SeanSennett 45rpm

A collection of digital 45rpms, Ep's and albums. New music will be released every five weeks.

"Grant McLennan’s Cowboy Boots"

Sean Sennett 45rpm Project #5 “Grant McLennan’s Cowboy Boots”

‘White t-shirt, red 49ers cap and a bag full of ideas … uptown from the underground … Grant McLennan’s cowboy boots…’

The crew at the Queensland University of Technology are an ambitious bunch. They put the call out to artists around southeast Queensland to record a 100 song in a week. 70 bands/solo artists were shortlisted to participate and the campus studios doors were open 24/7. I wanted to be part of the shebang: and I wanted to record in a way that embraced the mood of the project. The deal was one song was to be recorded, and mixed, in one four-hour block.  I thought it’d be fun to record with players that were new to each other. Derek Haas played bass. Marty Smith was available to play drums. I needed a piano player. My first choice couldn’t make it. My second choice got him self a day job. The recording was booked for the next day and I was starting to sweat. I looked up and there was a row of townhouses. David Bentley lived in one of them. I hadn’t seen David for at least five years. An enigma, David wrote a #1 hit for Rod Stewart [“In A Broken Dream”] and was invited by the Rolling Stones to jam when they toured Australia in the early 1970’s. I knocked on the first door. It wasn’t his. I tried the next door and ‘bingo’. David invited me in as if we’d seen each other last week and I explained that I wanted to record a brand new song tomorrow with a band that had never played together before. He said ‘yes’.

We cut the tune with producer Phil Graham at the helm in 3hours and 40mins. There was twenty minutes on the clock and I had an idea. Why not improvise a second track and we’ll pull it out on thin air and put it onto tape. Everyone nodded. The idea was for a poem called “Grant McLennan’s Cowboy Boots”. All I had was five or six words that triggered memories scrawled on a sheet of A4.

David started to play, Derek and Marty locked in with him. I started to talk off the top of my head. I first got interested in spoken word when I heard the great John Cooper Clarke do ‘Beasley Street’ on 4ZZZ. Then there was Tom Waits’ ‘What’s He Building In There’ and Paul Kelly’s ‘I Was Hoping You’d Say That’.

Way back in the dark ages I flew to Sydney to get a computer fixed. I had met Grant McLennan a couple of days before at Spring Livid. A thousand miles later I bumped into him in Kings Cross and we spent most of the day together. The story/poem/song begins there and picks up years later when he moved to Brisbane.

When I heard the track back, I thought about we could finesse it. But, in the spirit of the session, we did it and left it to Phil to mix on the fly and hand back to us. It’s an interesting track and QUT have put it, and everything else, on iTunes to showcase the material recorded in that crazy week.

‘White t-shirt, red 49ers cap and a bag full of ideas … uptown from the underground … Grant McLennan’s cowboy boots…’

Ross Wilson - ‘Same As Me’ - 45RPM #4

Music mogul Michael Gudinski has a country house at Mt Macedon where he frequently invites songwriters to meet, write songs and record the results. I’ve been invited twice. Usually sixteen or so writers are in attendance. The tunesmiths usually include gun songwriters from here and overseas, pop stars, artists with an album in the works, veterans, icons and wildcards.

The first day I arrived, the songwriters in question were gathered around Gudinski’s substantial lounge-room. The chairs and couches were arranged in a large square and a lone acoustic was passed from the first songwriter to the next, anti-clockwise, around the room. I felt a sense of dread as the guitar was heading my way. ‘What would I play?’ ‘Would I remember the chords?’ Obviously I wanted to impress – but in a subtle way. I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans as the guitar got closer. On my left was Ross Wilson. Ross was as cool as a cucumber. In fact, he was reading a newspaper. As the guitar moved around the room, Ross didn’t even look up. As a man from a fading English pop group held court, Ross was engrossed in the sports pages. It looked as if Ross was going to keep on reading. Just as the person sitting two seats away from me leaned over to skip him all together, Ross folded the paper in half and reached out for the guitar. He played Eagle Rock, poked his tongue out like he did in the black and white video clip that they still play on Rage and knocked the audience dead. As we burst into spontaneous applause, Ross went back to reading the paper.

The next day the organisers, Mushroom Music, paired each writer up with another to compose a song in the morning with a view to recording a demo of it in the afternoon. I was teamed with Ross. He asked me to play him one of my songs to get an idea of what I was all about. Ross built his reputation in Daddy Cool and later Mondo Rock. He also produced Skyhooks and inspired Elton John to write ‘Crocodile Rock’. One of the Mondo’s greatest tunes was a Ross penned number called ‘Cool World’. I told Ross I wanted to write a song as good as that: and we came up with a song called ‘Same As Me’. It was Ross’ title and we had a great time trading lyrics and ideas. One of the highlights of my musical life was watching Ross record the demo in a small room of the mansion with Andrew Scott on the controls and Ross asking me to come in closer to sing the backing vocals. Later Ross cut the track and it’s on his recent greatest hits set Mr Eagle Rock/Ross Wilson’s Greatest Hits alongside Hi Honey Ho, Come Said The Boy, Come Back Again, Summer of 81 and a host of other hits. Like all great writers, Ross always has a top-drawer song lying around. He played me a song he wrote with Don Walker that knocked my socks off that flew virtually under the radar.



