Lindy Morrison

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Lindy Morrison
Birth nameBelinda Morrison
Also known asLindy Morrison
Born (1951-11-02) 2 November 1951 (age 68)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
GenresIndie rock, alternative rock
Years active1978–present
LabelsAble, Missing Link, Polydor, rooART, EMI, Capitol
Associated actsSilent Figures, Shrew, Xero, The Go-Betweens, The Four Gods, Tuff Monks, Deep Blue Sea, Cleopatra Wong, The Rainy Season

Belinda "Lindy" Morrison OAM (born 2 November 1951) is an Australian musician originally from Brisbane, Queensland. She was the drummer in indie rock group The Go-Betweens from 1980 to 1989, appearing on all the band's releases from their first LP in 1981 until the band's first break up on 26 December 1989. Their song, "Cattle and Cane" from 1983's Before Hollywood was selected by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. In 2008, 16 Lovers Lane was highlighted on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) TV's The Great Australian Albums series as a classic example of 1980s rock music. The Go-Betweens reformed during 2000–2006 without Morrison.

Morrison has also performed in Silent Figures, Shrew, Xero, The Four Gods, Deep Blue Sea, Cleopatra Wong (with Amanda Brown ex-The Go-Betweens), and Tuff Monks. She played drums in The Rainy Season from 2007 until 2011.



As a child, Morrison attended an independent school called Somerville House, located in the inner city suburb of South Brisbane. She attended the University of Queensland from 1968, completing a Bachelor of Social Work in 1972.

It was during this period that she would meet the people and become involved in the activities that set the tone of her life. Morrison's final-year tutor, responsible for arranging placements for social work students, Roison Ann Hirschfeld was a member of the steering committee of the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS).[1] She approached Morrison about joining the ALS late in 1972.[2][3]

Social work[edit]

The Aboriginal Legal Service began operating out of the Uniting Church hall on Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill, in the winter of 1972.[4] Morrison was its second full-time employee.

In her role as Aboriginal Field Officer for the ALS, Morrison worked alongside the radical aboriginal activist Denis Walker.[3] Walker had founded a local chapter of the Australian Black Panthers and "refused to accept the legitimacy of 'White man's Law".[4] The job of field officer involved her going out late at night on "pig-patrol" which she described as:

"...trying to stop the Police from picking up Aboriginal people coming out of the hotels, because they'd take them in a put them in gaol for drunkenness and the next morning I'd have to go to court, ask for bail, take them across to the legal service and the lawyers would then have to work towards stopping them being locked up or fined. So pig-patrol was the first way to stop them doing that so we'd go out on a pig-patrol every night at 10 o'clock."[5]

Since 2000, Morrison has been employed by the music industry benevolent society Support Act, part-time, as their social worker. They provide grants to workers in the industry when they are ill.[6]

Theatre and activism[edit]

During her time with the ALS, Morrison resided in Brisbane, sharing a house with aboriginals, musicians and the actors Geoffrey Rush and Bille Brown. It was during this period that she started playing drums.[7] After "burn out" and leaving the service of the ALS, a two-year sojourn in England followed.[8] On her return to Queensland, she moved into acting believing that "the only salvation lay in art" .[8]

She was part of the Popular Theatre Troupe[8][9] which protested against the Bjelke-Petersen led National Party government performing for free in public their sharply satirical political street theatre[10] during a time when life in Queensland was felt to be strongly constrained by the government, select business groups, and political interests.[11]

Music career[edit]

Shrew - Zero - Xero[edit]

Morrison's first band, Shrew, performed in 1976 and 77. They were an all-girls acoustic band with members playing clarinet, saxophone, piano and guitar. Their repertoire consisted mainly of covers of 1940s pop songs.

In 1978, Morrison's joined the band Xero. At the time, members included Irena Luckus, Nicki Nought and Deborah Thomas. The band started by performing Patti Smith and other punk covers before contributing their own material. Morrison said she left in 1981 because, "They wanted drum-machines and synthesisers."[12]

The Go-Betweens[edit]

