The Band’s 1968 ‘Music From Big Pink’ was a life-changing recording for Australian singer songwriter Brian Cadd. After hearing an early preview of the album in London in early 1968 Brian’s songwriting changed forever.
“It was mostly because of the extraordinary experience Ronnie Charles and I had in London,” Brian Cadd tells Noise11.com. “We were with The Easybeats in their flat in Earl’s Court and they had a night off. When they had a night off they used to bring their PA, their sound system home and set it up in the Living Room. The neighbours must have been deaf. At around three o’clock in the morning we were all extraordinarily untidy and there was a knock on the door. It was one of the roadies for Cream, the Eric Clapton band. He had just returned from America and he was waving their quarter inch tape saying ‘you have got to listen to this. This is it. Music will never be the same again’. He put it on. He only had the first side, 5 or 6 songs. I think Ronnie and I left about 9am”.
That first side of ‘Music From Big Pink’ ended with ‘The Weight’. The album also featured ‘Tears of Rage’ written with Bob Dylan. “We just played that tape over and over and over,” Brian says. “It changed my life forever. There was all that time up to that moment and all that time after that moment. It affected me enormously as a writer.
What followed for Cadd were songs like ‘Arkansas Grass’, a song about the American Civil War. “It gave me the freedom to write stories as stories,” he says. “It gave me the chance to write about other people. I could make up scenarios just like The Band. They had all these characters that seemed to come from the Civil War. It was one of those things back in the day with the candles out and the incense burning in The Easybeats apartment. You saw the Confederate soldiers and you saw the croppers. The pictures were so extraordinary. It affected me like that”.
Brian Cadd will perform three shows in Victoria this weekend:
26 February, Macedon, Railway Hotel
27 February, Brunswick, Brunswick Ballroom
28 February, Archies Creek, Archies Creek Hotel
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