What does it mean to be a real friend? Robert Forster – singer/songwriter/guitarist from The Go-Betweens and all-round wordsmith – will be having an in-depth chat with Triple J’s Zan Rowe on this very topic (and creative collaboration more generally) at The Sydney School of Life on Wednesday September 7th. We can’t wait that long to hear what the Aussie rock legend has to say, so we sent him a few friendly questions of our own. Take a peek at his answers below.
Who was your first friend? Bruce McClelland. He lived down the street from me in my first house.
What makes a ‘good friend’? Someone on your wavelength. Someone who is easy company, but who is also engaged in what you are thinking and doing, just as you are interested in what they are thinking and doing. It is give and take. An exchange.
Do you believe in such a thing as ‘best friends’? I do. But it is a slippery concept as it exposes a grading to friendships. It does happen, though – if we are lucky we have a best friend.
What role have friendships played in your creative life? They have been vitally important. I almost can’t imagine doing any creative act with another person without friendship being involved. I also think my work is personal, autobiographical in nature, and it therefore benefits from having people I know and trust involved in its making. Also the content of my work is sometimes so strange to myself, I wouldn’t dare expose it to an unknown person in fear that they would reject it.
Have you ever betrayed a friend? If so, how did you make amends? Yes. I wrote them a letter, hoping it would in part justify my actions.
What have you taught your friends? How to put up with me.
What’s the strangest gift you’ve ever received from a friend? Love.
Are you a friend to yourself? You have to be to survive. We are all our own best friends.
If fancy heading along to Robert Forster and Zan Rowe: On Creative Collaboration, pop over to the School of Life’s website and nab yourself a ticket. Or, if you think today’s your lucky day, send us your details – we’ve got four double passes to give away.