Guide to Better Living back to Lismore 20 years later

POPULAR: Grinspoon are coming back to the streets of Lismore this weekend.
POPULAR: Grinspoon are coming back to the streets of Lismore this weekend. Dan Matnard

IT'S been twenty two years since Grinspoon won the inaugural Triple J Unearthed and catapulted from a Lismore rock band to being the most requested band in the station and total rock stars.

The band will be back to Lismore tomorrow touring a re-edition of Guide to Better Living, the hit record that, they admit, was born here.

Grinspoon is formed by Phil Jamieson on vocals, Bangalow resident Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums.

Frontman Phil Jamieson said the Lismore City Hall gig will be a very special night for the band.

"We wrote the majority of the songs (in the album) around the corner in Park Street, at Pat's old house."

"This album and the North Coast are inextricable linked as most of the songs was written and was also recorded there."

Phil Jamieson explained the origins of the band.

"I'm from Wauchope and I moved to Lismore in 1995 to study Music Composition at Souther Cross University," he said.

"Living in Port Macquarie I met Kristian, the drummer, and we were playing locally in a band called Crab Apple.

"All of us members of Crab Apple moved to Lismore but by February the guitarist and bass player had left the band.

"Kristian and I decided to stay, I had a job at Franklins' at Lismore Square."


ROCK: Grinspoon in 1997.
ROCK: Grinspoon in 1997. CONTRIBUTED

Jamieson explained that, at the time, Kristian's father, legendary jazz drummer Steve Hopes, was also lecturer at SCU, and Pat Davern and Joe Hansen were playing with him.

"Joe had graduated from the music course and Pat was a drop-out," he said.

"I met Pat and Joe at the Gollan Hotel on a Monday night, at a jam night.

"That's were our first gigs were, at the Gollan Hotel in Lismore. I love that place.

"Lismore is the birthplace of Grinspoon and we owe that community a lot.

"Both of them were a bit older than I was but I really liked the way they played so we started jamming and learning the old Crab Apple songs, the songs I had written with that band.

"Pat was already a great guitarist, Kristian was a great drummer already too, Joe was too a great bassist back then, and I was 17 and just learning my craft and getting better as we went along.

"Unearthed announced the winners in June after we submitted two songs on cassette tapes."

The initial airplay and consequent tour meant that Jamieson dropped out of Uni, as the band was on the road for the following 18 months.

Phil Jamieson recalled the process of recording the album at a studio in Federal 20 years ago.

"It was quite luxurious to stay at the location when you were recording," he said.

"We had watched a documentary about bands staying at a mansion and recording at 4am, so we took that as gospel and we would get our engineer to get up at all hours of the night.

"We found this to be the best thing ever.

"Also Patrick turned 25 on February while the album was being recorded in 1997 and I remember there was a blackout that night, but there wasn't many antics, we were just very excited to be there."

Guide To Better Living 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition was released last June 23 and it's available from

  • At Lismore City Hall tomorrow. Sold out event.

Topics:  anniversary grinspoon lismore city hall music northern rivers entertainment whatson

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