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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Robert Forster

Book launch

Thursday 8 September

For the official Canberra launch of Robert Forster’s new book Grant and I: inside and outside The Go-betweens, join Australian singer-songwriter and author Robert Forster and ABC 666 personality Alex Sloan as they delve into the friendship and collaboration that made The Go-Betweens, one of Australia’s most iconic bands.

The 1980s songwriting partnership of McLennan/Forster was a little like an Australian Lennon/McCartney. The pair wrote all the band's distinctively original material and, like their more famous counterparts, shared the credits and alternated on lead vocals; both also played guitar. They formed The Go-Betweens in Brisbane in 1977, in possibly the quirkiest of all rock-band beginnings, before disbanding in 1989. A second incarnation, with Robert and Grant the constant in both lineups, endured from 2000 to 2006, the year of Grant's premature death.

Grant and I is an extraordinary portrait of an intense, creative, sometimes fraught friendship that represented a genuine meeting of artistic minds. Robert and Grant were arts undergraduates at Queensland uni in the seventies, where they bonded through a shared passion for literature and film. In this book the reader is given a front-row seat at the sessions that produced an incredibly prolific and diverse song catalogue, and is also taken backstage to the sometimes troubled rise and fall of the band itself.

Just as The Go-Betweens were like no other Australian group, so this book is like no other music memoir. Robert Forster is as natural a storyteller and prose writer as he is a songwriter, and Grant and I is an unforgettable ride.

2 portraits

1Grant & I . 2Robert Forster Photo by Stephen Booth.

Related people

Robert Forster

Related information

Robert, Lindy, Grant, 1981 Jenny Watson
Robert, Lindy, Grant, 1981 Jenny Watson
Robert, Lindy, Grant, 1981 Jenny Watson
Robert, Lindy, Grant, 1981 Jenny Watson

Face the music

Magazine article by Christine Clark, 2005

Drawn from the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Face the Music explores the remarkable talents and achievements of Australian musicians, composers, conductors and celebrities associated with the music industry.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.