Great Reading: TEX by Tex Perkins

Well it’s been a few days again so daily blog yeah right! Anyway I finished reading this book last night and if write something worth posting about it and actually I post this up today it will be my second ever rock autobio book here on my blog, amazingly! Books have not featured a lot here but I really, very much dug this one so here goes. Writing about the book: TEX by Tex Perkins (with Stuart Coupe).

Perko as he more likely known by his fans and mates, I’m far from his biggest fan but I buy this book and follow his long music career, well at times. For people less in the know his real name is Greg but one of his first early bands was Tex Deadly & The Dum Dums and he was the front man so he became Tex which he didn’t think much at the time but more and more music he played or sung the more common it became to call him Tex. Being an Australian and calling yourself Tex pretty much set himself unknowingly not to be the biggest singer in this county. But he made it clear he never, ever was that career minded in the book and those early days in music was just something to do with his mates on the weekend. The huge amount of bands he was in in, too much to list here but in the book he does go into naming them, some just lasted one show at a pub and then it was something else. Also he seem to have aversion to success too, any number of bands became to popular at that point it was time to move on to something else while everyone around him saying you’ve got to keep going with this one and be more successful but time and time again Perko walks away from them. Basically what I could tell reading the book he really starts to act like more of a dickhead the big things get and he knows it, he calls himself one pretty early on in the book but the huge band and biggest record sells is not the point for him. I think it’s going back to just having fun with his mates and all those early bands when he was very young and the big success wasn’t that much fun, so why do it? Also setting up early on and to this day having more than one thing going on at one time and that mixing it all up and not too popular in any number of Perko’s projects, bands or whatever as worked for him in his three decade music career.

Now I did write a little post after seeing him play a gig here but because I found this book soon after that I figure I was going to wait to write more and I guess I am now. But before I continue have about three Tex albums I would like to highlight in the near future as my fave ones of his on my CA tag/list thingy so I will save them for later but I’m throwing everything else into this post that he writes about in his book here in this post. A bit of YouTube embedding overflow from now on, OK? So this post could be re-named my epic long Tex Perkins blog post.

To start with the band called Thug and the two albums because it’s his most odd music he’s done, sounding more like some kind of Aussie bizarre 80’s movie soundtrack and features zero vocals by someone who’s known as a singer. The Mechanical Ape by Thug in 1987 is really weird sounds and not much more but just got to be included in his body of work and a good place to kick start it all.

The follow-up album came in 1988 and that was the the final album for Thug. The album titled Electric Woolly Mammoth and does have vocals but by Peter Read, not Tex. Peter Read did passed away in 2016 which I missed that news. I think I like this album a little bit better than the other one if anyone would like to know at all? What I can tale it seem Thug played more live shows than recordings, he points out each show would end in mock brawl.

The next is the most well known Thug song of all-time which was a 7″ vinyl single around the same time, maybe this should be another post but I might be banned or something from WordPress if I have a post called Fuck Your Dad. It was only called Dad at the time so I could just say that but it’s better known as Fuck You Dad. It’s yet another track on my very first blog post here about The Tales From The Australian Underground comp album, which I did see on ebay for $50 the other day.

Before that and not as crazy but still pretty bloody mad was more a band with real songs too. Salamander Jim and a one off album called Lorne Green Shares His Precious Fluids from the year 1985. I got to included this one because Aussie under rated guitar player and singer-songwriter Stu Spasm real name Stuart Gray and is on this, only time these two are on record together so in my opinion worth throwing on and having a listen. I’ve just got to write something more about Stu at some point. Above are are tracks on YouTube and are in running order if you had the album, BTW the song Hot Cakes For Daddy was on Volume 2 of The Tales From The Australian Underground comp album too.

Now I really can’t included everything Perko done but those are highlights of his early music career which does write about in the book. Now off course he writes a lot about Beasts Of Bourbon but if you have guess yet that’s one I’m going to write more about later. And just to get it out of the way now, off course the others are The Cruel Sea and the Tex, Don & Charlie works. Hopefully I will not take forever to do these posts but who knows?

I’ve got to say The Butcher Shop project was a little over rated in my view, other people seem to think after Beasts that’s his best early on stuff but somehow I don’t dig it at all. The mark one even has the line-up with Kid Congo Powers from The Gun Club etc. and Spencer P. Jones from Beasts and more but it left me cold, maybe even would call it here and now on my blog the worst Tex thing ever. Yeah, I think it’s even worst than Lazyboyz album.

 

Not totally skipping Beasts and Sea here in this post but Perko says Jimmy Little did like  a better version of The Cruel Sea‘s title track from the debut album from 1989 in his book. So just above is that cover Down Below opening track from Little’s Message album from 1999.

This next one above Tex don’t write about in his book but I can’t help myself, it’s Beasts Of Bourbon song written by Kim Salmon called Words From A Word To Her Man and it’s covered by The Drones on the Aussie radio Triple J’s Like A Version around mid-2000’s. I’ve got to have something The Drones related don’t I?

Seems I’m on Triple J thing and covers now here’s Tex, Don & Charlie cover of the great Bob Dylan song named after the blues singer from 1930’s Blind Willie McTell. Would be recorded somewhere around mid-90’s maybe a bit earlier.

OK, I can’t go past anything Nick Cave related too and Tex has been compare but really tell the truth I didn’t understand it. Media is most likely to blame for that, really any Aussie male white singer that sings a bit deep voice and or sung a dark song/s gets compere to him and they get payed for that? Tex and Nick once wrote a song together called Two Wrongs is not even in passing in his book. From his debut solo album called Far Be It From Me from 1996. Tex does say about the comparing to as he’s known to him as Cavo: “He’s all forehead and no forehead. I’m ape-like and he’s more like Herman Munter.” etc.

His book did remind me he co-wrote a song with Rowland S. Howard which I’d forget all about. Blissfully Blind from his second solo album called Dark Horses from 2000. He dismissed a lot of his albums but he liked this one, reviews of his own work is pretty harsh at all times.

So one album he really loves and was the self-titled debut album by The Ape, yet another band this time from 2013 with Raul the Magic Dirt guitarist, Pat the bass player from Dallas Crane and his go-to drummer Gus and in 2016 they did do an EP or mini-album follow-up called Give In but he thinks right now it’s not going to happen again so please have a listen and see what you think, I’ve listen to it a couple of times now. Also The Drones Dan Luscombe and ex-drummer Mike Noga on it plus AFL premiership Aussie footy player Bob Murphy singing on it too. He talks a lot about footy in the book so it’s amazing that’s the only Aussie footy star to be on his records.

So that’s my little Tex Perkins blog post or you just should really read his book! Do wish these type of books would have an index. So much I’ve missed in this post but it can’t go on forever. It’s totally great reading, recommend to anyone. He’s got some very bloody funny stories and wicked sense of humor. Bless him, shuck to his guns all this time. Real Aussie legend!

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