CORRECT WEIGHT #2

END OF THE DECADE

 

It’s one minute to midnight

The shutters fracture the light

She sleeps while he gazes on changing times

All he gave her was his emptiness

Flowed into her from his penis

Pain of years with each sweet caress

So now he stands behind the

Blind embarrassed by his nakedness

 

There’s no more search for truth

The truth is we only want a little comfort

While some profess the opposite

In their sleep they grab for a blanket

 

It is the end of the decade

Let’s see what progress we’ve made

 

Tonight pool parties shimmer

Sparking memories years have dimmed

I stood in the shadows and

I watched while she kissed him

Now from my darkened vantage

Point ‘I see the decade’s cleavage

It’s not quite rude and

Not titillating

All it is is so frustrating

 

It is the end of the decade

Let’s see what progress we’ve made

 

Pursuing concept chasing swirl

Impeachment mad embracing

Nixon cut to Ford replacing

John Wayne weakens

Weekend chasing

Girls like Trudy

Satin thighs that grip

He sensed it in her sighs

The thing that he feels behind the curtain

How long they shut out the certain?

And is there some relation

Sticky thighs to God’s creation?

Have we taken what we’ve paid for?

Must we pay for what we’ve taken?

 

It is the end of the decade

Let’s see what progress we’ve made

 

It’s five minutes to midnight

The car horns fracture the insight

I held it for a minute but it hurt

So I let it slip

 

All I gave her was my emptiness

Flowed into her from my penis

Pain of years until each sweet caress

So now I stand behind the blind

Embarrassed by my nakedness

 

There’s no more search for truth

The truth is we only want a little comfort

While some profess the opposite

In their sleep they grab for a blanket

 

It is the end of the decade

Let’s see what progress we’ve made.

 

I wrote this song to mark the end of the seventies and look back over that decade. It would be wrong, as with most of my stuff to assume it is autobiographical but there’s plenty of me in it.  I recorded it but it didn’t make it onto the album and I don’t remember why, think it was a bit underdone. Somewhere there’s a recorded version kicking around. I recall playing this at Gil Fraser Reserve North Fremantle as the clock struck midnight to end the 70s. We staged a concert with a number of bands, the original Roadband I seem to recall among them.  We drew a big crowd but half of them got in by jumping the fence so made no money. Somebody used Dave Zampatti’s car as a trampoline and the old gold Commodore was dented forever after. What does the song speak of? Regret? Shame? Honesty? Missed opportunity I think. Anyway, reading the lyrics back, I have to say I like End of the Decade a lot. I think I’ll have to re-record it.

 

 

 

 

 

WIMBLEDON

 

I’ve packed my bags and I’ve sold the amp

I’m moving out of rock

I’ve got the makings of a tennis champ

And so I’m bound for Wimbledon

All this decay is stifling me

Too much drugs and booze

And so I’m bound for Wimbledon

Where I cannot lose

The backhand volley and the forehand smash

The lovely ladies and the prize in cash

Rock is dying but I’m going to live

It’s not taking me down with it

The basic thing that appeals to me

The racquet doesn’t lie

Unlike this racket called an industry

Cause it makes stars like Wimbledon

But half the stars are charlatans

Most of the rest are dead

And so I’m bound for Wimbledon

To grace the net in – stead

Bjorn Borg and Vitas Gerulaitis

Don’t come down with serum hepatitis

And if in health I’ll win cause I’m Australian

And we do well at Wimbledon

I’ll have to practice every day and night

No time for writing songs

The only singles that I want to make

Is centre court, Wimbledon

The backhand volley and the forehand smash

The lovely ladies and the prize in cash

Rock is dying but I’m going to live

It’s not taking me down with it

Bjorn Borg and Vitas Gerulaitis

Don’t come down with serum hepatitis

And if in health I’ll win cause I’m Australian

And we do well at Wimbledon

 

I can’t tell you how many people have me told their favourite lyric of mine if not of anybody’s is rhyming Gerulaitis with hepatitis so thank you, it’s nice to bring a smile to people’s lips.  I really like this song which is couched as a “new wave” pop song but is really about the corruption (then probably more so now) of the rock “industry.” It clearly speaks of frustration at not getting more airplay, more fame, more money, at there not being an objective standard by which popular music could be judged in the way tennis was. At the time I was very into tennis and still think it reached its pinnacle in Borg, McEnroe et al.

