dive for your memory
sned me a lullaby

his father's watch, he left it in the shower

that's her handwriting, that's the way she writes

spring hill fair

she was in the Omen with Gregory Peck.  She got killed, but what the heck

sometimes i think i need two heads

how i miss your quiet, quiet heart
I used to listen to the Go-Betweens a lot. I listen to the Go-Betweens a lot now. I used to pay some Go-Betweens songs all the time, now I play other Go-Betweens songs all the time.

I've deeply personal memories of many groups, but I never listen to those groups and I don't want to remember many things. I do have vivid memories of the Go-Betweens, and I'd like to share a few, if you will excuse me.

  1. The 1982 World Cup: was that the one where the sheikh in the crowd stood up and his national team trooped off in protest at something or nothing? I should have been putting final touches to my revision, but all I can remember is watching football and listening to the Go-Betweens 'Send Me A Lullaby' and The Blue Orchids 'Greatest Hit'.

  2. That was a small thing, I know, but it stayed with me, as did many a Go-Betweens line. "His father's watch, he left it in the shower." And, of course. "That's her handwriting, that's the way she writes."

  3. 1983, at the Venue, Victoria, squeezed in between Felt and the Smiths and certainly stealing the show. The debut of Robert Vickers, adding an angelic mod presence to a set of songs that would become 'Spring Hill Fair'. Do I still have a tape of that night? Probably not, and I don't need it. It's not easy to forget just how substantial their sound was then, and how barbed the guitars were on that occasion.

  4. You've got to agree that it's hard to separate the Go-Betweens from the romantic glamour of Postcard legend. There was a time when I knew Alan Horne's text in the Postcard brochure off by heart, particularly the story of how he hooked the Go-Betweens, later verified by Grant and Robert on a tape 'zine. How Horne was in London to drop off copies of the Orange Juice debut at the Rough Trade shop, and saw a copy of the Go-Betweens 'Lee Remick' on the wall, next to 'Ambition' by Subway Sect (or was it above it?), remembered hearing Peel play it (so do I), asked for a copy and was informed that they were in town, arranged to meet up at the legendary Northern Soul Subway Sect shows supporting Siouxsie, missed one another and eventually linked up in Glasgow in time for the Funky Glasgow Now! shows. One thing can hold us, one thing can break us.

  5. Some stories about their time in London. Poverty and drugs in Kings Cross, a bad time for lots of people, as told in the Jasmine Minks' 'Somers Town' and 'Ghost of a Young Man', when there were lots of exiled kings in mirrors. Robert and Lindy, upstairs and downstairs, huge arguments and madly making up.

  6. Another triumphant London Show at the Clarendon, and someone gave a copy of my fanzine to one of the group. I was too starstruck to say anything, but I always wonder if they read it.

  7. A final triumphant London show at New Merlins Cave, Kings Cross, a fond farewell arranged by Adam from the Jasmine Minks with all the proceeds paying for their air fares. The power being turned off past closing time but an acoustic 'Cattle and Cane' carried on, carried along on a wave of emotion.

  8. Robert's hair care tips, as featured in Dave Haslam's 'Debris'. It's important to care, Robert wrote. Enough to change your life, or at least your shampoo and comb. Like on of Richard Brautigan's books where a character always puts pepper on his tomatoes, and I have done so since reading that.

  9. At an AIDS benefit at the Town and Country Club, with some dear friends from Birmingham, just after seeing The Claim for the first time, and I can't remember anything about the Go-Betweens set except the violin and Robert's dancing. I wasn't loyal to the Go-Betweens around that time, but I'm sure I had some reason for it: some deep, dark suspicion of polished surfaces and other things on my mind. I do remember Hurrah! playing 'If Love Could Kill' with vivid poignancy and I remember what I wore.

  10. Their tension and their tenderness. Yesterday, as all week, listening to '16 Lovers Lane' on my walkman, on a busy (but not too!) commuter train wondering what my fellow travellers are listening to, reading, passing Blackheath where still the graffiti says "I feel like Alan Minter", though I never have nudged my neighbour and said "Go on then, what Fall song does that come from?" However, I sit at my desk and sing: "I tried to tell you, I can only say it when we're apart. About this storm inside of me and how I miss your quiet, quiet heart."

Kevin Pearce. July 1997.