There’s a tightrope between us – but anything’s worth trying – The Lions
When the Pulsing with Punch tour wound up and Ross and Wendy headed off to do other things for a while, I set about working up a solo act. I had been using delays to broaden the sound and range of the Gretsch and worked up the riffs I had come up with on tour into songs that could sit on these echoed beds of sound.
And don’t forget to contact me – when you see what I’ve done
I got a lot of gigs supporting some great bands – it was easy just to turn up with my guitar and peddle and play through the other guitarist’s amp. It worked pretty well – got to play with the second generation Flying Nun bands when they came through town (JPS Experience, Straightjacket Fits, Snapper) and played two great shows supporting The Go-Betweens.
There’s a new dance – coming over the fence
It’s called Act Your Age – it’s not a hindered per cent – Act Your Age
Around this time I was writing my novel – Manslaughter and I met Michelle through Louise. Michelle was a writer too and we went on a trek into the Orongorongo range and stayed in a hut and wrote. It pissed down with rain and the river rose and we were trapped there for ten days. My son Angus was conceived there.
Beverly’s got a dead straight face and she sees the world through narrowed eyes
Maybe she needs glasses in her mind – Prepare To Scream
I met up with Greg Bryce in Wellington and we talked about working on the songs at his Last Laugh studios in central Auckland. Jayrem Records got behind it and it coincided with some solo support dates I had for the Body Electric in Auckland at the time. On the trip up to do the gigs and the recording I stayed the night in Hamilton with Jenny and my daughter Jessica was conceived then.
And you said we’d meet on One Unit Place – didn’t really want to have to see you there
I’d rather meet on Iliad St – have to be my own home ground – As Far As I Can Tell
We started the recording with the Lions, a song I had written three years earlier before the Spines had formed and then got stuck into the new introspective solo material with all the shimmering overdubbed echoed guitars and the heavy lyrics.
And death commandoes show up around the place – pick out the best pardon the rest
I like my life so much better after they came – and now you’re gone and I’m still here yet – Death Commandoes
I slept in the studio that was situated above Vulcan Lane and worked on some of the lyrics right up to the last minute as usual.
The gypsy rover is now over the hill – the gypsy rover is over – Act Your Age
The Ghost of Electricity – War Stories by Jon McLeary is a new initiative at Off The Tracks, a series of stories and reflections from painter, writer and musician Jon McLeary