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Robert Forster

Book launch

Thursday 8 September 2016

For the official Canberra launch of Robert Forster’s new book Grant and I: inside and outside The Go-betweens, join Australian singer-songwriter and author Robert Forster and ABC 666 personality Alex Sloan as they delve into the friendship and collaboration that made The Go-Betweens, one of Australia’s most iconic bands.

The 1980s songwriting partnership of McLennan/Forster was a little like an Australian Lennon/McCartney. The pair wrote all the band's distinctively original material and, like their more famous counterparts, shared the credits and alternated on lead vocals; both also played guitar. They formed The Go-Betweens in Brisbane in 1977, in possibly the quirkiest of all rock-band beginnings, before disbanding in 1989. A second incarnation, with Robert and Grant the constant in both lineups, endured from 2000 to 2006, the year of Grant's premature death.

Grant and I is an extraordinary portrait of an intense, creative, sometimes fraught friendship that represented a genuine meeting of artistic minds. Robert and Grant were arts undergraduates at Queensland uni in the seventies, where they bonded through a shared passion for literature and film. In this book the reader is given a front-row seat at the sessions that produced an incredibly prolific and diverse song catalogue, and is also taken backstage to the sometimes troubled rise and fall of the band itself.

Just as The Go-Betweens were like no other Australian group, so this book is like no other music memoir. Robert Forster is as natural a storyteller and prose writer as he is a songwriter, and Grant and I is an unforgettable ride.