This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a Q & A with Tex Perkins at the Byron Bay Writers Festival about his new book Tex.
The famous line from the John Ford film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance “If you are going to print the facts about the man or print the fiction, you wanna print the fiction” doesn’t apply here because he is as much a legend in real life as he reveals himself to be in his new book.
What makes this memoir so engaging is that all of Tex’s charisma, charm and humour comes through in the comic timing of the tales about the amazing characters; the cream of Australia’s music scene whose lives and creativity have been weaved through his 30 years in the music industry.
Having been in 20 bands including Beasts of Bourbon, The Cruel Sea and Tex Don and Charlie, the book is a great insight into Australia’s Rock n’ Roll underground scene and a time in history when misspent youth was about being free, wild and irreverent and sometimes nude – not trawling for likes on snapchat.
POPSART INTERVIEWS TEX PERKINS
Tex said about writing the book, “I tend to remember the funny stuff even if it’s tragic and has injuries and misfortune. As the old saying goes mishap, tragedy plus time equals comedy. There are details of musical characters that people who know me would be interested in, but I wanted people to read it that didn’t know me and still enjoy it.”
For the die hard fans, the book has detailed documentation of each album he has produced, and for new comers to Tex and his music, he takes you on a true rock n’ roll adventure from being “discovered” after going on a Serepax rampage at a Pork Gig as a teenager, the art punk performances of Thug at venues if you turned up nude you got free beer, to making the whole Axe Mans Jazz album with the Beasts in four hours with their skinny bellies full of beer and faces full of speed.
By the end of the read it does leave you feeling like Iggy Pop whose quoted as saying “Tex is the realest dude out there. He is born a stone stud symbol; I wish I was more like Tex.”
The one thing that is better than reading the book yourself is actually hearing Tex read it, which he did during the session I had with him. So hopefully he will continue with this idea which we discussed and make a live show from it.
As for Rock n’ Roll being a heritage art form, Tex summed it up beautifully, “Rock n’ roll will never die as a form of music, it may not be top of the charts or bring home the bacon for the record company, but Rock n’ Roll as an idea and a feeling… it’s eternal and it’s in my family!”
Tex By Tex Perkins is in stores now.
More Popsart can be found here. Headline photo by Kurt Petersen.