Music at its core is human connection; it’s intrinsically tied to emotions and experiences. Every song has a story, every lyric a section of an artist’s psyche. That’s exactly why we want to examine the impact of music on musicians themselves. Each week we’ll get an insight into a particular song or album that’s proven formative for an artist.
Marcus Hobbs of Melbourne powerhouse punk band East Brunswick All Girls Choir brings you this submission. It all stems from a chance encounter with Bob Dylan’s discography.
In the early 2000’s I was still living in Bendigo, studying psychology and playing in a punky/trying to be experimental band. The majority of my friends had moved to Melbourne but there was still a core of believers left in the Central Deborah Region. I used to spend a lot of time with my friend Josh Lobley out in Lockwood South, we’d stay up into some hellish hours playing video game roms, namely Aussie Rules.
After one such session I‘d all but passed out on the floor and Josh gestured ‘fetch the bible’ and pointed to the top of the shelf. I picked it up, it had no text on it and he said “open a page,” pointing at it. Opened up in front of him was a book of Bob Dylan lyrics and Josh proceeded to play ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol’ as this was the page which he was presented with.
I’d already at that time gone quite deep into Highway 61 Revisited but I’d not really grasped the idea that Dylan would play the songs completely different live – however he felt like on any one particular tour. I bore witness to one of these tours and it was pretty disappointing, but I understand that’s what you get when you sign up. I’m not a Dylan nerd, I haven’t even listened to all of the albums. I tend to open a new one up every 6 months to see if it takes. Modern Times is currently getting a workout.
Prior to all this I hadn’t really written any songs that were stories of any significance and I do often go back to Hattie Carol as it’s pieced together so nicely. It’s a tragic tale and you can feel the lift in the final section. I feel it’s carried through for me, a lot of the songs I write tend to push towards some kind of finality and are often as simple as the structure of Hattie Carol. Unfortunately I still don’t have the guts to mess with them live too much
TeddYwaddy, the album from East Brunswick All Girls Choir is out now. EBACG play the penny black this month.