A Cold Bender…


Cold Bender…

It’s time to confess. For the last couple months I’ve been going on a bender nearly every night, and they often last deep into the night. Can’t say that I’m ashamed, or that I’m even concerned. It’s not like I’m missing work or fouling up any relationships. I just can’t seem to stop.

I’ve been using once again, and using heavily. Cold Chisel that is…

I first learned of the band Cold Chisel from KAZY radio in Denver in 1978 or 1979. On Sunday from 10:00pm-Midnight a free-form rock show was hosted by an Australian DJ. I think his name was Walter, but I’m not sure. I’ll never forget though, the first time he played Cold Chisel, and how he built them up before he played the song Khe Sanh.

I was immediately hooked on Cold Chisel, Australia’s hardest working and hardest fighting rock band.

In the pantheon of my rock-band gods there are, in no particular order…

The Call
Los Lobos
The Waterboys
Steely Dan
and Cold Chisel

Of course there are many other bands and many solo artists that have inspired me, touched me, and that I have obsessed on. However, these are the bands that have moved and touched me in ways that others never could. Each, for very different reasons.

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When I look at my love and appreciation for these bands now, I realize the biggest draw isn’t so much in the musicianship, in the personalities, or even in the production, though they are all great . The gravity that draws me in is for songs with well-crafted lyrics.

The lyrics to Khe Sanh (Don Walker) might be the most well-crafted lyric I’ve ever heard.

In the last few weeks I’ve completed two books written by Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel’s lead singer. I can’t recommend these two books enough — Working Class Boy and Working Class Man. They’re written in very linear fashion, very difficult to read due to their content, very grounding, and well illuminate what launched the fireball of Jimmy Barnes out of that rock and roll cannon so many years ago, to become one of music’s most notorious and dangerous frontmen. Jimmy is alive and doing fine these days, and has become a great story teller.

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Over the last couple of months I have watched virtually every YouTube video available on the band, including interviews, solo performances, a six-part documentary series about the history of the band, and every music video they’ve ever made. Some have moved me to tears.

When I think about music – – bands in particular, I first think about magic. Magic is what happens when unlikely ingredients come together to form the perfect whole, if only for a few minutes, a few years, or for a few concert tours.

Please take seven minutes watch this from beginning to end if you have a chance. It brought me to absolute tears the first time I saw it, and I still watch it regularly. An incredible performance by Don Walker and Ian Moss, Cold Chisel’s keyboard player and guitar player respectively.

 

 

If you’ve ever wondered where magic comes from, I’ll say it again… Magic is what happens when unlikely ingredients come together to form the perfect whole. Cold Chisel was/is the perfect whole, if only for a few minutes, a few concert tours, or for few years — which have now turned into four decades.

Like a lot of bands that have fallen to hit the ground, bounced back up, hit the ground again, only to bounce back up again over and over, Cold Chisel has known adversity –– in spades, including the death of drummer Steve Prestwich in 2011. Still, the band and its remaining members are still active today, occasionally together, but mostly involving other projects.

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Yes, I’m using Cold Chisel again, often late into the night, and I make no apology… Jhciacb

If you’re not currently a subscriber, please scroll up and do so. Please check back in a couple weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and here’s one more from Cold Chisel singer Jimmy Barnes, written by the late Steve Prestwich. Enjoy… 

 

One response

  1. I am not familiar with this band. I knew from the first 20 second riff I was going to like them. I was not disappointed. Thank you, Roy!

    When I began to read your post, I was reminded of the times I was carving large wooden blocks and would use a hammer and chisel late into the night, sweating happily away with the physicality of creativity.

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