The only reason I created this blog, is to let the people in the world know that there´s a band in Australia called The Living End and it is awesome. Of course, I am a fan, and my objectivity is compromised, but my challenge is to prove everyone that these guys are great.
I first knew about the band when I was only a teenager growing up in sunny Melbourne, Australia. If you know a little about our country, you´ll know that huge rock bands have come out of the island like AC/DC or Silverchair, even INXS, but there was no big punk rock culture. During the big explosion of bands like Green Day, Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Offspring,
NOFX and all that ska-punk revolution of in-your-face punk rock mixed with ska, reggae, rockabilly and even some Americana, we didn´t have anything like that here. I heard Green Day was doing an Australian tour and I lost my mind, I went to see both shows in Melbourne and both in Sydney. I was haunted, dancing and laughing and singing but I didn´t know the supporting act, some local kids called “The Living End”.
The first time I saw them on stage I didn´t pay them any attention, I just saw they were a three piece with a double bass, but I was waiting for the almighty Green Day I loved so much. The second night, they were up there again, this time I
listened to the songs and I found they were very good at their thing that was kind of a rockabilly Stray Cats thing with punk rock attitude and muscle. They were just kids like me, but Chris has always been a better-than-average guitar player. He caught my attention with those big old Gretsch Falcons jumping around and playing complex guitar parts adding some rockabilly licks to fast punk tunes. Then Green Day took the stage, and I forgot about them again. By night three I went over to the merch shop and bought their demo and a T-shirt. By night four, I was a fan.
I went home and told all my friends about it; we had our own punk rockabilly band in Australia! I was thrilled; my hair was dyed blonde, I used to wear this second-hand clothing bought in fairs and these rockabilly shoes. It was just a take-no-prisoner approach to life I felt so identified with that I would carry the cd in my backpack every day, listen to it in the car and learn every lyric. I started going to their shows, and by the time the EP with “Prisoner of Society” came out, I bought several and gave them to everyone I knew. The Living End was my discovery, my treasure, I looked up to them. In fact, they made me go back and listen to all those fifties records.
I saw them walk on the ARIA stage to receive the Award for the best-selling single and I just felt proud, that´s the exact word, I felt just like I did when my baby girl graduated from kindergarten two years ago. They had made it, they were on the stage of the biggest awards in the country, and punk rock had landed the mainstream airwaves because of them. The first album was a massive bomb, self-titled and fueled with incredible youthful energy; we used to play that album before going for drinks with my friends. Once I even convinced a pub owner to play it while we were drinking beer there, it all turned into a riot and a great anecdote to tell my children one day.
Time went by, life went by, I met my beautiful wife Sarah, and we had our children. I finished college, and now I got a steady job with a big office in a tall building, but in the drawers of my desk, you will always find a The Living End album to play in difficult moments. I still go to their gigs, with Sarah and hopefully the whole family soon. This band is the soundtrack of my life, and I would like everybody I know to get the same amount of joy and pleasure from their records I got throughout my life. The best of it all is that they are still making amazing music and filling stadiums and playing with the same amount of energy they did when we were growing up. If they never lose the spark, I guess I won´t either.