20.2 C
Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Tex Talks

Latest News

Magnificent sporting prowess and flag pride after 2021 NAIDOC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also shone in the sporting arena during NAIDOC 2021. 

Other News

Local government elections postponed – again

NSW local government elections are postponed again due to the pandemic.

MP steps into Dunoon Dam debate as county council defends and defies

The Rous County Council has again voted against including a new dam in future water security investigations but new state political pressure suggests the debate is far from over.

Vax zombies

Paul Stephen, Yamba Will Ash denounces The Echo for being pro-vax (9 July). The Echo is just being pro-science, and supporting...

Our water future – Rous County Council

Hugh Nicholson, The Channon A spokesperson for Our Future Northern Rivers (OFNR), explains clearly why the OFNR position on water...

Balance

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Danny Wakil you are wrong to claim that people do not have a ‘balanced view’...

A disappointing limbo? Byron candidates on delayed council elections

Mr Dey, incumbent Mr Lyon and four other mayoral candidates were already busy campaigning for the top spot when NSW Local Government Minister Shelly Hancock delayed the election for a second time.

Tex-Perkins

Tex is a funny prick. In an industry full of people who take themselves SO seriously, Perkins is a breath of fresh air.

Sure he’s got the swagger, he’s got the charisma, he’s certainly got the stage presence, but being a rock’n’roll frontman, ‘a stone stud-symbol’ as Iggy Pop tagged him, is part of the act and Perkins walks that fine line between performance and pisstake. It’s brilliant.

His memoir Tex is proper LOL material. I think I even had a ROTFL.

So you know him from The Cruel Seal, The Beasts of Bourbon, Tex, Don & Charlie, Dark Horse, Thug, The Ladyboyz, the Dum Dums, but there’s a whole lot more along the way… like how Gregory Perkins became Tex.

But what Perkins also does in his memoir is more than tell just his story; he tells the story of underground music in Australia from the mid-eighties. Of punk. Of performance art.

Of alternative rockers who just wanted to get onstage and make something happen. Of the time when Sydney was fricking awesome.

In 1985 when the world was singing We are the World, Perkins joined a bunch of his mates and released an EP titled Lorne Greene Shares His Precious Fluids.

Perkins is an arch-collaborator. He’s had more bands than hot dinners. So his story is clearly an important one.

It wasn’t Tex’s idea to write a book. It was rock journalist Stuart Coupe’s.

‘He said he had a publisher ready to go. They were green-lighting the project,’ says Tex, who wasn’t initially effusive about the idea of telling his story.

‘I didn’t think we had the numbers. These rock bios are based on either huge success or huge excess. I have had bit of both but not to any degree that needed to be in a book… but they had a bag of money, and I said okay. I could do that.’

Tex didn’t start out writing the book. It started as a series of interviews with Stuart.

‘I thought he was writing a book about me,’ says Tex.

‘All the time I thought he will go and interview other people about me and write the book… and then he presented me with a first draft; he wrote it from my perspective! I was shocked at how unaware I was but really when I read it I said it doesn’t sound like me; it has to be written from my perspective.’ And so Perkins went about telling his story himself, using his interviews with Coupe as the core of the book.

Like anyone writing a memoir, Perkins found himself falling into reverie, remembering things he thought he’d forgotten.

In fact in the process of reading his memoir I realised that. I was at a gig that he described – a Radiators gig that went a bit nuts in a hotel in Brisbane – I was 13 – it was my first concert. No-one even bothered to check my age. It was wild. I thought all gigs were going to be like that. People just leaping off shit. Perkins laughed, ‘So did I! It set the tone!’

‘There’s a lot of remembering,’ he reflects on the process.

‘On an actual practical physical level I got in contact with a whole lot of people whom I wouldn’t have if I weren’t writing. It was great to do that. To realise that looking back at it all we have been through, ups and downs and fallings out and then realise I love these people. I really still appreciate and feel how I felt about them when I was 18.’

The boy from Brisbane was embraced by a lot of older dudes who took on the big brother role, blokes including Spencer P Jones and Boris Sudjovic. Later on, even Iggy. There are many stories in Tex’s book… all checked thoroughly of course with the lawyer (note that I resisted using the oft-heckled tagline from Cruel Sea song).

‘You can work on a manuscript carefully but it’s the little things that upset people.’

