Z is for Zoo Station. Last stop.

Posted in A to Z, Music with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

January 11 2015 948On 1 July 2014 I embarked on a month long, A to Z of music that has touched or influenced me in some way. And here we are, July, two years on, and our A to Z journey is coming to an end. The journey was enriched by the tunes of Paul Kelly, Tom Waits, the Finns, even I got a run, or two, or three?

Oddly enough, we end where a significant part of my musical life started. I am well and truly old enough to have a cassette collection. From the admirable (Blue Sky Mining – Midnight Oil) to the cringe-worthy (Waking Up the Neighbours – Bryan Adams), to Genesis: The Shorts, which I’m still a little confused by.

On the way home from church, a quick google of the calendar suggests December 27th, 1992, my family made a trip to the old Brashs store on Canterbury Road in Punchbowl. For those who don’t remember Brashs, it was basically an old fashioned JB Hifi/HMV/Best Buy, depending on where you are from, selling music and electrical equipment. Continue reading

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Y is for You’ll Understand

Posted in A to Z, Music, Reflection, Theology with tags , , , , on July 17, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

20160717_004446Sometime a song comes quickly and is written in 15 minutes. Sometimes a song takes months of careful crafting to a state of near perfection. Sadly, neither of these really describes the way that I experience songwriting. Sure, I’ve been lucky enough to capture words and music in what felt like a second, but generally, I’ll write a few words on a page and forget about them. One of these took me 17 years to find and finish! You’ll understand was finished in early 2016 and features on the Fairweather Friends debut album ‘All Life’s Weather” (available through our Facebook page – send us a message!).

You’ll Understand started off as a good old-fashioned Old Testament lament. How long? How far? Woe is me. I feel like it turned into something else after I picked it up, some 12 months after originally penning the bulk of the song.

When I was at theological college, there was one particular lecturer who could only see the lament. I think she sought out the wrongs of the world in order to build up some sort of artificial outrage, yelling at screaming at God, or g*d or whatever she said. Let’s just say that she an I didn’t often see eye-to-eye, and she is one of the primary reasons that I deferred college and why I never made it back. Continue reading

X is for (e)Xtravaganza

Posted in A to Z, Family History, History, Music with tags , , , , , , , on July 16, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

imageOk, happy to admit I struggled with this one. Not a fan of the Uncanny Xmen or Xavier Rudd, so I had to take some liberties here. I noticed that Paul Kelly had to skip X (along with V). ¬†Not a real story to go with this one either, but I’ll try to make something good up anyway.

One of my favourite things is a really good Scottish accent. Case in point Ms Kelly McDonald. A mighty fine looking lass, but her voice, it just does it for me.  Might be the Scottish blood in my veins. Continue reading

V is for Via Chicago

Posted in A to Z, Family History, History, Music with tags , , , , on July 14, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

imageToday marks 15 years since I married the love of my life. 15 years.

2001, the year Wikipedia was founded, the year Windows XP was released, George W Bush rose to power, John Howard retained and the Twin Towers fell. We lost George Harrison, Nigel Hawthorne, Joey Ramone and Douglas Adams.

I was a mere 20 year old for all bar 15 days of 2001, and despite ‘wise’ folks saying we were too young, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m glad she agreed to come for the journey too! Continue reading

U is for Under the Milky Way

Posted in A to Z, Music with tags on July 13, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

IMG_0417 - CopyI almost became the lead singer of a pub rock band. Then I left, then the singer left, then they got a new singer and then they asked me back. Then I left, then the new singer left, then they got the first singer back.

Anyway, the singer, the first one, couldn’t make rehearsals for various reasons for a few months, and during that time I managed to convince the rest of the band that I may have proven myself to be able to hold a note and that I should get a couple of songs in the set (thus beginning the course of actions that lead to me and then the singer leaving, for the first time).

How rock and roll is that? Continue reading

T is for Time and Tom times Two

Posted in A to Z, Music, Reflection with tags , , , , , , on July 12, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

20160712_185231Back to T. I have 423 songs in my digital library starting with T, and that is excluding all of the The… songs. TNT, Talking to a Stranger, Tears in Heaven, Telegraph Road, That Ain’t Bad, The Theme from Rawhide…

Then there’s artists like Tex, Don and Charlie, Tim Finn, the Traveling Wilburys, the Triffids and, Tom Wait.

Tom is an acquired taste. He is charismatic, theatrical and engaging. I read somewhere that his late 70s drunken persona was just an act. His interviews with Dave Letterman and Don Lane are golden TV moments. With a fling of glitter he was the centre of attenion onstage.

Orphans, Alice and Rain Dogs are right near the top of my all-time favourite albums.

Continue reading

W is for a Wonderful World and Wonky alphabet

Posted in A to Z, Family History, Music on July 9, 2016 by Wesley Gleeson

13620228_1077543238988820_6181925629216447383_nI know, I know. T, U and V come before W, but today is special.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of my paternal grandmother. I had a pretty special bond with her, and I love and miss her dearly.

Her line of the family has some Aboriginal heritage. A few years ago I met a traditional Aboriginal healer, a spiritual man. One of the first things he said to me was that there was a lady with me in spirit. He said she wasn’t a happy lady, but she was happy to be walking with me.

Grandma wasn’t the happiest of campers, and I’d guess that most people wouldn’t be associating the song made famous by Louis Armstrong, What a wonderful World. This video in particular, a 1968 TV performance from what I can gather, makes me think of her. I don’t know, I think it is him more than the song, his mannerisms just make me think of her. Continue reading