. Really grew to love his work, and very sad to think no new songs from Grant/GB/JF.
    In the last week, in prep for Bp show, at least five people have requested JF Snow Job. This rather surprised me that these people knew about it, much less were anxious to get their hands on it. And just yesterday, after all these requests, I listened to SJob for first time in years. Its so different from first JF, but I feel its equally brilliant. Haze, ACarter, Aviatrix, and such songs….
    Beautiful tribute Steve. Many will miss his enormous gifts and contributions to music/art/life.
    KevinN

  38. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 10:52 am #

    Time to be leaving, run from your reach

    Gonna go dreaming on Orpheus Beach….

    Grant…thank you for all the beautiful words and music you gave us….You will be missed here in copenhagen.

    And thank you Steve for this tribute.

    Peter Fischer

  39. avatar
    carousel | 7 May 2006 at 11:36 am #

    “48 years old” & “died in his sleep”
    was announced on the 10am abc news
    up here in Qld
    a shock & a sad death
    jammed indiscriminately between the everyday atrocities
    and some footballer warbling on about his fitness

    i saw that final jack frost tour at the zoo in brissy
    you and grant were jousting insults across the stage
    and the audience was having a laugh at the glances and gouges
    being slung back and forth between songs
    just a part of the show?
    i’m sure everyone was wondering
    you were being untouchably cool sk
    but grant genuinely seemed to suffer the blows
    and was somewhat apologetic towards the crowd
    before the end of the evening
    the man had grace
    from that distance anyway
    i didn’t know him

    i was fortunate enough to meet him briefly
    a couple times in the early 90’s
    once at a solo gig he did in a small coffee shop
    little edward st. brisbane
    to an audience of about 20-30 people
    where he made everyone feel like friends
    he seemed an incredibly humble and gentle person
    not the slightest bit rock n roll
    and it was grant that ushered me backstage
    at van gogh’s earlobe sk
    after i asked him if he thought it would be ok

    that’s enough insignificant rambling
    if i had something better to say i’d have said it
    it’s another sad day
    like so many others

  40. avatar
    Richard | 7 May 2006 at 12:36 pm #

    Funny you should mention Cattle and Cane and Bye Bye Pride in your tribute.

    Each song has spent hundreds of hours happily bouncing around inside my head – jostling for position with many of yours.

    Fine words. Fine writer.

    Both of you.

  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 12:39 pm #

    Sunday is a traditional day to reach for my collection of clasic Oz soundtracks to my life. The authors are leaving us too soon. The wide open road gets lonlier…
    sunday bloody sunday indeed!

    Pete, Perth WA

  42. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 3:15 pm #

    I used to see GWMcLennan reading the paper by himself at the bar in Ric’s Cafe, Brisbane, quite often. Also saw him walking around the Valley, up Brunswick Street carrying a shoe box, and through McQuirters toward the Brunswick Street railway station just looking around. I met him a couple of times at Ric’s a few years ago. He responded best when you talked about anything other than music, like cricket. Extremely intelligent guy, who knew the history of every poet and writer who ever lived, practically. Liked Marvell. He liked hanging around the blokes at the bar, having a drink. Certainly made me think someone from Brisbane could be as important to art as anyone in the world, which is a difficult concept to grasp if you’ve spent years in Brisbane and felt the full effect of its banality. You were a class act and an inspiration for do-it-yourself greatness, GW. Thanks, Leon.

  43. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 4:27 pm #

    You will be missed grant.

    what shit news.

    theglynnisjohns

  44. avatar
    elduvik | 7 May 2006 at 4:33 pm #

    Terribly sad.

    Andreas
    Genoa/Italy

  45. avatar
    Manda | 7 May 2006 at 4:40 pm #

    How sad, that after 20 years of living outside Australia, my re-introduction is this way. One of those ‘one day I’ll return and it’ll all be the same as when I left’ situations, except it won’t. As my own little tribute I’ll make sure I re-acquaint with G-B and buy and listen to one of Grant’s newer albums.

    However Steve, I left Sydney with a backpack full of the Church albums, then lost touch with the Aussie music scene when I got back to London area. Shall keep reading your blog though, now I’ve discovered it, and remember a wonderful country with wonderful music.
    Mand x UK

  46. avatar
    Centuryhouse | 7 May 2006 at 5:09 pm #

    I was shocked and saddened by the news.

    SK, your blog about Grant was one of the best send-offs a person could be given.

    He will be missed.

    Daniel W.

  47. avatar
    matthew | 7 May 2006 at 5:13 pm #

    ‘what would you do if you turned around and saw me beside you/not in a dream, but in a song?/would you float like a phantom, or would you sing along?’ >>>GW McLennan 2005. I’ll keep singing along thanks. Tragedy, sadness, still reeling from the impact. SK, loved the way you dropped his lines into ‘Invisible’ last year – that was a moment!

  48. avatar
    matthew | 7 May 2006 at 5:29 pm #

    Addendum… as ‘Oceans Apart’ moves on in the headphones, ‘There’s no reason to cry…’ but still I cry.