‘Stuart told me that you find out that who gets upset the most are the people who aren’t in the book! If I couldn’t make it funny or I didn’t have an angle, then it didn’t go in.

‘I found that constructing the story on the page opened doors in my mind and I had get to the point. In the construction of the story I was writing jokes; things would naturally write to a punchline, so I would go there rather than tell other information.’

One of the things that stands out most about Perkins’s book, other than it’s a rollicking good read, is how refreshingly unimpressed he is with himself. This is not a book of an author congratulating himself.

He critiques his input on his huge output of albums, like a school teacher going back and writing an assessment where he writes of his 1993 Tex Don & Charlie album, ‘I think I am the weakest link here. I still hadn’t learnt how to sing at this point.’ Wow, and he’s got himself an ARIA. Well in theory. The story about what happened to that ARIA is in the book.

‘I think it’s important to be your own harshest critic,’ says Tex.

‘You don’t want other people to do that.’

Tex Perkins is a featured panelist at the Byron Writers Festival this weekend (Friday–Sunday). For tickets and information about the program go to byronwritersfestival.com.


More Byron Writers Festival 2017 articles:

Tex Talks

Tex is a funny prick. In an industry full of people who take themselves SO seriously, Perkins is a breath of fresh air.

1

The life and times of Jimmy Barnes

Interview with Mandy Nolan “I didn’t write the story hoping for forgiveness. I wrote it hoping for life.” Prolific songwriter and performer, Jimmy Barnes has been a storyteller for more than 40 years, sharing his life and passions with Australians of...

0

Book Reviews by Byron Bay Public School Students

Grace Author: Morris Gleitzman Reviewed by: Billie Aitken-McGregor Class: Age 11 Byron Bay Public School  “We were a happy family. We were bountiful. But it came to pass that I started doing sins. And that’s when all our problems began.” Imagine having your father taken...

0

The Reef, trees and stars at Writers Festival

This year’s Byron Writers Festival hosts a range of conversations for those interested in delving into the environment, astronomy and science, led by some of the world’s leading scientific minds. From discoveries made below the waterline, to those made...

0

Terrorism, politics and betrayals collide in debut novel from Tony Jones

Tony Jones was still at school when Lionel Murphy raided ASIO. After an ABC cadetship, he joined Four Corners as a reporter in 1985, and later Dateline at SBS in 1986. He subsequently was an ABC foreign correspondent, for...

0

Robert Drewe releases new novel, Whipbird

Bangalow local Robert Drewe is an Australian literary legend whose more than 20 highly acclaimed books, including novels, short stories and memoirs have won state, national and international prizes, been widely translated, and been adapted for film, television, theatre...

0

Time for Rock’n’Roll at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival will feature stars of the Australian music industry who not only can hold a tune but also can hold a pen, and have written or co-written revealing memoirs, and a novel. Read on for more about...

0

Cosentino’s greatest trick may not be what you think

Trapped underwater in agonising pain, shackled and sinking and desperately trying not to give in to the urgent need to breathe, I really thought maybe I had pushed myself too far this time. The scar was still fresh from...

0

There’s a kids’ big day out at Byron Writers Festival

Byron Writers Festival has pulled out all stops to create a day full of fun, inspiration and creativity to ignite the imaginations of children. Seven acclaimed children’s authors will face their toughest and most vocal audience at the Greenstone...

0

A beginner’s guide to the Byron Writers Festival

Never been to Byron Writers Festival? We ask Byron resident and festival-lover Emily Brugman, 27, her top tips for the first-time festival-goer.   Tell us a bit about the festival. The Byron Writers Festival is a three-day event that brings writers and...

0


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Independent councillor calls for online voting

A manageable and easy-to-navigate system was necessary, Cr Allsop said, one that allowed 'equal presence for all candidates'.

Byron Farmers Markets temporarily moved to make way for COVID clinic

The Byron Farmers Market is to be held opposite Elements resort on Bayshore Drive this week, while health authorities use the Cavanbah Centre for a drive-through COVID testing service.

A disappointing limbo? Byron candidates on delayed council elections

Mr Dey, incumbent Mr Lyon and four other mayoral candidates were already busy campaigning for the top spot when NSW Local Government Minister Shelly Hancock delayed the election for a second time.

Bumbling Berejiklian

Keith Duncan, Pimlico The chooks have certainly come home to roost for the corruption riddled NSW government and ‘our’ scandal plagued premier. Fair dinkum, this bumbling...