Grant McLennan of Australian band The Go-Betweens died May 5 in his sleep in Brisbane. He was 48 years old.
McLennan and Robert Forster formed the core of the Go-Betweens over 25 years of the band’s existence.
He was born in Rockhampton, Queensland and met Forster while attending university in Brisbane. Although the Go-Betweens stood for lyrical, guitar-driven soft rock, they held close links with Nick Cave’s more raucous The Birthday Party. McLennan and Cave shared a flat during their time in London around 1980.
Unlike other teams, McLennan and Forster hardly ever penned songs together, instead going back and forth between Forster’s brittle irony and McLennan’s gift for straightforward romantic and melancholic pop songs. His “Cattle and Cane” recently was voted by the Australian Performing Rights Association as one of the ten greatest Australian songs of all time.
Until their break after a final tour with REM in 1989, the Go-Betweens had gained an ever-growing following, which was eager for more when they reformed in 2001. Throughout the 90s, Forster and McLennan collaborated as solo artists on joint tours, and since their reunion have put out three Go-Betweens albums.
McLennan is survived by his girlfriend and a son.