Clinton Walker is a cultural archaeologist, always on the big dig and usually somewhere no one else has thought of looking – then he makes the discovery, and we all come running
– Robert Forster
Suburban Songbook, which is currently the subject of a gofundme campaign to raise money to manufacture, is a different view of Australian music history. Rather than going in search of a Sound, it seeks out the Songs and their writers to find a fresh take on this old story – describing Australian pop’s most elusive leap, from the cover-version cargo cult of the 1950s to a true coming of age in the early 1970s. Author Clinton Walker, whose many books from Inner City Sound to Buried Country have proven him always ahead of the pack, has done it again! Drawing on his extensive knowledge, research and personal experience, he plots a course through this crucial epoch that will please trainspotters, scholars and casual readers alike. Knitted into a background of tumultuous social change, Suburban Songbook gets inside the compositions that helped shape the sound, paying long overdue credit to the often-obscure pioneers who toiled to set the stage for the full maturation of Australian music that followed Countdown into the 1980s. The great writers of that later era are well-celebrated; now Suburban Songbook acknowledges their forebears, reconstructing the foundations without which the towering edifice of Australian pop would have been so much slower to rise, and much less rich.
The book will be released after the gofundme's target is reached to go to print. If it sounds at all interesting or attractive to you, please sign on to support/buy a copy. And if you want to peruse the range of bespoke dustjackets that you can add to your copy of the book, go here...
An exhilarating read! Funny, sharp and a deadset Australian look at our own parochial selves, from the cultural cringe to Janie Conway! Fast-paced and heroic – Jason Walker
Thank you Clinton Walker for this long overdue history of Australian song. It will remind you, the reader, why you love songs so much, and why they are so important to us all – Broderick Smith