Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Forster on McLennan

Robert Forster, former Go-Between, has a new job as Music Critic for Australian magazine, The Monthly. He’s won awards for his journalism too which will come as no surprise to those who were regularly moved and inspired by his articulate and thoughtful lyrics. His tribute to songwriting partner and band-mate Grant McLennan (who died in May) is a beautiful piece and an emotional read for anyone who holds The Go-Betweens close to their heart. It is sad to discover that the pair were working on new material and that, according to the author, any new album would have been ‘something special’ so the band’s legacy of too many life-affirming songs to count will have to suffice. The biographical details of how the pair met, how their early interests in film and music fostered their friendship, how the group was formed and went through numerous peaks and troughs of fortune are all covered intelligently and with honesty. The account of their last meeting is full of the most poignant detail. I have encountered few finer tributes from friend to friend; I feel I know so much more about the great man that was Grant McLennan having read Forster’s piece and this is simultaneously both uplifting and terribly, terribly heart-rending.

The picture above has to be recent. Forster favours the dark suit; McLennan looks as sharp as a razor in his shirt. What a pair. What a pair.

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