The upcoming gigs at Downstairs His Maj in Perth and Django Bar, Sydney have given me a chance to trawl through my back catalogue of songs to find some I always loved but haven’t played for years. The unplugged nature of the intimate gigs suits more delicate songs that got washed away in the tsunami of beer and Marshall amps that marked my big pub gigs.
Lonely Sailor I wrote around 1974 before going to London. Albert Finney fascinated me from the first time I saw him in the scariest film I ever saw as a kid, Night Must Fall. Then as a late teen I discovered British kitchen-sink drama and was electrified. Saturday Night Sunday Morning in particular (book and film) was a huge influence on me as I sought to artistically render boring Australian suburban life like Sillitoe had boring English working class life. And Laurence Harvey, well he was just too cool for school and he and Liz sizzled in Butterfield 8.
With my hair greased back just like any Laurence Harvey
I’m a rock-out from Blackwall reach
But I don’t have any Elizabeth Taylor
And I won’t be the groom to Princess Caroline
No I don’t even have a Saturday night tramp to call mine
I’m a lonely sailor just like any Laurence Harvey
No Lizzy Taylor no eyes like Albert Finney
I’m a rockout from Blackwall reach
10 years behind my time and 20 years ahead
What good will it do me if girls love me when I’m dead