These are tunes I’ve written over the years that strongly evoke the years I lived at the cottage in the 1970s. No real spoilers here, apart from the reference to the trip to Cairns (Queensland) and living in New Zealand, which I did twice in 1976 (three months) and 1977-78 (ten months). I was learning to play guitar while at the cottage and it’s probably a good thing that none of my musical ‘doodlings’ of around that time have survived. Well, one has, but it’s more of a pattern pick exercise than a full blown tune. I’ve loaded it up here at the end in a very rough fashion, pretty much as I would have played it way back then, i.e. badly! 😀
Rain In The Key Of A. A bit of self-pity never hurt anyone, did it? A number of different events here, but misadventures in love, leaky roofs and cats at the cottage are the main inspiration. I wrote this many years later when I was living in a place with electricity hence the ‘two bar’ heater but this song more than any other brings the cottage home for me.
Plupushka’s Big Day Out. (e.g. Chapter 11 The Menagerie). A joyful instrumental about ragging around with the dogs and cats at the cottage; wide open paddocks, summer sunshine, and bemused cows, cackling cockatoos and kookaburras watching on. Plupushka or Plupish was the matriarch of the whole gang. When the puppies and kittens came along life could get hectic indeed – but it sure was fun.
Driftwood. Broulee. A cruisey, beachy thing that evokes the lazy, fun days I spent with the Cotts at their coastal weekender at Broulee.
Rainy Afternoon At The Lion (Chapters 40 and 41 – living in New Zealand). A short, mellow instrumental about rain, a good pub, a few good friends, and good times. Reminds me most of cruisey afternoons in Wellington, NZ.
Song For Adrian. (Living with Adrian and his father (Granville) in Wellington, New Zealand.). When I was with Ade in NZ we got into a lot of deep and meaningful stuff, as you do. I wrote this song for Ade during a period when we were both questioning ourselves, life, all that stuff. When I played it for him, Ade said, “I don’t get it”. Lesley, his partner, said, “I do.”
I Wish. Wasn’t all beer and skittles. At times I struggled more than others to communicate with and understand other people and how relationships work. Easy to dig a rather dark place for yourself when you go there. This was one of those times.
Give It All Away. (Hitching in general and the journey to Cairns). An amalgam of various experiences hitching around when I was a ‘hippie’. Some specific references to the trip I went on to Cairns (‘Gordon Vale’) and the return journey.
Issy’s Tune. Crisp evening walks, cats chasing rats, running with the dogs, hanging with the cows, laughing with the Cotts… just a city boy loving the country. (Isabella was one of the three original cottage cats.)
Road. I wrote this years after leaving the cottage as a homage to both the place and the life-long friends I made (and some lost) while I was living there.
Broulee Blues. The first ‘tune’ I wrote. Rough little picking pattern thing I cobbled together in the early days of living at the cottage. I’m sure it plagiarises at least four other tunes I can think of. I called it ‘Broulee Blues’ simply because that’s what I thought of when one of the Cott girls asked me what it was one time when I was staying with them at Broulee.
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