The Best Years of Our Lives
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A rocking, uproarious memoir that tells the story of OzRock as well as one amazing life in music. Fasten your seatbelts for one wild ride!
Welcome to the party that never ends.
When he was 16 he inveigled his way into a Sydney hotel to hang out with the Rolling Stones. From that day on, Richard Clapton knew he was going to be a rock star. It's now almost 50 years since that fateful day -years filled with a lifetime of incredible experiences, outrageous good times and a catalogue of iconic and timeless songs. Through the glory years of rock'n' roll, in cities as varied as London, Berlin, Sydney, Los Angeles and Paris, Richard forged his own career and built up a significant body of work while living, loving and partying with the biggest names in the Australian and international music world.
By his own frank admission, these were years fuelled by prodigious quantities of alcohol and drugs, set against a backdrop of constant recording and touring, of endless partying and wild times. It was to be a rollercoaster ride of euphoric highs and deep, shattering lows.
For 40 years, Richard Clapton has been, above all else, a songwriter-a wry observer of human behaviour and an astute commentator on the Australian condition. His best songs- 'Deep Water', 'The Best Years of Our Lives', 'Goodbye Tiger', 'Glory Road', 'Lucky Country', 'Girls on the Avenue', 'Trust Somebody' and 'Capricorn Dancer'-capture the essence of this country and the meaning of our lives like few others.
In this extraordinary memoir, Richard employs his songwriter's keen powers of observation, portraiture and storytelling to tell the best story of all: the remarkable one of his own life. Outrageous, funny, insightful and poignant, this is the rock memoir to beat them all. In celebration of 40 years of fabulous music and iconic songs, welcome to The Best Years of Our Lives.
Richard Clapton is a much-loved legend of Australian music, the performer and songwriter of many iconic Australian hit songs: Deep Water, Best Years of Our Lives, Goodbye Tiger, Glory Road, Lucky Country, I am An Island, Trust Somebody, Capricorn Dancer and Girls on the Avenue.
As a producer Richard worked on the second INXS album, Underneath the Colours (1981), which saw the beginning of their rise to fame in the shape of their first two hit singles. He also joined The Party Boys for a period before resuming his solo career.
Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane described Clapton as "one of the most important Australian songwriters ". On 12 October 1999, Clapton was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. In 2014 he will be celebrating 40 years in the music industry.
hidden—he demanded to see my passport. He didn’t believe I was Australian. This only made him angrier—there were long-haired quiffs like me ‘down under an’ all’? Shocking. Then he threatened to plant pot in my room. He really didn’t give a fuck—he was going to bust me and have me thrown out of the country, no matter what. Next thing, bad cop slowly, methodically pushed me towards the window of Lois’s room. I’m talking one hell of a drop to the street, probably 10 or 12 metres. Lois was
There was passionate activity everywhere; crazy Berliners creating music, books and magazines and films. The cutting-edge art movement was fantastic. There were eccentric technology boffins—1970s geeks—in garrets all over the city, inventing and designing amazing gizmos and concepts for different art forms. Volker was madly inventing weird devices to blow up Marilyn Monroe’s lips to the size of a football field, along with other bizarre concepts. Having just lived through the golden age of
age of sixteen was recruited to call a national horse race from Adelaide. He arrived at a swank hotel and was told which horse was going to win—the race was fixed. Chuggie begged, borrowed and stole $2000 and put the lot on this horse, which we’ll call ‘BlahBlah’. Chuggie was beside himself and extremely nervous; not only was this his big break as a caller, but he also had someone else’s $2000 riding on this horse. Chuggie began his call: ‘They’re out of the gates, DooDah’s in front, DooDah’s
in the nicest possible way, suggested that any further aggravation would stir the tabloid press up even more. Nevertheless, the Festival promotions manager coerced me into agreeing to the interview. I foolishly consented. Meldrum and I spoke live to air and he launched into a strange rant—even though he intro’d me as ‘a mate of mine’—while I unwittingly looked like a lamb being slaughtered. A million people watched this circus. We disagreed about how late I was—I said 20 minutes, he
Aussies were so cool ’cause they drank so much piss. We started rehearsing constantly. I was writing as hard and as fast as I could, although the beauty of being a support band—which is what we were—is that we only needed about half an hour’s worth of material. As I recall, we only played my tunes, yet the only song of mine I can clearly remember was called ‘Mister Fysh’, the first song I wrote. I think the inspiration was something scandalous that happened to a gay blade who owned a shirt shop