NICK- Hey Guys, we thought we’d tag-team the post for this, the third of five videos from the EPINADAY.
I originally wrote Lake George to pitch to Luke’s country band The Bluffhearts. The chorus line- ‘it sure ain’t a good idea’ – just popped into my head with the melody attached, and it was one of those good lines that brings the whole narrative with it. I remember sitting down to write it in the leafy backyard of a sharehouse in Hackett, it took about 40 minutes. I went straight out and played it at a gig that night.
It was a bit too 3/4 for the Bluffhearts but it went on to be a bit of a showstopper for Big Score, the jam band I had going with a bunch of other singer-songwriter friends. We use to play a very rocky version with me strumming dumbly on the bass and drummer Nick Peddle going apeshit out of the bridge stop. Nick also plays on this version and it’s a testament to his versatility that he nails the sparse vibe every bit as well.
Obviously it’s the sort of Place Name song were the Place has very little to do with the narrative. That was very much on purpose, as I’d wanted to use an iconic ACT location without trying to say anything about Canberra. It’s a Song-As-Short-Story about dodgy guy meeting dodgy girl, when I wrote it it was pure fiction but in the intervening years I’ve probably skirted close to some of this behavior (though I still don’t drink OR drive).
I’d say it probably still stands up as one of the five best songs I’ve ever written and I love this version. Jules nailed the sing-along hook (which was originally sung by Big Score’s Beth Monzo) but for me it was particularly cool to have her on electric guitar instead of her usual acoustic. Matt resisted my advice to play a busier part, and as always he was right. Sam’s slide licks were played on a homemade guitar that his Dad made as a young man, hopefully we can find a still shot of it to post ’cause that thing is nuts.
LUKE – Lake George is one of my favourite Delatovic songs (I still remember the first time I heard it years ago at a Bluffhearts practice in Mel’s garage). That beautiful, weary line towards the end – “I’ll take off my spurs/And I’ll put on the bridle” – is as perfect and unique a metaphor as it gets. I remember the version Delatovic and Peddle used to play in Big Score as obstreperous, the individual segments coming together like parts from different songs. This take is more cohesive, slower, stately – Sunday morning rather than Saturday night. I needed the edit to reflect this.
Black and white images always seem at a remove. Some people think this remove is one of time, harkening back to the pre-colour era of film. I think the remove is not in time, but in reality – the world we live in is in colour – black and white is hence otherworldly (or just other). It’s a space that belongs to imagination, to movies, and to dreams. It’s set aside from real life, and larger than life in some cases. It can make the ordinary seem artful, and make the artful seem sublime.
All of which is unimportant to the casual observer, but as a filmmaker, it’s certainly an interesting place to start. The dissolves (don’t get me started on dissolves!) enhance the floating atmosphere, and complement the unhurried, hazy pace of the arrangement.
Taking footage from the same session and making four visually distinct videos is a challenge. World Of Hurt and Lake George have set the bar high – I watched Gimme Shelter this week for inspiration – maybe I need to superimpose a long flowing pink scarf onto Nick!