Treadwater Press


Hardback Edition

536 Pages, 220,000 words, 12 B&W photographs

Colour dust jacket

240mm x 150mm x 33mm, 940g
ISBN 978-0-646-57173-7

Price: $40


Australia – $14.80

New Zealand – $29.55

Europe (including United Kingdom) – $56.55

USA – $42.55

All prices in Australian dollars

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David McComb died in February 1999, two weeks shy of his 37th birthday. This book does not tell that story. McComb was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in September 1994 and received a heart transplant in May 1996. This book doesn’t tell that story either. It says nothing about his astonishing solo album Love of Will (1994) and quite overlooks costar, his stubborn last stand.

The book focuses instead on the glory days of the previous decade, the reviled 1980s, when McComb led his band The Triffids from the etherised streets of Perth, Western Australia, to the brink of global success.

McComb formed The Triffids with school friends in April 1978. They recorded their first collection of original songs a month later, their second four months after that. When they finally ran out of puff in August 1989, they’d issued a dozen such collections. Nearly 200 songs! Most of them were written or co-written by McComb.

He hit the motherlode!

He hit that mother hard!

The songs he extracted are inspiring – now, still – and often profound.

McComb began his writing life as a sardonic observer of his peer group and contemporaries: the first song on the very first Triffids tape qualifies his own enthusiasm for the local punk scene by asking archly, ‘What Would The Martians Think?’ Later songs – notably ‘Wide Open Road’ and ‘Bury Me Deep In Love’, lush productions steeped in corrosive regret – prompt a deeper, more emotive response. McComb was a dyed-in-the-wool romantic with a “big floppy heart” and a cynical wit. His songs chart his progress – if that’s the right word – from amused observer to bruised participant.

This book tells that story.



© Treadwater Press, 2011