"It's been quite amusing. It was a scary piece to write." Pete's first attempt was rejected by the editor who claimed, it was good, but too boring. Asking instead, "can't you put in stuff about drugs and things?" I hardly knew these guys, the contact was very fleeting. It was in a band room in 1980, but y'know it was funny. The whole rock band endeavour is about building a myth. It's exactly what we were trying to do."
"There's two things, there's a Best of, it's just a basic CD. It's got the hits and two new songs we recorded last year, which surprised us, but we did do two songs last year. It wasn't planned." The band wanted to do something new, but just couldn't find the reason to do it. "Then I got this phone call from Connie Johnson, who is this woman who is dying of cancer. Dale knew her when she was a kid, as he used to go and visit kids in hospital. So, she just rang up and said look, I'm ahhhhhh
. could we use one of your songs for a fundraising album?"
Connie's brother was riding a unicycle around Australia to raise awareness and funds. Fans may recognise the brother as Australian actor Samuel Johnson. "This is about a year ago and that got me going. We kind of needed a reason to write. The Best of has the two new songs on it and the box set has our first three albums, we stacked them with extra tracks, B sides we recorded at the time. The box set has also got a fourth CD material that was never released. It was typical of the corporate rock practice of the times. You would make these complete sounding recordings and then the management or the record company would go nahhhhhhh let's not put that one out!"
"I often do that sort of stuff though. A mate rang me last night and said, my dad wants to play this Died Pretty song. I just listened to it on Youtube and wrote the chords out. It was easy. But ummm, I can't remember that song today, I've forgotten (laughs). I can still remember Let's Hear it for the Boys and Flashdance. Oh god I wish I could get rid of that stuff!" It's at this point Pete collapses into laughter and grimaces at the thought of these pop tunes overstaying their welcome.
"From the moment the first song was counted off, it was like KAPOW this monster was let out of the box. And ummmm, that is the funny thing about it. We used to worry about whether we could bring the monsters alive. Now it just kind of... it's just there. It resides in that body of work in that group of people. We just have to hit go and there she blows."
Pete's hoping the Melbourne gig coming up on the 8th of March will be the same positive experience, "that is going to be a weird night for us, because we are going to attempt to play things we haven't played before. We are rock solid on Onion Skin, but as soon as we play new things it falls apart!"