Around this time I was constantly sick from the cigarette smoke in the gigs, sore throats from touring etc – so I was over it all, the touring, the smelly rehearsal studios, band in-fighting. The actual recording on the Correct Weight album, disappointed me. It wasn’t the fault of the producers or musicians but I just hadn’t got the sound in my head out as I wanted to hear it.  Had I played it live fifty or sixty times before going to the studio I would have wound up with the arrangement I now use and that I hope to record in the near future. We’ll be doing this at the live gigs 2013 so you’ll see what I mean, it gives the song the rolling dynamics I felt in my gut when I sat down at the keyboard and wrote it.   What is funny is that despite the 30 odd years that has passed the relevance remains. Despite Bob Dylan labelling me as his favourite Australian songwriter, or the Runways covering “Suburban Girl” none of my songs made it onto a recent list of the top 50 songs by WA artists. On top of the slap in the face that ensued from my omission in Something in the Water, it proves Pop History is created and maintained by fuckwits. Frank Zappa once said rock journalism is for people who can’t read by people who can’t write. Bless him.

 

 

 

SPOOKS IN THE DARK

 

I’m watch watching stop hopping

Running up the street my car has stalled

Pushing past the geriatrics gotta make it

To my house before night falls

Last week I locked my key inside

I had to spend the night a sleeping in the park

I awoke when someone spoke

They’re out to get me

They’re the spooks in the dark

 

It started when I charted

All the critics said I was a different man

At number 10 my girlfriend slept with other men

And left me on my own again

I been fretting I been sweating

I had dreams I been taken by a shark

And there’s just no escaping from a raping

By these spooks in the dark

 

I wish there was some way

I could get away

But they win if I leave

And drive me nuts if I decide to stay

God help me

 

I had a bright idea to make these spooks disappear

In a moment when my head was clear

I knew it would work I knew I would smile again

 

I had an operation

Attenuation to my hearing

It stopped the spook sensation

But now I cannot wear an earring

And my fans loved the new record

Though I’m sure I’m heading for a fall

‘Cause the other night I woke in fright

I swear I saw a shadow on the wall

 

Well I had to fix it quick

So I got the doc to cauterize my eyes

It gave me some relief from the belief

I was the one they all despised

Well I’ve given up my hearing

And now I’ve gone and given up my sight

But there’s still no escaping from a raping

By these spooks in the night.

 

This is one of my favourite songs on Correct Weight.  Pretty obviously it’s about paranoia. At the time I wrote it the band was at the height of popularity, but I sensed my demise was imminent. In those days if you were what is now called “alternate” or outspoken, and I was both, your original followers could ditch you very quickly at the first smell of commercial success. That was okay if you made the transition to full radio airplay because you picked up a host of new fans. Unfortunately I didn’t. Prescient or self-fulfilling prophecy? What I also like about this is the metaphor of the songwriter who destroys his senses one by one but still feels no relief from the “spooks”. As a writer you don’t have a choice, however uncool, you have to say what you feel and if you stop doing that you’re dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOEY BLACK

 

My name is Joey Black

I grew up by the dock

Never had good school reports

Fighting was my only sport

 

But lately times have changed

Everything’s been rearranged

Now I find I don’t belong

On the streets that I once roamed

These streets aren’t  safe for violence any more

All the trendies do’s restore restore restore

And that’s a boor

 

They ride their bicycles

Where we raced our cars

They take the billiard rooms

And turn them into flash wine bars

They talk about equality

But the chicks don’t talk to me

I tell you that these streets

Aren’t what they used to be

These streets aren’t safe for violence any more

They stink of lawyers’ dope

That’s hidden in the floor

These streets aren’t safe for violence any more

 

All I ever wanted was to own the family house

But I can’t afford it

So I’m moving further out

They’ll take their photographs and write their poetry

About the emptiness of the new life that I lead

They’ll try to keep me out by changing all the rules

They’ll drink their funny tea

Say money is for fools

Well I tell you I want all the money I can get

‘Cause that’s the only way

A guy like me can get ahead

And when I’m rich enough I’ll bring back all my friends

And these streets will ring

To violence once again.

 

 

Joey Black has been a perennial live favourite. Hard-core pumping riffs, true Aussie punk.  The sentiment is worn on its sleeve, the gentrification of places like Port Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Fremantle, the hypocrisy of the new residents, their lack of understanding of the heart of the working class and those they claim to embrace, the easy condemnation of the pursuit of wealth by those born with it. Lyrically some of my favourite stuff ever. “These streets aren’t safe for violence any more They stink of lawyers’ dope that’s hidden in the floor.”  That sums up the song.

 

1 Comment on CORRECT WEIGHT #2

  1. dave in relation to “as with most of my stuff to assume it is autobiographical but there’s plenty of me in it”. it was Rimbaud whom stated “i is someone else’ so that was an out for every song writer, author et al from the moment one becomes aware of it.
    The general Fritze of the ’70’s too, is a completely different person now, few more oak leaves & bars on the badge but the man is changed, as would be everyone from those times, thanks for the insights though, & the tip to zappa cannot be overstated.

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