The Go-Betweens formed in 1977 in Brisbane, Queensland with Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, the group had a succession of drummers and travelled to the United Kingdom in late 1979. They returned to Brisbane in 1980 and Morrison (ex-Xero) joined on drums and backing vocals. Their first single with Morrison, "Your Turn My Turn" appeared in September 1981 and was followed by "Hammer the Hammer" in March 1982.[13][14] They recorded ten tracks as demos in Brisbane during 1981, which were released as Very Quick on the Eye by Man Made Records in 1982, the tracks showed that Morrison's "drum abilities, always a deeply underrated part of the band's appeal, fit hand in glove with the arrangements".[15] By this time, Forster and Morrison were lovers and Morrison was living in Spring Hill a Brisbane suburb.[16]

The band's first official album, Send Me a Lullaby, produced by The Go-Betweens and Tony Cohen, appeared in February on Missing Link in Australia.[13][14] Morrison provided the album title, in preference to Two Wimps and a Witch, from a Zelda Fitzgerald novel Save Me the Waltz.[17] Forster and McLennan wrote all the tracks, they alternated lead vocal duties, except "People Know" which had Morrison on vocals and James Freud (Models) guesting on saxophone.[18][19] In 2002, UK label Circus released a 2× CD version of Send Me a Lullaby which included "After the Fireworks" recorded as a collaboration with The Birthday Party's Nick Cave on vocals, Mick Harvey on piano and Rowland S. Howard on guitar. It had been released as a single under the band name, Tuff Monks in 1982 on Au Go Go Records.[20]

"Lindy Morrison's drumming remains great in the way that Levon Helm or Charlie Watts are great; precise, quirky, inventive."

Barney Hoskyns [21]

The Go-Betweens returned to UK and recorded their second album, Before Hollywood (May 1983), with John Brand producing.[14] It established them as cult favourites while "Cattle and Cane" was released as a single and was "[arguably] the band's absolute highlight of its earliest years".[13] Forster said of Morrison's drum part on the song, "It had a great rhythm which I don't think any drummer in the world could've played except her. That rhythm never ceases to amaze me."[17] In 2001, "Cattle and Cane" was selected by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[22]

Following album releases were, Spring Hill Fair (September 1984) and Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (March 1986). Amanda Brown joined later in that year. Within a few months, Brown and McLennan were lovers—many of McLennan's new lyrics were about this relationship.[17][23] Tallulah (June 1987), produced by The Go-Betweens for True Tone and Beggars Banquet contained their "most winsome and hummable songs, 'Right Here' and 'Bye Bye Pride'"; while Brown's contributions "added extra lustre".[13] LO-MAX Records released a 2× CD version of Tallulah in 2004, one of the additional tracks, "Doo Wop in 'A' (Bam Boom)" was co-written by Morrison, Brown, McLennan and Forster.[24] In November 1987, The Go-Betweens returned to Australia and John Willsteed (ex-Xero with Morrison) replaced Robert Vickers on bass.

16 Lovers Lane (1988), was the group's most commercial offering, providing the alternative radio hit "Streets of Your Town" (1988), which became the band's biggest chart hit in both the UK and Australia peaking in the Top 100. The follow-up single "Was There Anything I Could Do?" was a No. 16 hit on US Modern Rock radio stations. Minimal commercial success were hardly the hoped-for breakthrough for the band, and after recording six albums, Forster and McLennan disbanded The Go-Betweens in December 1989. Morrison and Forster had separated as a couple earlier and both Forster and McLennan pursued solo careers. Brown and Morrison formed Cleopatra Wong in 1991. In 2008, 16 Lovers Lane was highlighted on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) TV's The Great Australian Albums series as a classic example of 1980s rock music.[25]

Educational work and writing[edit]

Morrison is also the author of a short workbook entitled "Australian women in rock and pop music" and made an hour-long video to accompany it. Intended as student material it is housed in the Performing Arts Collection, the Arts Centre, Melbourne, and the National Library of Australia.[26] Interviewees for the video include Kylie Minogue, Tina Arena and Wendy Matthews.

Morrison was also the artist in residence at South Sydney Youth Service (1998–2001) and was employed by TAFE as the head tutor for the music course run by SSYS.[27] She also teaches contracts and copyright and music business modules at TAFE.[28]


Morrison stood for election as a candidate for the Australian Democrats in the New South Wales seat of Coogee[8][29] at the 2003 state elections, and in the Division of Wentworth at the 2004 federal elections.[8][30]


On 26 January 2013, Morrison was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services as a performer and advocate.

