Behind The Music
Behind "Run My Life"
The first time I recorded this song was at home in 2009, this version you can hear below is quite different from the one on the album now. It was five tracks on a multi-track digital recording device. Firstly, I recorded the drums, then added the bass guitar track, followed by rhythm guitar, lead guitar on my Fender Stratocaster, and finally, the vocals.
I was keen to produce a strong, rocking song that would help me connect and better assist a small class of Aboriginal boys with special needs, when I was their music teacher.
These boys were struggling with a range of learning difficulties and behaviour management issues. They had largely grown up without developing adequately set behavioural boundaries, yet paradoxically, would rail against those who attempted to rein them in and provide those boundaries for them. They often looked forward to music lessons, yet lacked the self-control required to appropriately handle musical instruments, so often felt wrongly treated, when I restricted their access to them. In this context, Run My Life, was created to be a song about issues they could strongly relate to, and show my empathy for their situation. We could listen to it in class, and discuss not only the music, but also, these issues and how they may be resolved successfully.
Developing self-control was the objective here. But how can you discipline yourself, when you have not received adequate discipline by those you respect in the village? This musical strategy was moderately successful. As a class we managed to take greater responsibility for our behaviour in music lessons, and understanding why there were restrictions as a direct consequence of poor behaviour. The discussions happened and some issues were resolved. We gained enjoyment from playing percussion instruments and singing along with this song. I hope I helped give those boys some self-control that they continue to use.
The second time I recorded this song was in March 2018, at Josephson Records Studio, Yeronga, Brisbane, as part of my first album, Nurtured in the Wild. Once again, I played my Fender Stratocaster for this one song. However, this time, like all songs on the album, it was a simultaneous, solo performance recording, keeping the beat on Stomp, modifying the use of guitar and adding harmonica. It's interesting to see how this song has evolved to take its place in the solo context of this album.
I have always loved to travel. Along the way, I have found many places that I considered to be very special. These were often wilderness locations, that gave me a sense of peacefulness, being at one with nature. These places have influenced me, giving rise to songs like “Peacefulness”.
Carnarvon Gorge in western Queensland is such a place. The photos in “Nurtured in the Wild”, were taken by my brother Rick on our first visit there, in 1975, when I was 18.
Writing for the Team
Behind "All for the Rum"
“All for rum”, was written for and about my Over 35 Rugby team, the Bundaberg Rum Ruckers. It’s good to do what you can for your team, so being a singer-songwriter, this would be my contribution. I made sure that it reflected our ‘fun, friendship and fraternity’ ethos, and included unique elements of Rum Rucker culture such as ‘Rugby is Love’, the ‘God Box’, ‘Finely Tuned Athletes’ (FTA), and ‘The Foot’. When I emailed the mp3 to my team, they either wanted a greater contribution or loved it so much, that they made me club president.
It's All Part Of My Story
Behind "Baby Left Me Blues"
After playing around with harmonica in my youth, I came up with one particularly tricky little tune that gave me great joy and connection with the instrument. Years later when I played it for my eldest son, Mathew, he suggested I take it further, to create a song. So, I morphed it into a modified blues song, borrowing the story behind the lyrics of “Red House”, from my childhood musical hero, Jimi Hendrix. Consequently, “Baby Left Me Blues”, was created to build on that early creation, reference Jimi and come up with a song for all the harmonica, guitar playing, singer songwriters.