Love Letter To A Record: The Screaming Jets’ Dave Gleeson On Artist Compilation Album ‘1981 The Sound’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.

Dave Gleeson, The Screaming Jets – 1981 The Sound

Dear AC/DC, I said I loved you but I lied. Well, not fully lied but partially lied. I mean, of course I love you, always have since the day we met, always will. But there were others. Many others. They were impressionable times for me. I was 12 years old and searching for my identity, my tribe; something.

$2.99 doesn’t seem like a lot of money now. But then!! Shit man if I had only known what jewels lay within your silky cardboard cover, I would gladly have handed over $3.00. That glossy, colourful album cover emblazoned with your name, AC/DC. But there were more… Jona Lewie, The Boomtown Rats, Cheetah. I know, I know, I know, I always said you were the only one. Well, you weren’t, but you were my fave, always my fave.

It’s just that you were sandwiched between ‘Young Parisians’ – [Adam and the Ants], a great catchy tune, I believe written about young Parisians being wankers, with lines such as “young Parisians are so French, they like Patti Smith,” which I always thought said, “young Parisians are so French, they like pate cement” – And Sheena Easton’s ‘9 – 5’.

Sure, there were some silly times and it took me quite a while to realise that ‘Baggy Trousers’ by Madness was actually a metaphor for….well, something else; just as ‘House of Fun’ its predecessor was. Jona Lewie being killed at the end of ‘Cavalry’ was bittersweet to say the least. It was on this album I first met up with what would later be described to me as “blue eyed soul” in the form of Robert Palmer, who was ‘Looking for Clues’ and instead found a life long fan in a 12 year old boy from Cardiff.

Another thing I need to tell you is…you weren’t the first. The Swingers were. There, I’ve said it. But it meant nothing, just a silly fling. ‘Counting the Beat’ sounded like a nursery rhyme. Trifling. Juice Newton simply wanted me to touch her cheek before I left her and Cheetah asked me to Spend The Night. I didn’t but part of me still wishes I had taken them up on their offer. It was after all only 14 years after the summer of love, and who knows what might have been. LRB had long seemed a little hoity toity to me and I gave them the bums rush for even mentioning ‘Lavendar Bay’ and John Farnham (pre ‘The Voice’) was simply biding time, waiting for Glenn Shorrock to be arsed so he could jump one more track up the playlist.

But it was you AC/DC who stole my heart. ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ was a rock song I could own. Rather than covet and yes sometimes even enjoy the delights of my brother’s copy. This was mine. You were mine. Then came the smutty innuendo, “It’s about a girl”, they would say, double entendre, and the like. Yeah right. When you have known and loved a car the way I, and obviously Brian Johnson has, you know exactly what it means.

I love you AC/DC. And Adam Ant. And Juice” Newton. And Sheena Easton…


The Screaming Jets’ new album ‘Gotcha Covered’ is out today. The Screaming Jets National tour kicks off on August 3 at The Bridge Hotel, Sydney. Tickets available here.

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