UPDATE: Australian Senate Remembers Grant McLennan – As The County’s Most Famous Rock Musicians Pay Their Respects

BRISBANE, Australia (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – Hundreds of mourners packed St John's Cathedral in Brisbane, May 12th, bidding farewell to Grant McLennan, co-founder of legendary Australian band the Go-Betweens, according to The Age.

McLennan, who was 48, died suddenly at his home in Brisbane last Saturday.

The Age reported that some of Australia's best known performers were at the service, including Paul Kelly, Powderfinger's Bernard Fanning and Ian Haug, Hoodoo Gurus' guitarist Brad Shepherd and the Church's Steve Kilbey, who recorded two albums with McLennan under the name Jack Frost.

Delivering the first eulogy, McLennan's sister Sally recalled "a schoolboy coming home, to a house of tin and timber".

The lines were taken from McLennan's most famous composition Cattle And Cane, recently voted by the Australian Performing Rights Association as one of the 10 greatest Australian songs of all time.

Go-Betweens co-founder Robert Forster also delivered a eulogy in which he said McLennan's songs would last 1000 years. Acknowledging his friend's presence, he added: "Grant's just told me 10,000."

Forster met McLennan at the University of Queensland in 1976. Influenced primarily by Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine, of the New York band Television, the Go-Betweens introduced poetry and a rare sensitivity to Australian music.

Unwanted in Australia, the band moved to London in 1982, where they were part of a dramatic push of Australian musicians into Europe that also included the Birthday Party, the Triffids and the Scientists.

Through a string of acclaimed albums during the 1980s — including Before Hollywood, Tallulah and Spring Hill Fair — the Go-Betweens were enormously important in bringing Australian music to a wider audience. They were adored by critics and admired by their musical peers, including R.E.M., who toured extensively with the band, and helped influence a generation of new acts including cult Scottish ensemble Belle and Sebastian.

However, commercial success eluded them. Even their sixth and final album, 1988's 16 Lovers Lane, failed to deliver the band to the audience they deserved, despite the presence of another McLennan classic, Streets of Your Town.

McLennan and Forster went on to solo careers, which continued the trend of high praise and few sales. Time, however, had been kind to the Go-Betweens, and when the two songwriters reconvened a new version of the band in 2000 with a new album, The Friends of Rachel Worth, their luck began to change.

Their most recent album, last year's Oceans Apart, was hailed as an instant classic around the world. This time the sales went some way towards keeping pace with the adulation.

The band's back catalogue had just been bought by EMI and the Go-Betweens' stock had never been higher.

Forster and McLennan returned to live in Brisbane during the 1990s, where they enjoyed their status as spiritual fathers of the local music scene.

McLennan, in particular, was a frequent sight in the city's bars and venues, where he offered endless encouragement to new bands.

Outside the service, friends remembered McLennan as a kind, gentle man, as well as a great songwriter.

Robert Vickers, who played bass in the Go-Betweens from 1982 to 1988, said: "I've heard a lot about what a great songwriter he was and great singer, (but) he was also a good and loyal friend, and I think that was his greatest skill."

Mark Callaghan, who led the Riptides and later GANGgajang, described McLennan as a supreme talent. "His lyrics were just stunning. He was a truly great writer."

Critic Clinton Walker, who lived with McLennan in London in the early 1980s, said he had been running on empty since learning of the singer's death.

"He was a generous and gentle soul, I just freaked out, like everybody."

Andrew Stafford is the author of Pig City, a history of Brisbane's music scene.

Their most recent album, last year's Oceans Apart, was hailed as an instant classic around the world. This time the sales went some way towards keeping pace with the adulation.

The band's back catalogue had just been bought by EMI and the Go-Betweens' stock had never been higher.

Forster and McLennan returned to live in Brisbane during the 1990s, where they enjoyed their status as spiritual fathers of the local music scene.

McLennan, in particular, was a frequent sight in the city's bars and venues, where he offered endless encouragement to new bands.

Outside the service, friends remembered McLennan as a kind, gentle man, as well as a great songwriter.

Robert Vickers, who played bass in the Go-Betweens from 1982 to 1988, said: "I've heard a lot about what a great songwriter he was and great singer, (but) he was also a good and loyal friend, and I think that was his greatest skill."

Mark Callaghan, who led the Riptides and later GANGgajang, described McLennan as a supreme talent. "His lyrics were just stunning. He was a truly great writer."

Critic Clinton Walker, who lived with McLennan in London in the early 1980s, said he had been running on empty since learning of the singer's death.

"He was a generous and gentle soul, I just freaked out, like everybody."

Andrew Stafford is the author of Pig City, a history of Brisbane's music scene.

The Senate has also recognized the work of influential singer-songwriter Grant McLennan who died last week.

McLennan died in his sleep in his Brisbane home at the age of 48 after a prolific music career highlighted by his work as the front man for the Go-Betweens.

Australian Democrats senator Andrew Bartlett moved a motion in the Senate which noted "the contribution made to music by McLennan as a songwriter and performer over nearly three decades".

The Senate also conveyed its sympathies to McLennan's mother, immediate family and past and present band members.

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