  49. avatar
    angus | 7 May 2006 at 5:52 pm #

    Dear Steve,

    Thankyou for your comments about Grant McLennan, they are very much appreciated. I would like to say that I think that “Snow Job” is one of my favourite records of all time. On hearing of GM’s death I have just been listening to “Haze” which I think is one of the most sublime pieces that you have ever recorded. I bought “Snow Job” during a hard time in my life, when a close friend had just died, and for me it was always a light and optimistic and hopeful record, despite the obviously difficult circumstances under which you and GM made it.

    So thanks for that and RIP Grant.

    Angus.

  50. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 May 2006 at 6:21 pm #

    even though here it’s a rainy day,
    i’d rather remember him in his bright ray.

  51. avatar
    John Garratt | 7 May 2006 at 6:55 pm #

    Just as I started listening to old Go-Betweens stuff…

  52. avatar
    Buckmoose | 7 May 2006 at 7:14 pm #

    SK —

    Let me join with many others who have posted to thank you for exposing us to GW’s brilliance via Jack Frost, and to express my condolences. It’s never easy to lose good friends.

    I have a wonderful recording of Jack Frost live in Boston Mr. Pucci once sent me that I’ll be spending time with this afternoon.

    BTW, I have not yet posted here nor at Womb (in my Random Pan disguise) regarding my immense satisfaction over ULTC…this is music that, like Grant’s and the G-B’s, has no bottom, no end…I will be listening to this music the rest of my life, constantly discovering new angles to it.

    Blessings and thanks —

  53. avatar
    erik hogstrom | 7 May 2006 at 9:28 pm #

    Thanks for the touching memories. I just sat out back of my house, in the sun, listening to “Bachelor Kisses,” “Streets of Your Town,” “Cattle and Cane” and all those other great songs. Grant McLennan was one of kind.

  54. avatar
    Guy E | 8 May 2006 at 1:06 am #

    This is heartbreaking news. I never met the man, but I’m feeling an incredibly personal sense of loss. The music of The Go-Betweens, collectively and individually, is among my most cherished.

    My wife and I were at the Knitting Factory show that Steve mentions and it’s a wonderful memory; Grant, Robert and Amanda performing an acoustic set in an intimate (and packed) venue. That performance was actually in early November – election night 1988 – and I remember the group offered their condolences to the audience when news arrived that George Bush, Sr. had been declared the victor (little did we know…). I didn’t meet Grant that night, but we were on the sidewalk as Robert was leaving and we wished him well. He gave my wife a goodbye kiss that still raises my blood pressure… grabbing her around the waist, dipping her down and planting a smooch worthy of Rhett Butler.

    I feel privileged to have seen Grant perform so many times in Hoboken and New York. The group never filled large venues here, but they were honorary citizens among the musical cognoscenti. There’s no sturdier collection of songs from the past 25 years than that of The Go-Betweens – as a solo performer, in duet with Robert, as a trio with Amanda or Adele, with a full four or five-piece band, acoustic, plugged-in… the songs and performances were always riveting, always transcendent.

    The tributes on the Go-Betweens board from those who knew him paint a wonderful portrait of the man; a friend that I never had, but from whom I received so much.

    Rest In Peace Grant. My deepest sympathies to your family, your band mates and to all of your friends.

  55. avatar
    Peeboo | 8 May 2006 at 11:58 am #

    ‘Ramble’ from the first Jack Frost album still make me sad. It makes me sadder now.

    We will all miss Grant.

  56. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 8 May 2006 at 4:38 pm #

    Candles will be lit for Grant’s safe journey.
    Thank you for your lovely words, Steve.
    Cee

  57. avatar
    Pagey | 8 May 2006 at 5:51 pm #

    The day I arrived in London in 1990 from India and Australia and all points East on my big globe trot. That day I bought 2 casette tapes. The Go-Betweens (1978-1990), and Steve Kilbey (Earthed)
    and then all I did was carry on…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….sad…………………..with me sometimes……………………………………..push…………………heaven bound

  58. avatar
    Tony | 8 May 2006 at 10:52 pm #

    this is absolutely the saddest news for quite a while. I first saw GM playing with the Go Betweens at the old Tivoli in Sydney in 1983. Its now an amusement arcade I think. We stood in awe of all of them and as a budding guitar player I watched Grant and Robert to see what they were doing – simple stuff but SO elegant. Over the years saw them plenty more times – saddened by their break up but happy to be able to buy GM and RF stuff and hear the boys keeping it going – even bought the AB/LM Cleopatra Wong CD.
    Amazed then to hear that Grant and Robert were playing together in the late 1990’s – saw them at the Paddo Town Hall – RF in white and GM laid back in jeans. RF started the set and then it was GM’s turn.
    Just after the GB’s broke up I started playing songs with my Brissie buddy Ian – and guess what dominated? Go Betweens, Church and Beasts of Bourbon.
    My god – where did it all go. Grant – please come back
    Tony

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