At 39 albums in it was obvious the need for another one was burning into me!
I mean …what kind of number is 39?! Not even prime?
Instinctively I started memo-ing musical sketches on my phone. Not a normal habit for me. I’d long ago become cavalier about inspirations, letting them drift off into the ether……… forcing me to come up with stuff on the spot whenever the need arose.
But that number was priming me for something…….
Myles Mumford had produced an unlikely collaboration between me and all round good guy, TV presenter/political commentator Waleed Aly. It was just the one song on a comp (Songs In The Key Of Sea Vol. 2) to raise funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
Over a year later when thinking of that session he was prompted to approach me with the idea that he collaborate with me producing an album.
Producers?! What do they do? Did I need one?
Andrew my manager certainly thought so. “You write great pop songs Kim” “I wanna hear some pop”
Managers?! What do they do?
So many questions.
And the pertinent one…….what do I do!
Maybe I could get some of those questions answered.
Myles and I met over brunch and it was obvious we were to become friends. It was obvious when he heard some of my memos that he didn’t wanna blow those fleeting wafts of ether material into oblivion. It was obvious that he found something he could work gently, or firmly, as the case may be, to direct, for me to take where I so desired.
I could neutralise that strange number situation destabilising me!
And Andrew the manager would be happy. Which meant he’d have something to work and he in turn could work for me to make me happy!
For the next year or so, every Wednesday I’d go around to Myles’ recording setup. He’d pull out one of the sketches and we’d work on it. It became apparent pretty soon that these ‘memos’ didn’t want many people involved.
They’d tease, suggesting strings, choirs and the like, but by the end of a session or two they usually had let me know they felt safe with just me and would be ready to be put to rest.
Myles was pretty laissez faire about how he was going to be paid. I instructed him that Andrew would deal with that. They struck up an agreement.
To pay for Myles, a Pozible campaign was started. Andrew drafted a former student of his, Lara Stephens, to manage it. I got some help from photographic Guerilla Barry Douglas.
I had pretty much decided that I didn’t want to do the usual living room performances as rewards. I decided that drawings would be a good alternative, as well as a good way to get back into drawing. I bought a sketchbook on the way to one of the early sessions and set about doing at least one drawing per session. I started doing other artworks/cassettes with Rorschach prints on them/zines/prints. Hadn’t really done this kind of stuff since I dropped out of Art School back in ‘76.
After a year or so I had amassed about 20 pieces of music in various states of completion. Some had a drummer – either Mike Stranges or Todd Pickett, some had a bass player – either me or Pete Stone and there were some backing vocals from Loretta Wilde but mostly the sound was just me recorded by Myles- with the exception of 2 band tracks recorded in Perth by Jozef Grech.
Some of the music was indeed ‘pop’, some was experimental, some was something else….
The biggest challenge by far was going to be including the range of material and make it hang together as a cohesive work.
I just worked on it until I felt it was complete.
All the while Myles enabled it. Whatever it was…..my attempt at drumming….using the sound of the grid as a musical instrument……trying to get funky with phone apps…..he prodded me further on quite a few occasions.
“We have to get a good publicist or this whole thing is nothing but a vanity project…..” or words to that effect is what I remember Andrew imploring.
He got Chrissie Vincent. Good. She was a long time mate anyway….
Another old mate Pete Barrett did the cover! His idea to whack a straight jacket on me. Friends will do that!
Andrew wanted studio photos that referenced Pete’s cover and employed my drawings (slide projections of them in primary colours he wanted)
Andrew Watson was called in to do that…….. I’m still using shots from that session.
I have always had a band in Perth – Pete Stone and Todd Pickett. They appeared on two of the album’s tracks. I have a trio in Melbourne – Loretta Wilde and Mike Stranges and I have Leanne up in Sydney. Leanne and I asked Straight Arrow Angie to complete the lineup. My old workmate Sarah Portaro and Pete “The Stud” Howlett were my Adelaide contingent. And of course, I could also play solo in places.
Nowhere would get the same band or sound but they’d get My Script wherever……A tour was booked around Australia.
As the first Australian tour ended, A European tour was booked. Again, another band was formed. Dimi Dero and Delphine Ciampi inFrance.
Back in Oz for the second album tour, new players up in Brisbane formed yet another band. This included ‘Boris understudy’ Joe Presedo with Rob Gary and Alana Manix.
In Melbourne, my band is rarely a consistent lineup…..Myles and avant-gardeist guitarist David Brown were one combo….another had Jeff Hooker, Clare Moore, Loretta and Mike…one had Me, Jeff and Mike. It still goes on!
In December 2015, Loretta and her parents had given me a sketchbook and calligraphy pen for Christmas.
That book never left Maxine’s (and my) boudoir. I’d filled it up by Valentine’s day and given it to Maxine. I’d seen sketch books turned into complete works by Anselm Kiefer and David Hockney….lofty inspirations for sure…but what the hell.
I got into water colours and started a couple more sketch books with different themes for each. One I called ‘Rock and Roll’ and basically have used as a visual tour diary of wherever I’ve been with My Script. It seems to have been good Facebook fodder…
Drawing and painting was what I always did…….from back when I was a little kid – it was never about what I had to say…..it was simply the act.
I fell in love with Rock as a teenager. Music was new. I knew nothing. It was a trip.
I’m still on that trip. My Script is an attempt to bring the story up to date.
And sit on an even number!
Kim Salmon – Melbourne 2016