This section is dedicated to the work of John Clare, who began writing in the early 70s, and has long been regarded as the doyen of Australian jazz writers. Helen Garner, in her preface to Clare's book Take Me Higher, describes how she used to cut out his writings under his Gail Brennan pseudonym and paste them into her diary. Originally she thought the articles were written by a woman. She describes his writing as "superbly literate and articulate, deeply informed, yet completely ordinary in tone, even at their most elated. A relaxed freedom flowed through everything he wrote. He was fearless. He rejoices. He celebrated. Years later, an art critic who admired him said to me: John Clare’s an ecstatic.” Many of John Clare's articles that were published previously in various publications are collected here. Click on the INDEX button for a list of articles in this folder.
BILL FRISELL, A PORTRAIT
John Clare comments on Emma Franz's film
Guitarist Bill Frisell made his reputation and stamped his unique impact in the region of contemporary jazz late last century. The times were propitious. The guitar had been pretty much the popular king of instruments from just past the centre of that very century…
IN HONOUR OF MIKE NOCK
by John Clare
The great Mike Nock and I are, within months, the same age, and so is John Pochée. All born in 1940. Pochée has suffered ill health and whatever meagre talent I possess has shrunk under a series of shocks over the past few years. At the time of writing Nock alone was in full cry. Perhaps better than ever…
EL ROCCO: BEYOND THE MAINSTREAM
by John Clare
Excerpt from Bodgie Dada & The Cult of Cool, 1995
On the ledge of a red phone box in Darlinghurst in the late 1950s someone had written AUSTRALIA, LAND OF MEN WITHOUT WOMEN! in thick black paint. If you walked back along Darlinghurst Road toward Sydney’s Kings Cross, you would pass a number of coffee-shops that were usually filled with European men. Some of these expatriates were bearded. Many smoked pipes and there was usually a chess game in progress. Most women found the feeling of frustrated masculinity oppressive and soon asked to leave...