Monday, 23 March 2015

The House That Jack Kerouac Built

Whenever I’m questioned on the subject of The Go-Betweens, I usually say “The House That Jack Kerouac Built”. I could say “The Clarke Sisters” (which is either poetic or disturbing, probably both), I could say “You’ve Never Lived” (which contains the best, most inexplicable advice given to girls: never love a man who has no sister), I could say “Quiet Heart” (Grant’s lyrics are frankly too much). I could go on.

But I say “The House That Jack Kerouac Built” from Tallulah, possibly the only Go-Betweens album where Forster’s supremacy cannot be questioned.

There's white magic
Bad rock'n'roll
Your friend there says
He's the gatekeeper to my soul. 

The lyrics of this song are beyond any sort of rational epithet. Each line sparkles with charisma and desperation, bursts through Amanda’s violin and the incredible intensity of Forster’s vocal performance. You cannot touch this. It turns everything else into some kind of nothing.