Grant and I
The Go-Betweens, one of Australia's most talented and influential bands, very nearly wasn't. Grant McLennan didn't want to be in a group, and couldn't even play an instrument. That didn't stop the singer-songwriter duo of Forster/McLennan becoming one of the most acclaimed partnerships in Australian music history.
Just as The Go-Betweens always defied categorisation, Grant & Iis like no other rock memoir. At its heart is a privileged insight into a prolific artistic collaboration that lasted three decades, and an extraordinary friendship that rode out the band's break-up to remain strong until Grant's premature death in 2006.
Unconventional in lineup and look, noted for near misses and near hits, always a beat to one side of the mainstream - the band's unusual beginnings were followed by twists that often confounded its members as well as fans and record companies. The story of The Go-Betweens is also the story of the times, and Grant & Iis a wonderfully perceptive look at the music industry and a brilliantly fresh take on the sounds of the era.
As distinctive a writer of prose as he is of songs, Robert Forster is wise and witty, intimate and frank, astute and knowledgeable. There could be no better tribute than Grant & Ito this partnership and band who remain loved and revered.
'The truest and strangest poet of his generation.' Nick Cave
'An odyssey of friendship, ambition and the struggle of art. Clear-eyed and compelling.' Paul Kelly
'Grant & I is a beautifully written book . . . You long to hear McLennan's voice, to view the band, and Forster, through his eyes. There is still, even after McLennan's death, a sense of potential about this relationship.' Los Angeles Review of Books.
'Right up there with Julian Cope's Head Onfor rip-roaring rockin' hubris . . . (A) brilliant page-turner . . . Few rock artists have been remembered as perceptively and unflinchingly (as Grant) yet also lovingly in prose.' Andrew Perry, Mojo(5 stars)
'Forster's account is melancholic, cheery, and self-deprecating all at once. It is often unruly and mischievous as well. Rather than presenting a stock-standard Australian success story, Grant & Ioffers up the tangled lives of two kindred spirits who decided to make music together.' Doug Wallen, Australian Book Review
'As a survey of a sui generis carrer, as a glimpse into the formation and working methods of a superlative songwriter, and as an ultimately poignant chronicle of a friendship, Grant & Iweaves a memorable story with wit, art and heart.' Readings Monthly
'The main focus is as admirable as it is surprising. Forster's topic is rarely himself or McLennan. Instead, it's the stuff of which their days were made, the music of The Go-Betweens .