Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Reason Why - Robert Forster in 1979

Robert Forster formed a short-lived band at the tail-end of 1979 in London while Grant McLennan was on holiday in Egypt, with two other ex-pat Australians, bassist Robert Wheeler and drummer Geoffrey Titley, called The Reason Why.

Wheeler and Titley had been in The Supports, who had toured northern Queensland that summer (or southern winter, if you like) with The Go-Betweens in a double-decker bus. An amusing account of that eventful tour, which coincided with Peter Milton-Walsh's short tenure in The Go-Betweens and saw Grant being slapped repeatedly by Supports singer Leigh Bradshaw, can be read in chapter 7 of David Nichols' Go-Betweens biography.

EDIT: I asked Robert Forster about this band at his Lexington gig in London, 2017. He said Robert Wheeler was actually Grant McLennan. Robert didn't show much enthusiasm for these songs and they were never in consideration for The Go-Betweens box set. Anyway, this blog post heading might more accurately be 1980 (that's what my demo tape says anyway - I got the timeline from David Nichols' biography) and include Grant McLennan. Anyone know any better? I think Tiny Town's Geoffrey Titley was also in the Desperate Bicycles, but someone wiser than me will have to confirm that.

My best guess is that The Reason Why were named after the opening line of The Byrds' I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better, but the songs explore the post-punk art rock that shaped Send Me A Lullabye, only more Gang Of Four than Talking Heads.

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