Grant & I
Robert Forster OMNIBUS. £16.99
Lanky Go-Between’s memoir in honour of late co-conspirator Grant McLennan.
Ever the critic’s band deprived of the hits they deserved, Brisbane post-punkers The Go-Betweens housed two extraordinary singersongwriters in Forster and McLennan, whose fabulously contrasting gifts made for ‘the most underrated group ever’. Literary to their own detriment, they here get their just deserts in book form, as flamboyant Forster, not at all diffident towards their youthful follies, often hilariously re-engages with their shared self-mythology, and delusions of Dylan/ outsider-movie majesty. Right up there with Julian Cope’s Head On for rip-roaring rockin’ hubris, then, yet this brilliant page-turner carries a bitter foreboding of McLennan’s passing in 2006 – a shadow which inexorably lengthens across later chapters, as Forster’s depressive partner succumbs to alcoholism and, suddenly, a heart attack, aged just 48. The sadness in the final pages lingers long in the memory. Few rock artists have been remembered as perceptively and unflinchingly yet also lovingly in prose.