Saturday, May 18, 2013

Daughter of a musician

It's funny how this photo could have been taken just this past weekend. The fashion, the attitudes, the casual festivals, the hair, the cars, the bikes - all of those are on style in various circles. But this, this picture is of the last vestiges of the seventies on the Mid-North Coast of Australia, still hanging in there in the very early years of the eighties.

The one on stage in white? That's my Dad.

I have a few vivid memories of childhood. One of them, time spent on our banana plantation, is told in a guest post over here at I'm Better in Real Life. Others are of the beach and our backyard. But there are also quite a few of being a musician's daughter.

There is band-practice in the sound-proofed-with-egg-cartons room behind the garage.

There is the smell of stale cigarettes and beer-soaked carpet, laying gaffer tape over the cords in pubs during the day-time load-ins.

There is a child begging her father not to pick up the guitar as soon as he walks in the door from work.

There are long afternoons taking turns picking singles from the record boxes.

There are long (and incredibly illegal un-seat-belted) drives squished into the Kombi van in the spaces not full of amps and speakers and guitar cases and cord crates or sleeping on a mattress squashed against the roof.

There are long nights in hill town country halls, running rowdy with packs of kids, watching my brother fall asleep inside a speaker to be closer to my Dad on stage, and ears ringing with rock and roll and blues.

These early years were full of songs, amplified and softly strummed, hummed and trilled loudly in church voices, whispered in a dark bedroom and bawled around a piano. In some ways music was another child in that house - calling for attention and running through every room. In other ways, it was the stitches that held the broader family together - connecting us all when words were sharp and understanding was lacking.


  1. Gosh, that was so evocative! I really felt I was there with you while reading this. I enjoyed reading this story, I bet you have so many more stories to tell!

    Have a good day
    Rachel x

    1. Thanks! I think there's plenty of fodder there for more stories. Just need to find the time to write/blog them.

  2. "There are long (and incredibly illegal un-seat-belted) drives" I loved this.

    we had the most polar opposite childhoods, I think yours seems magical.. stale beer and cigs n' all.

    1. I think most childhoods are painted with a magical brush - either from the distance of time or the rose-coloured glasses a lot of kids wear.

      A polar opposite childhood would be an interesting read too :)


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