This was published in February in the Adelaide Review...
We grew up in Mount Gambier with no car in the household. Well, you can walk everywhere really but it still made a trip in a vehicle a bit exotic when we were kids. You could get your licence at 16 of course. The road toll was something shocking but we all viewed the drink driving laws as a bit of an imposition that would soon go away. Everybody would come to their senses. The off roads around Mt Gambier were full of drunken drivers, farmers and their sons, hoiking it around the unsealed roads like they were on a rally, blind as can bats. Shickered! Molo!
Later on, we had a car parked outside our house, mum had gotten sick of the walking and wanted a bit of power. It was a Mitsubishi Colt, and then a Honda Civic. We were all leaving home as soon as we thought we could. My sister marianne drove off with a friend in a fantastic hotted up white Holden FB station wagon. My older brother had a great Holden HD and then a Ford Transit van with mag wheels. I had a Hillman Minx I found to be so embarrassing I left it by the side of the road one day when it broke down. A cop came around and I sold it to him for $20. The column gear shift had a funny kink pull to get it into reverse and the back doors flew open when I went around a corner.
Panel Vans were big among my friends. Morris Minors with wooden panels down the side and Holden EH and EJ models being popular amongst those who surfed the cruel and cold waves down around the South East. Those cars were ubiquitous. Did you know that Holden started in Adelaide and the letters in front of their various models until the 80s were the initials of members of the family?
Someone also found a purple Dodge DeSoto on a farm and scored it for less than a hundred bucks. It had such a powerful V8 motor , giant leather seats and very helpful holders for beer bottles down by your legs. We liked to salute each other with long necked 740 ml bottles as we drove up and down the main street anyway. We were in a tight spot and did the best we could to get some personal space happening. Toranas were murderous. Big engines and tiny brakes. A friend from school picked me up in a car his mother had bought him. A green Ford Falcon GTHO . The seatbelt was like that on a jet, going up straight over both shoulders.
In our late teens we got to know the highway between Mt gambier and Adelaide. It was always a drive into the unknown. Adventures, booze definitely, dope sure, , perhaps sex. We all piled into the car and drove for five or six hours, taking many breaks to water the long paddock by the side of the road due to the excessive amount of beer we drank.
At the end of the trip was a dramatic series of turns and twists in the road leading finally to the Devils Elbow. It was leaning into each other holding your breath moment as we careened into that turn. It was dangerous and exciting. Afterwards, it was a relaxed roll down the hill to the corner of Glen Osmond Road and Adelaide itself. My auntie Celeste was in the Carmelite Convent on the corner there. I had visited her with my mother on a few occasions and found it so distressing as they talked and finally tried to clutch each other through the bars in the room where the nuns were allowed to talk to people from outside. Later, things got more relaxed and they were allowed to move around in the secular world.I painted a little cottage there once. A place where someone could go during a “retreat”. The whole place had quite a Modernist feel to it. Open and full of sunlight. I visited her there later on , when there were only a few nuns left. It seemed to be quite an idyllic place for an older woman to live.
Now that entrance into Adelaide is a bit more relaxed. A straight descent has been blasted through some of the hard rock of the surrounding hills. Its easier for cars but apparently not so for large trucks. The previous winding descent had allowed for more serious gearing down and braking over a longer period with a heavy load on the back. Like a train ascending or descending a mountain with switchbacks built into the climb. Now its a long, slow ascent and then descent that depends more on the brakes. Perhaps the truckers need some pills to slow down nowadays? Something calming? A free herbal tea stall at one of the last truck bays before the descent?
The road and the tunnel are amazing constructions anyway. We don't have stuff like that in melbourne. Theres no hard rock. The tunnel for cars under the Yarra is a tube floating in silt!
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release