posted on May 17, 2008 at 9:14 pm

be obsessed
that focus and determination may be good for you
i was obsessed by pop music
i was obsessed by the hair by the guitars by the personalities
i was obsessed by the record sleeves by the producers by the money
i wanted in
i wanted in
i wanted in!!
at first when you want in
you cant always see youre own way in
you wanna go his way or her way
you see a picasso in a museum
oh i wanna be a cubist you think
you hear the ramones
ok now i wanna be a punk rocker
you read dylan thomas
hmmm now im gonna write in fiddly archaic detail…
this is ok
this is perfectly normal
we are idolising creatures
i love to find people to idolize , dont you
yeah you know bolan was the first
when i completely fell under someones spell
you give yourself up to some artist
whose work fills you with such bliss
bolans records were like drugs
everytime you had em you got high…
the bedroom door closed
the needle would hit that groove
“we are the children of rarn…”
slim lays down on his narrow single bed
its lyneham 1970 but this boy is in some arcadian haven
while i was blissed out and dancing with the nymphs n fauns
another part of me
the sk computer was in overdrive
in my brain a team of scientists was slowly deconstructing t rex
trying to find out why this stuff was so effective
how could we use bolans mojo for our own purposes
like capturing an enemy aircraft
it was taken apart bit by bit
strangely enough
such is the magic of certain great artists
even when you think you can “see” how its done
it doesnt lessen the thrills….
eventually came bowie and kid strange and bill nelson
john foxx and all the others
all different aspects of who i was aspiring to
pop music aspirations are funny things
you trying to get it right on many levels
you gotta look right
you gotta sound right
you gotta say the right things
you gotta choose the right people
you gotta have thick skin
you gotta be cold too
you gotta be harder than you could ever imagine
of course i didnt know any of that
was it my sheer ego arrogance and laziness motivating me
after all i didnt have much fucking chop being anything else
unable to concentrate
physically unexceptional
no people skills
no motivation
no real interests outside music
sullen foppish and poncy
i was a perfect candidate
after all show biz was where they accepted my type
but i drove other musicians up the wall too
i formed bands
did dismal gigs
wrote rotten songs that sounded like the sweet on bad acid
i flounced about in silly clothes dyed my hair etc
looking for myself in there somewhere
my obsession was a raft i clung to
through all those times lifting amps up stairs
hefting drums and p.a.s into vans
paying off loans to the bank for equipment
playing to people who ignored me
going deaf and hoarse
narrowly avoiding electrocution
long drives to places where they hated us
my obsession was a little fire warming my heart
it wouldnt couldnt let me quit
i was like a fisherman with his line in the sea
for 10 years without even a bite
but still i couldnt pack it in n go home
i had no home
rock was my home
my house were the words n chords of my heroes
my creed was the latest reviews in the nme
my garb was the tight pants and high boots of the rocker
my hair was dark n long
my face was starting to look ok
i could play and sing but no one understood that i was any good
i went to england in 1978 and stayed with numerous rellies
i sent copies of my latest meisterworks to every frickin’ label
and got a rejection from everyone
i was sure the english was gonna understand but they didnt
i was constantly faced with the thought that maybe i was rotten
maybe i was having myself on…..
for some reason tho’ that thought couldnt take hold
i refused to believe i was useless
even tho’ it was looking grim out there
i just kept on writing
i kept on writing and i started to improve my presentation
i had thought that such was my genius
people wouldnt mind me singing out of tune
or that the guitars were scrappy or whatever
my demos were like a chinese torture garden
no one coulda listened through the crud to hear the good stuff
in fact eventually i was operating in isolation
my last band baby grande
had kicked me out
and tried to sue me
and make me pay off a p.a. they were intending to keep
i was the singer n songwriter n they kicked me out
my songs were useless
my singing was useless
no gigs
we had signed a deal with emi
but they dropped us after one days recording
thats where i first met ed kuepper but he wouldnt remember
he was doing the saints up at emi at the same time
we had the same producer
any way
no one in the whole world liked what i did
my girlfriend a the time wasnt even interested
only my brother russell understood
and he was 14 or 15….
i was working in a vacuum
still i believed in myself
still i made music for myself
hundreds and hundreds of songs
i loved em n i left em
some lovely songs still in there
forever maybe to be undiscovered
but baybee
although i did not know it us such
i persevered
i was resilient
my belief in myself at a cellular level
the future whispered to me
its coming its coming
i continued to write
if you continue you usually improve
people get put off when theres no progress
i did too
but i still fucking kept on n on on
just for myself
because a real artist cant just stop
i never stopped
i wrote lyrics all day at my “job”
i read the music rags religiously
every last chart and advertisement
i memorised whole chunks of writings which
i regurgitated at appropriate moments
which impressed absolutely no one
but i kept on believing
never under estimate luck
in the end i got lucky
it coulda turned out
i was still sitting in a bedroom somewhere
no one ever hearing the songs i write
no one ever reading my words or seeing my art
i was lucky that circumstances finally came together for me
you can help your luck along of course
things got better for me when i moved to sydney
i didnt have ONE friend in canberra
but in sydney i started to meet all the freaks i needed
i’d meet people at the markets
theyd come round n i played em my stuff
my abstract model
insect world
chrome injury
like a ghost
it was late 79
for the first time
i had cats saying
hey man this is rough but its good!
remember what i said about not showing your stuff
to people who dont understand the genre…
if you make death metal dont play it to yer aunty flo
if you do avant garde poems dont read em to the post man
you gotta find an appropriate audience or get yer heart broken
so eventually
a combination of luck n perseverance paid off
of course its easy to look back on it now
and see it as such
at the time i was just so hot headed over music
then as the church started to take off
i had a magical transformation
i got skinnier and paler
my hair got longer and darker
i adopted the second hand shop psychedelia look
it was just a stab in the dark
but it had resonance
my group looked like a group
everyone could play
and when ploog arrived the puzzle was complete
nick ward had been shooting us in the foot the whole time
he had demoralized n destabilized us from the inside
plus he was a lousy drummer
he fucking carped on at me n marty all the time
when he was gone we were allowed to become ourselves
so note that well
jettison callously any ninny holding you back
i used to get kicked outta bands the whole time
and i will sack any slacker who thinks hes gonna ruin it for me
of course marty n peter n i argued all the time
but we didnt demoralize each other like nicky the murray ward did
choose your cohorts well
and then we all believed
the 4 of us
we believed vehemently and unquestioningly
we persevered thru thick n thin
we still do
just keep on going
manufacture luck as best you can
ie big cities n interesting friends
vacuums are hard places to work from
but if thats all you got
embrace that void
my isolation in canberra
(from any other groovy likeminded people)
helped me grow and get it together
a more distracting city could have distracted me
see? i turned the bad luck into good luck
go with the accidents
go with the flow
what have you got to lose
and when ya get there
to those lofty hallowed heights
tell em kilbo sent ya!
and then hit me with yer biggest cheque
and give praise to the gods of art n music
n send me another cheque
keep on keeping on!

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