It was over five years ago that four of Australia’s most respected rockers joined forces to commemorate one historically stellar album. But ask Grinspoon frontman, Phil Jamieson, about his memories of that time and his answer draws a roaring laugh.
“I’ll be perfectly honest I just kind of blagged my way through interviews because I didn’t understand the importance of The White Album at all,” he admits with a chuckle.
“I was really excited by the idea of sharing a stage with Chris [Cheney of The Living End], Tim [Rogers of You Am I] and Josh [Pyke] who are my peers and my contemporaries, but in interviews they would ask me ‘How important is The White Album to you?’ and I’d be like ‘It’s really important!’ but I was lying.”
Jamieson says that the 2009 tour allowed a deeper understanding of the album’s form, “after singing it that many times and coming back to it.”
As an album that held a unique collection of lyrics and melodies, Liverpool’s famous four, The Beatles, created what Jamieson describes as “one of the most amazing art installations ever,” despite being gripped by the turmoil that slowly broke them apart.
“It just creates this bizarre world that you enter and it’s a beautiful thing,” he says.
“I don’t really have favourite bands or favourite songs. I mean one day I like Miley Cyrus the next day I like Miles Davis. I like lots of different shit. So with The White Album, you can definitely single out great songs off it but I like it as a whole. There was no fear. They weren’t artists trying to get on the radio, they had the world at their feet, and they wrote what they wanted to write. That’s impressive and that’s what I love about it.”
With an additional re-work of Revolution 9 added to the 2014 leg, Jamieson reckons that it is “more a theatre show” with a swift shot of rock ‘n’ roll added into the mix. With his final words of our conversation, this could not be more blatant.
“I did a live radio interview where the guy asked me ‘It must be everyone’s dream to pretend you’re a Beatle?’ and I was like ‘Excuse me? No!’. This is not me pretending to be a Beatle or wanting to be a Beatle at all. It’s our interpretation and we just hope people enjoy it.” (CD)
Jul 18-20, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $89-159+bf, sydneyoperahouse.com