John was the drummer in the first incarnation of The Knocking Shop. He is a Dubliner who grew up in Sydney, his family having moved there when he was young. He came back for a number of years but is now based in Sydney again where he is still making music, including the wonderful Broken City People album which he released in 2011 and which includes the heartbreaking, wonderful Longreach.
John's passion for music and the way, as with all of us, music and memory intertwine is captured in a great Top Ten.
My Top Ten Albums
American Graffiti - Various Artists
When I was a kid, this record introduced me rock ‘n’ roll. It’s strange to think now, but back then it was like getting a glimpse into a past, like archeology. Today it doesn’t seem so far in the past; and I occasionally catch myself singing the Big Bopper's Chantilly Lace.
Transformer - Lou Reed
Living in the suburbs I was fascinated by Lou Reeds world; I didn’t know where it was or who lived there, but it was alive and more vibrant than my own. Could this be real?
Live at the Roxy WC2 - Various Artists
The kids have taken over the world. As I listened to this, I wished I was there, I wished I was 15, that I was a boy and a man - that I was in the band Eater.
Stooges - The Stooges
Before I left home I hung around at some older punk friends house in the city; when every body was out I played their albums. This wasn’t punk but it was harder and louder than anything I had ever heard. 1969 was the year we came to Australia from Ireland, I couldn’t believe we sailed across the ocean at the same time The Stooges made this album. That seemed like the old days, but The Stooges were modern, are modern.
Ramones - Ramones
I never understood what they were; a chain saw intro; hitting kids with baseball bats, no lead breaks. But it’s so beautiful in its simplicity; I keep it in my car, I’ve worn it out
Harvest - Neil Young
I nearly had a fight with a guy I was painting a house with for playing this over and over; I wanted to smash his cassette. About ten years latter I couldn’t get enough, I love the world Neil Young created on this record and I love his harmonica.
Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris
I can’t easily do two things at once; I can’t write and listen to Music, but this record I played on repeat as I studied at university. Gram Parsons is perfect, he’d turn an Atheist to Jesus.
Nashville Skyline - Bob Dylan
I don’t know why, it is so wrong, he sounds like Kermit the Frog, but this is a beautiful album; it never gets old.
The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico
I’m biased when it comes to Lou Reed; he is poet and a master of the jingle. He is so pop and so not pop at the same time. I think we all want to be in the Velvet Underground and most modern music just seems to repeat what they did; because they did it so well.
Dust Bowl Ballads - Woody Guthrie
One of my older brothers introduced me to Woody Guthrie and I have been listening to him ever since ... he’s in my blood … it’s in the car… I drive a lot…
....and this one was removed in a last minute switch with The Stooges but any excuse to post the amazing Lust for Life.
Raw Power - Iggy Pop
Lust for Life became my anthem, but I don’t think I ever lived up to it.