Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Perhaps best known for his work as a frontman and songwriter for Goodshirt – he penned their hit Fiji Baby among others – Rodney Fisher has been off the radar for most since the band called it quits in 2005 and Fisher headed off to London.
There have been occasional Goodshirt reunions but Fisher busied himself in promotion, booking gigs and helping emerging artists.
A meeting with Andy and Victoria Knapp (The Response) who had recorded a version of Fiji Baby lead to the collaboration on Fisher's album Art School Dropout, a classy piece of sophisticated, beautifully crafted pop which we reviewed here.
Time then to ask Rodney Fisher a few questions . . .
The first song which made you think, 'Now that's a well crafted piece of work' was . .
Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'
Complete this sentence: The first song I wrote was . . .
called ‘Escaping’. Lol, It was about flying through the sky inside a painting, I think I was in Standard 3 at the time.
As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; Dolly Parton or Joan Baez; Dolly Johnny Cash or Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams or Emmylou Harris?
Lennon – McCartney, Dolly, Cash Emmylou (my daughter is named after her)
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito #1
The Beatles - Something
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
Haha I must still be stuck in my parents record collection!
Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?
It’s always different for me, I’ve recently been enjoying distancing myself from guitar, and going vocal and melody first and then experimenting with piano chords blindly moving around until the emotion works.
The best book on music or musicians you have read?
I must be the last musician on earth, but have just started Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act which is already living up to the hype.
If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .
Dave Dobbyn, I’ve been dreaming of that lately.
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . .
The National - First Two Pages Of Frankenstein
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .
You’ve lost me?! I’m taking this as a secret shame… The Voice by John Farnham. Lol
One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .
“When we went to Hamilton, I said 'just pretend it’s a holiday' and you said, 'yip I’ll just pretend its Fiji Baby' ”. Sorry had to be done
Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?
70/30 If it’s not working I get bored and pick up a paint brush.
Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?
Gosh can I have the same answer? Fiji Baby just kinda feel onto the page and out of the guitar.
And finally, finish this couplet in any way you like: “Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .” (You are NOT allowed to rhyme that with “meet” however!)
and the contents of my life dancing in the wind and wonder if it’s a sign to just let go.
You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here.