Saturday, September 3, 2011

The End

So why pull the plug?

The short answer: I stopped enjoying it. I realised I enjoyed my day job more than I enjoyed the band. And when that's the case, you know somethings wrong! Actually, I still work in the same "industry. And calling it work is a bit of a misnomer, as it's more like a hobby. And a hobby that brings in enough money to support a family is a blessing!! In contrast, to quote Sonic Youth, all the band did was "burn a hole in my pocket".

As for why I stopped enjoying it......that's a longer answer.

The reasons, in no particular order:

1) Wayne. I couldn't stand him in the end. Giving him the microphone was the last straw! I started to feel like the band was only there to serve Wayne's ego. And while he could come up with great basslines to songs I bought in, as well as great song ideas of his own, he could also come up with rubbish - and it would be impossible to convince him that this was the case.

2) Andrew. I don't think I've ever met anyone so insecure before, and it was usually up to me to reassure/cajole him. And he was sometimes a bit of a loose canon. I became an amateur psychologist from from dealing with Andrew, and I've put much of my learning to good use throughout the intervening years! But in the end it just wore me down.

3) The music. I had a vision of what I wanted the band to sound like and evolve into. When I first heard Radiohead's OK Computer a few years later I was livid - that's what I was trying to do!! OK, we probably wouldn't have done it as well as they did it, but that was the vision. My favorite band at the time was Sonic Youth. They were everything Lucid Ocean weren't: unique, chaotic and anarchic. Lucid Ocean were just another band, and were always going to be just another band - and I didn't see the point in that!

4) Creativity. I felt that the band wasn't able to get the best out of the ideas I bought in. And I took personally at the time - you're not fucking trying hard enough! But hindsight is a wonderful thing! I later realised that part of the problem was actually my inability to express what I wanted. And even later I realised that the main problem was that I couldn't properly translate the ideas in my head onto my guitar. My thoughts in this regard are best summed up by the lyrics to Wilco's The Late Greats - if anyone ever asks me which song I wish I'd written myself, this is it - or at least the lyrics.

The first thing I did after leaving the band was cut my hair short! This had two purposes: renewal, and insurance against me changing my mind. I figured that they wouldn't want me back with short hair! I felt the rest of the band were more obsessed with image than music. This was probably unfair, but it's a pretty good indication of my disillusionment with the band.

The band eventually found another guitarist and started gigging, but I don't know how they went - I couldn't have been less interested. I know they recorded a demo, but I haven't heard it. After they started gigging again, someone I'd never met came up to me in a bar and said he had seen the "new" band recently, and that he felt they were much better when I was in the band! Vindication! Or maybe he just wanted me to buy him a beer!

I did meet Wayne, Mark and the guitarist in a bar about two years later, and they had just kicked Andrew   out! Apparently his behavior continued to degenerate, and they had finally had enough.

The next time I met Wayne was at a friends wedding! It turns out my friends wife went to school with Wayne and his partner Theresa. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? What bullshit! In Adelaide, I'm sure you can link any two people in at most three degrees!

Wayne and Mark later formed a techno band Superphatass, with also featured Peter, Lucid Ocean's sometime sound guy/manager. I saw the CD in a second hand store for $2 last year so I bought it. Not exactly my cuppa tea, but quite good for what it is.

So that brings things to a close - almost. I thought I might dig up the best versions I can find of some of our better songs - so stay tuned!


  1. A superb end to a grand tale! And upcoming bonus tunes to boot! Who could ask for more.? Thanks Dav...err... Ralph! Some great reading here. It also brought back a few good and not so good memories of my own, too. By the way, do you still play guitar or has it gone the way of the treadmill - collecting dust and used now only as a clothes rack?

  2. No, I don't play guitar at all any more. I still have an acoustic guitar, but no motivation to play it - too many other things to do!