Tex and Don: Alone Together - By Rob Johnson

 

3 iconoclasts, 3 days and an eagerly awaited album

We didn't want to come up with a name, or a mythology or anything like that It was three people and this is what happened over three days," says Don Walker of the album he's just completed with Tex Perkins (Cruel Sea, Beasts of Bourbon) and Charlie Owen (New Christs, Aspersions Caste, Paris Green). "I think part of the reason it turned out so well is that we didn't approach it with a great deal of gravity. It was fun."

The album, tentatively entitled Sad But True, is a meeting of three of Australian rock's most iconoclastic and (in the case of Tex and Don) most fiercely individual talents. Recorded in November 1992, mixed in May this year, and mastered in September, it follows the commercial success of the Cruel Sea's The Honeymoon is Over (next single, "Woman with Soul").

Featuring a more acoustic sound than any one of the performers are displaying in other projects, numbers like "Redheads, "Gold Cards and Limousines," "Postcard from Elvis," "Dead Dog Boogie" (an instrumental written by Owen) and "Sitting in the Bar" (snaffled by Jimmy Barnes for the B-side of "Sweat It Out"), set an already glaring spotlight on the trio. Which is ironic, considering how the album was approached. "I think that was a breath of fresh air for everybody," says Walker, "because I'm used to taking a long time and meticulously making albums. Tex had been doing that with the Cruel Sea, and the whole idea of walking in and playing and singing the damn thing and walking out again and getting on with your life just really appealed."

The album followed a Triple I live-to-air show done by the three in January 1992. Songs were drawn from each artist's repertoire, with Walker plundering the future catalogue of his sometime-one-man-band Catfish to add to Perkins's already impressive list "Tex was coming 'round to my place, we were putting the songs down on tape at my place, just around the piano, and making the tape up and sending them down to Charlie, who was based in Melbourne," says Walker. "After that I had to go back and start writing the third Catfish album again." The only problem they faced was picking a single. When asked his favourite tracks, Walker replies: "There's about ten of them. It's a joy for us all."

Juice 1993

 

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