The House That Jack Kerouac Built

Album: Tallulah (1987)
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Songfacts®:

  • American poet and novelist Jack Kerouac was a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Here, Go-Betweens frontman Robert Forster describes a girl and her friends influenced by the king of the Beats. He is both drawn to and wary of the female, because of the "bad crowd."
  • Robert Forster wrote the song with his bandmate Grant McLennan in 1986. He explained to Uncut magazine that the Go-Betweens had been in London for four years by that time and he "was unraveling in quite a rock-and-roll way."

    Baby, I'm lonely.
    You're on the road with a bad crowd


    Asked who the "bad crowd" was, Forster replied: "That song is sort of like a soundtrack to careering around London, writing songs and just looking weirder and weirder every week. London encouraged that - no one holds you back if you want to dress weirder and act weirder there are no brakes. So the bad crowd could be anyone I ran into on a particular night."
  • The Go-Betweens discovered multi-instrumentalist Amanda Brown playing live in a café. She joined the band in 1986 debuting on Tallulah. This gypsy rocker, driven by Brown's violin, is a worthy showcase of her talents.

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