Draining the Pool For You (1984) – The Go-Betweens

The Go-Betweens is the quintessential Australian indie-rock band who produced the quintessential Australian indie-rock sound. This is not your pro-typical rock band hence ‘indie’, but they went out on a limb to change the landscape of music and while they never became a big commercial success, they changed how other Australian singer-songwriters approached music. Today’s song comes from their 1984 album Spring Hill Fair.

The album was named after an annual fair in Spring Hill, Queensland, suburb of Brisbane Grammar School. Robert Forster and Grant McLennan (the lead singers) met at the University of Queensland where both were taking a theatre arts course. In November 1979, the duo left Australia, with a plan to shop their songs from record company to record company simply by visiting their offices and playing them.

McLennan stated years later “We all lived there (Brisbane) and the main reason was that in September, October of every year in Brisbane, there is, in Spring Hill, a fair, and as the album came out around then we thought it would be nice to have a parochial mention in a title because we hadn’t done that for a long time.

Remembered your name
Evidently, you’ve forgotten mine
You know a lot of people
I know, a mind dulled by work and wine

I got hired but I got tired of draining the pool for you
I got tired but not so blue
To see the cracks in you
I got hired against my wish
With better prospects, after this

This song reminds me of when I was in my early 20’s meandering through Melbourne’s inner urban suburbs having just arrived there and taking in the sights. I was looking for some kind of action /adventure, but I really admired the feel of Melbourne. Even it’s general architecture and home facades were more European than I was accustomed to in Sydney and elsewhere. Melbourne was a cosmopolis with respect to art, culture, sports and music. I was enthralled to say the least.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
16 comments on “Draining the Pool For You (1984) – The Go-Betweens
  1. I have to admit that I’ve never been to Australia other than once to change planes from LA-Melbourne-Wellington. And of course the sad thing is I now never shall be able to get there! (I grew up in NZ in a little school area way in the middle of nowhere called Spring Hill!)

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I like this band…they have some exellent power pop songs. Australia through the seventies and eighties had a lot of great bands.

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