Next time Ross is playing your hood – check him out. After we wrote the song, I went out onto the tennis court to have a hit of backyard cricket. David Bridie bowled me the greatest outswinger with a wet tennis ball that I’ve ever seen: but that’s another story.

Ross Wilson ‘The Same As Me’ co-written with Sean Sennett. Featured here as part of the Sean Sennett 45rpm Project.

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’ Ltd Ed CD single. 

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’ Ltd Ed CD single. 

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’. Shot by Square Eyed. 

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’. Digital single cover. 

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’. Digital single cover. 

The Incredible Strand ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’

Sean Sennett 45RPM #3

'The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls'. 

It’s funny where a song comes from. One night I met a guy in bar who was lamenting that his girlfriend had left him for another and moved on. To make himself feel better he let me know that since she’d ‘cut her hair’ it wouldn’t be the same anyway. 

I kicked a tune around and came up with ‘The Girl Who Ruled The World’. I played it for Kate Ceberano who sang it back to me like it was the last great unreleased Blondie song. Finally it became ‘The Girl Who Wants To Be With The Girls’. and was cut by The Incredible Strand. Derek Haas and Scott Lapthorne are a killer rhythm section and Jeff Lovejoy plays a great solo that taps into that Blondie thing I was talking about. 

When it came to make the clip we connected with the Square-Eyed crew. Their concept was for a men’s help group that helps the gents in question deal with the fact that their girlfriends have left them for same-sex partners. They asked me to act in it. I told them I couldn’t act. When you see the terrific clip they made you’ll spot me as the weak link in a fine ensemble. 

You’ll find the clip here:

You can buy it on iTunes here:

To ‘launch’ the single we’ll be playing a show at the Powerhouse in Brisbane on April 22 2012 at 3.30pm. We’ll be giving away a limited edition CD of the single that features a unique collage as the cover art. 

Maybe we’ll see you there? 

If you’d like a single send me your address and I’ll post you one. 

Thanks for staying with the 45rpm project …. ‘There’s A Girl At the Cinema Who Looks Like Beth Orton’ has been added to 60 local ABC stations around the country. Thanks Aunty!

There’s A Girl At The Cinema Who Looks Like Beth Orton - directed and edited by Jason Millhouse. Filmed between one small room and the expanse of New Farm Park. The ‘girl’ in the clip is the actress Lauren Jackson. You can find the song on iTunes here: #iTunes

There’s A Girl At The Cinema Who Looks Like Beth Orton

Here we are. A new year … a new song. This one is called ‘There’s A Girl At The Cinema Who Looks Like Beth Orton’. I hope you like it. Inspiration? I saw a girl who looked like Beth Orton - ‘first she smiles/and then she dashes you on the rocks’. Yep, infatuation can be a tough gig. The tracks were recorded between Cooparoo and, via the world wide web, Nashville. Jason Millhouse, who captured the song on tape, has shot a quite austere B&W  clip for it using a still camera shooting motion. You can see it here:

Stuart Coupe is one of Australia’s great popular culture writers, and I asked him if he’d make a list of his favourite songs that feature famous folk in the title. I asked him for ten - but he couldn’t resist and gave me his Top 29! If you have a favourite, could you send me yours?

Stuart Coupe’s List of Songs with Famous People in the Title

Amelia - Joni Mitchell

Bette Davis Eyes - Jackie DeShannon

Ronnie & Neil - Drive By Truckers

Stevie Nicks - Calexico

Andy Warhol - David Bowie

Lou Reed & Robert Quine - Perry Keyes

The Day John Sattler Broke His Jaw - Perry Keyes

Joe Strummer - Perry Keyes

Bonnie & Clyde - Serge Gainsbourg

Hey Jack Kerouac - 10,000 Maniacs

Song ForDennis Brown - The Mountain Goats

Nina Simone - Tom Russell

The House That Jack Kerouac Built - Go-Between

Bukowski - Tom Russell

Harry Patch, Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce - Tom Russell

Playing Warren Zevon - Stephen Housden

Sondra - Sports

Bradman - Paul Kelly

Lenny Bruce - Bob Dylan

Song To Woody - Bob Dylan

Jim Dean Of Indiana - Phil Ochs

Miss Williams Guitar - Jayhawks

Billy Baxter - Paul Kelly

Lonesome Cowby Bill - Velvet Underground (about Burroughs)

Keith Don’t Go - Nils Lofgren

Cat Power - Patterson Hood

Belinda Carlisle Diet - Patterson Hood

Oh Yoko - John  Lennon

Alex Chilton - The Replacements