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The Go-Betweens Paperback – February 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Verse Chorus Press; 2 Rev Upd edition (February 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891241168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891241161
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Nichols is a historian. He lives in Melbourne.

More About the Author

David Nichols has worked as a magazine editor and journalist in Sydney and Melbourne. His writing appeared for a considerable period in the well-regarded magazine Puncture. The Go-Betweens was his first book, published in 1997 by Allen and Unwin Australia and then reissued in an updated form by Verse Chorus Press in 2003. He has also published a history of the Kingsford Legal Centre, From Roundabout to Roundhouse and has co-edited Deeper Leads, a collection on Victorian goldfields history, with Keir Reeves. He is co-editor, with Hannah Lewi, of Community: Building Modern Australia (UNSW Press, 2010) and is the author of an as-yet-untitled history of Australian popular music since 1960, to be published by Verse Chorus Press in 2012. He is a contributor to 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and the Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture. He is lecturer in urban planning in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. He is married with four pets.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Travis Dubya McGee Bickle on March 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Reading their background, it's easy to see why those GoBs boys turned out the way they did...becoming artists was really the only route for them. Their saga as a band, as has been noted before (particularly with the comparisons of 16 Lovers Lane to Rumours) is much like that of Fleetwood Mac's, given that virtually everybody in the band slept with everybody else. The only difference is the GoBs saga is interesting...

How did they ever, given their artsy, elitist and androgynous ways, avoid a pummelin' at the hands of some of those brutish, thuggy, beer soaked hooligan types you know all those towns in Australia had to be crawling with? Bully for them that they did.

Kudos to the author, for his erudite scholarship. If not for him, the world would have no way of knowin' this stuff...though, I don't agree with some of his critical assessments. For instance, "Horsebreaker Star" is pretty much GM's best solo work and stands with anything the GoBs did. Not so, according to the author - he deems it a failure. He also doesn't, apparently, rate 16 Lovers Lane as high as I do. Reading between the lines, it seems to me that he's dissing it for being a commercial move. I think it's simply the best thing they've ever done and one of the few truly perfect rock/pop albums in existence.

No matter though - if you're a GoBs fan, this book is a compelling experience that'll have you combing through your record collection to re-experience all the thrills the author describes....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andreas Luethi on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... but maybe only for diehard fans like me. A million anecdotes make it interesting to read. And at the end you think: What a shame that Grant McLennan had to die so early.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Name on November 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I found this book quite disappointing. It is lazily written, relying too much on verbatim transcripts (it's like the difference between reading a court report and 'In Cold Blood'). The narrative of the updated 2003 is disjointed, a slap-dash addition to the earlier volume. Only the middle chapters, ploughing through the albums, are coherent. I'm putting it in my throw-out box, since I can't imagine I'll ever re-read it.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter Azzopardi on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book is old news now, however, such is the alure of good music, the band -and this biography- only happened to me much later than the event (note that an updated of the book is planned sometime soon as the bands two songwriters have since reformed as The Go-betweens). David Nichols, a Melbourne writer and some-times musician, tells us in the preface that he began the book with the question as to why people start bands, a seemingly strange premise but he succeeds in showing the apparent cultural vacuum that was Brisbane in the late 1970s through numerous and detailed chapters concerning the genisis of the band. These early chapters in the book are by far the best: several funny anecdotes and personal insights into the founding members of the band and punk music in an ultra-conservative Queensland make for a great read, especially for obsessives of the band such as myself (they are not really a band to have a casual acquaintance with). The latter chapters are much thinner by comparison, which is a shame for their music only (or arguably) got better as the eighties progressed. As relationships in the band begin to deterirate and band politics come to the fore, its as if Nichols loses interest in his subject, the original premise not loose enough to sustain an even and truly thorough examination. There is no question that the author has a great passion for the band and its music (it literally shines through in the first chapters which I have read repeatedly), it is just that the angle comes off as a little superficial as not a lot of insight is given to what makes the bands music and albums so special. Four stars for the first half alone though.
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