Goodbye, Go-Between
May 8, 2006 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Grant McLennan, of the Australian group The Go-Betweens, has died in his sleep at the age of 48. I just discovered this wonderful band, through the pop masterpiece 16 Lovers Lane. If you haven't discovered them, many mp3 blogs are paying tribute. (Some discussion in this Metatalk thread, but I thought this needed an FPP.)
posted by barjo (23 comments total)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:44 AM on May 8, 2006

posted by ktrey at 9:01 AM on May 8, 2006

posted by minkll at 9:45 AM on May 8, 2006

This is very sad, but he left a lot of really wonderful music to remember him by. Rest in peace, dear sir.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:47 AM on May 8, 2006

Discovered them quite late, but so did most Americans.

posted by bardic at 9:52 AM on May 8, 2006

posted by LinnTate at 9:59 AM on May 8, 2006

This is awful - The Go-Betweens were great and had gotten back together and were still putting out great music!!

He did leave a lot of songs and a great legacy with the GBs and solo.

48 - I am forty eight. Way too young to die.



posted by donkelly at 10:06 AM on May 8, 2006

Love all his music like an old friend. This truly sucks. I heard yesterday and had a hard time finishing out the day at work. RIP, Grant.

posted by ktoad at 10:20 AM on May 8, 2006

The Go Betweens, and Grant McLennan are truly fabulous. I loved "16 Lovers Lane" when it came out and I still love it now. RIP Grant.
posted by zog at 10:40 AM on May 8, 2006

Great find. I just downloaded some from iTunes. Sad.
posted by docpops at 10:50 AM on May 8, 2006

posted by parki at 10:55 AM on May 8, 2006

This is the proverbial kick in the gut.

The Go-Betweens were a huge part of my formative years. Spring Hill Fair is one of the most compassionate and beautiful records I own (whenever I hear Bachelor Kisses I'm instantly transported to a very specific time and place) including Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, Before Hollywood and Tallulah. I finally got to see them play live (at Maxwell's Hoboken and at The Fez club) in 1999 or 2000 when they reformed and have a record company poster I took from the Fez show still proudly hanging in my living room. While all their records weren't perfect there was alway at least one or two songs penned by McLennan that broke your heart in the best way (Right Here, The House that Jack Kerouac Built, The Clarke Sisters, Streets of Your town, Cattle and Cane, Man O Sand to Girl O Sea). He was an uncompromisingly intelligent man with high standards for what a song could and should do (i.e., change your life). The band has never for a second bought into the bullshit music industry crap but nevertheless they were able to get their music out there and that's something that deserves some real props. Grant and the Go Betweens were to me the epitomy of the brillant obscure gem of a band.

Here's a funny and illuminating interview with Nick Cave.

Grant, rest in piece brother, your songs live on.

posted by Skygazer at 10:58 AM on May 8, 2006

This absolutely broke my heart when I heard the news this morning.

I saw The Go-Betweens do "their Everly Brothers routine" as Robert Forster called it (Bob and Grant solo acoustic) at the 400 Bar In Minneapolis very shortly after their reunion in '99. To this day I consider it one of the best shows I've ever seen, if not the best. What struck me, in addition to the duo's very apparent friendship and effortless musicality, was how remarkably earnest and unpretentious McLennan was. After an enthusiastic reception from the crowd, he seemed actually humbled. I will never forget him saying, as if America was finally getting their stuff after all those years, "Thank you for listening to our music."

For my money, In Your Bright Ray is really his solo record of choice. It positively glows.
posted by scatman at 12:17 PM on May 8, 2006

shocking. he seemed perfectly healthy during last year's tour. what a fine musician.
posted by jann at 2:12 PM on May 8, 2006

He will be missed. Saw them in Glasgow last year (a year ago to the week) and thought they were immense.

One of the few bands whose later stuff stands up to comparison with their first few albums.

Oceans Apart (their most recent album) is fantastic.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:21 PM on May 8, 2006

RIP. Go-Betweens are one of the best, unfairly underrated bands out there.
posted by pantufla at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2006

Steve Kilbey of The Church, who worked with McLennan in Jack Frost, has a blog. He's pretty cut up, and reminisces about Grant in his three latest posts. His poetic, lowercase, memories of their difficult collaboration are sad and moving and beautiful.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:49 PM on May 8, 2006

posted by pompomtom at 5:50 PM on May 8, 2006

posted by LinusMines at 9:07 PM on May 8, 2006

The Go Betweens were part of the soundtrack to "my eighties". Criminally underated. I always seemed to prefer Grant's songs to Robert's so this is especially sad to me.
posted by SpacemanRed at 2:21 AM on May 9, 2006

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:27 PM on May 9, 2006


Sad, but somehow fitting way for him to go.
There was a three month period a while ago when I fell asleep every evening to the sounds of "Friends of Rachel Worth". Something about that album always made me think of a stranger going gently into the good night.
posted by stagewhisper at 6:06 PM on May 9, 2006


The very best.
posted by Cobbler at 3:27 PM on May 10, 2006

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