30 Odd Foot of Grunts featuring Russell Crowe / TOFOG
Bastard Life Or Clarity
What's on the new album
Taken from the article 'Crowe at the crossroads' by Nui Te Koha,
Weekend magazine, February 17th, 2001
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Bastard Life or Clarity is about choices.
The stories in the songs are based on real-life experiences.
Crowe's characters make decisions and shift between hope and hopelessness.
Things Have Got to Change is about relationships "that aren't suitable". Crowe also views it as his theme of freedom and the growing need to do things for himself.
Memorial Day: Crowe's grandfather was a World War II veteran who refused to wear his bravery medals because the Fijian troops he fought with were not given the same recognition. "He was a reticent fella," Crowe says, recalling a night at a Japanese restaurant when the former digger wouldn't eat rice.
Hold You is from the self-confessed "expert at unrequited love". It's iconographic, according to Crowe. "It's about seeing this ideal that's unattainable. To see somebody that you are immediately attracted to on a number of different levels - you should enjoy that."
Sail Those Same Oceans is dedicated to actor Jack Thompson. It's about Crowe's need to take his skills offshore, but at a cost. "I was in a great relationship, and getting on planes just destroyed it."
The Legend of Barry Kable: A homeless man guitarist Dean Cochran met while rescuing alcohol and drug-affected people on the streets of Sydney. Kable, it turns out, was a former Painters and Dockers Union strong-arm man.
Somebody Else's Princess was the result of a jam session in Los Angeles. The red-haired, blue-eyed character in the first verse is a publicist who handled the Grunts' 1998-'99 tour, but elsewhere Crowe says it's a "combination of different people".
Wendy is a woman Crowe observed while working on a resort island in New Zealand. She would be "affectionate" with guests for the stretch of her 10-day shift and, for her four days off, her son would appear, turning Wendy into the "perfect mother".
The Night Davey Hit the Train is a series of conversations with Cochran and actors Daniel Pollock and Ben Mendelssohn about the same subject, suicide. Heroin addict Pollock, Crowe's co-star in the neo-Nazi film Romper Stomper, died when he was hit by a train in Sydney. "There's that great arrogance in thinking: 'There must have been something else I could have done, something else I could have said'," Crowe says.
Swept Away Bayou (Facing the Headlights Alone) is a relationship song about connection. "It's about being completely taken over by somebody in terms of that emotional connection that we call love."
Judas Cart: Crowe's niece, who had lived with his parents and brother for seven years, was finally returning home to her mother. It was Crowe's job to drive her back. "I turned back to see the look on my brother's face," Crowe says recalling the devastation. The good news: his niece lives a great "balanced" life with her mother and father and went to the Academy Awards with Crowe last year.
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