The Best Years of Our Lives
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A rocking, uproarious memoir that tells the story of OzRock as well as one amazing life in music. Fasten your seatbelts for one wild ride!
Welcome to the party that never ends.
When he was 16 he inveigled his way into a Sydney hotel to hang out with the Rolling Stones. From that day on, Richard Clapton knew he was going to be a rock star. It's now almost 50 years since that fateful day -years filled with a lifetime of incredible experiences, outrageous good times and a catalogue of iconic and timeless songs. Through the glory years of rock'n' roll, in cities as varied as London, Berlin, Sydney, Los Angeles and Paris, Richard forged his own career and built up a significant body of work while living, loving and partying with the biggest names in the Australian and international music world.
By his own frank admission, these were years fuelled by prodigious quantities of alcohol and drugs, set against a backdrop of constant recording and touring, of endless partying and wild times. It was to be a rollercoaster ride of euphoric highs and deep, shattering lows.
For 40 years, Richard Clapton has been, above all else, a songwriter-a wry observer of human behaviour and an astute commentator on the Australian condition. His best songs- 'Deep Water', 'The Best Years of Our Lives', 'Goodbye Tiger', 'Glory Road', 'Lucky Country', 'Girls on the Avenue', 'Trust Somebody' and 'Capricorn Dancer'-capture the essence of this country and the meaning of our lives like few others.
In this extraordinary memoir, Richard employs his songwriter's keen powers of observation, portraiture and storytelling to tell the best story of all: the remarkable one of his own life. Outrageous, funny, insightful and poignant, this is the rock memoir to beat them all. In celebration of 40 years of fabulous music and iconic songs, welcome to The Best Years of Our Lives.
Richard Clapton is a much-loved legend of Australian music, the performer and songwriter of many iconic Australian hit songs: Deep Water, Best Years of Our Lives, Goodbye Tiger, Glory Road, Lucky Country, I am An Island, Trust Somebody, Capricorn Dancer and Girls on the Avenue.
As a producer Richard worked on the second INXS album, Underneath the Colours (1981), which saw the beginning of their rise to fame in the shape of their first two hit singles. He also joined The Party Boys for a period before resuming his solo career.
Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane described Clapton as "one of the most important Australian songwriters ". On 12 October 1999, Clapton was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame. In 2014 he will be celebrating 40 years in the music industry.
there idly strumming his zither with the most tragic, faraway look in his eyes, seemingly oblivious to Ross and me. (Looking back on this, I do concede that it was possible the poor guy just had a shocking hangover.) Oddly, he turned out to be perhaps one of the nicest and most generous human beings, spiritually speaking, I’ve ever met. He actually seemed relieved, maybe even elated, by our presence. I do recall him trying to describe to us the disorientating and unnatural experience of being
in all our excesses and truly understood the life and the music. Graphic artists were also an integral part of the local music scene. David N. Pepperell, a true Beat writer and simply the most flamboyant character I’ve ever befriended, was probably best known as ‘Doctor Pepper’. He had borrowed $2000 with his mate Keith Glass and together they started a record store in Melbourne called Archie and Jugheads. David was well on his way to becoming a millionaire before he was thirty, and he was a
the song for the band. Zito interrupted me. ‘Okay,’ he snapped. ‘Let’s get started.’ I nervously insisted that there were a lot of chord changes in the song; perhaps I should play the whole thing. No go. ‘Fuck that! Roll tape!’ Zito shouted. The drummer counted in and we recorded about six songs in very quick succession, barely taking a break. But as soon as Richie heard some stuff back, his mood changed. By the end of the day we were good mates. I spent the next few days fixing and
Australia with me for just $A150 per week. As tempted as I was, I decided to take a different approach, and hired Chris Pinnick, an LA native who’d played guitar on ‘Ace of Hearts’ on my album and would soon join Chicago, and a well-known sax player. Diane would stay as back-up singer, just as she’d done back in Australia. We fitted out the garage and began daily rehearsals. I continued to write and also did a bit of recording on a primitive four-track machine. Very reluctantly, we all
console. Fifi made a phone call to a dealer who promptly delivered a number of grams. I had a new manager, a guy named Gary Grant, and when he arrived at the studio the whole evening became a big, blurry get-together. I surrendered and we all went back to St James Albany to party. We congregated in Chippa’s room, joined by some of the girls in our entourage. It all started out reasonably well, joints were being passed around, along with some booze and a few lines. Then the Halcion thing