Morrison was appointed a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Music Council of Australia in 2007. For services as Board member and one who "gave great assistance to community music initiatives and guidance in issues around performers' rights".[31]

In 2008, an image of Morrison painted by artist Katherine Close was entered in the 2008 Archibald prize. The image depicts her sitting behind her favourite 'Ludwig' drum kit, the actual drum kit used on most of the Go-Betweens recordings and performances.

Current activities[edit]

From November 2007 to 2011, Morrison was a member of The Rainy Season, a five-piece band fronted by Jed Brown, and including Peter Jones (ex Cosmic Psychos), Clyde Bramley, and fellow former Go Between Amanda Brown.

She also serves as a board member for the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia[32] where she serves as a representative of registered Australian recording artists (or 'artist director', making contributions to changes in policy to benefit recording artists[33]) , and national casework coordinator of the benevolent society Support Act Ltd.[32][34]

Morrison graduated with a Masters in Legal Studies from University of New South Wales Law faculty in 2010.[citation needed]

Morrison currently resides in Sydney with her daughter Lucinda.[8] She works in community music, for example, the Wataboshi Festival.[35] One of her part-time jobs is as a community musician, in which she directs a group of intellectually disabled musicians known as The Junction House Band.[36][37]

Published writing[edit]

  • Stranded in The Dismissal edited by Sybil Nolan MUP 2005
  • Performers Copyright in sound recordings after the Australia –US FTA – mere symbolism? Intellectual Property Law Bulletin Vol. 17 No. 10 Lexis Nexus Butterworth's
  • Demolition Girl Rolling Stone May 2005 LLC Germany
  • It’s a Man’s World Sydney Morning Herald 3–4 July 2004
  • Beachport Festival by the Sea Music Alive Vol. 1 No. 2 1996
  • Improvisation in Rock and Pop Music Sounds Australian Vol. 14 No.48 1996
  • Australian Women in Rock and Pop Music, Ausmusic. 1995

Filmography/video productions[edit]

  • Australian Women in Rock and Pop Music, Ausmusic 1995
  • Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves Video, Ausmusic 1995
  • Home of Strangers, film, as Chavonne's grandma, 2009


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 10 October 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2010. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • David, Nichols (2003). The Go-Betweens. Portland, OR: Verse Chorus Press. ISBN 1-891241-16-8. Note: [online] version has limited functionality.
  • Ribas, Michael. "The Go-Betweens - Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  1. ^ "Goss a political biography" by Jamie Walker, Uni of QLD press 1995 p32
  2. ^ "Goss a political biography" by Jamie Walker, Uni of QLD press 1995 p35
  3. ^ a b "Goss a political biography" by Jamie Walker, Uni of QLD press 1995 p37
  4. ^ a b "Goss a political biography" by Jamie Walker, Uni of QLD press 1995 p36
  5. ^ In an interview recorded for the ABC Radio National program "Pig City" Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine and available at (at 27:30 into the program material)
  6. ^ "Our People". 30 May 2017. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ In an interview recorded for the ABC Radio National program "Pig City" Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Available at (at 34:55 into the program material)
  8. ^ a b c d e f Keenan, Catherine (6 October 2004). "She bangs the drum for politics". The Age. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  9. ^ "The Go-Betweens" By David Nichols, Allen and Unwin 1997 p65
  10. ^ "Films « Bush Telegraph". 19 November 2006. Archived from the original on 19 November 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ "No! No! to Joh" by Pete Thomas published by Building Workers industrial Union (Queensland Branch) dated February 1979.
  12. ^ Clinton Walker (1984). The Next Thing. Kenthurst, New South Wales: Kangaroo Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 0-949924-81-4.
  13. ^ a b c d McFarlane "'The Go-Betweens' entry". Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 10 May 2014.. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Magnus Holmgren (ed.). "The Go-Betweens". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  15. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Very Quick on the Eye - Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  16. ^ "Me and my shadow". The Courier-Mail. Queensland Newspapers (News Corporation). 14 July 2007. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  17. ^ a b c Kingsmill, Richard (31 August 2000). "J Files: The Go-Betweens". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  18. ^ Hill, Dave (1982). Send Me a Lullaby (Media notes). The Go-Betweens. Melbourne, Australia: Missing Link. ING005. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  19. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Send Me a Lullaby - Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  20. ^ Nichols, (2003), 'Tuff Monks' entries pp. 93, 114–115.
  21. ^ Barney Hoskins (15 September 1983). "Ridiculous and Wonderful". NME.
  22. ^ ""Cattle and Cane" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  23. ^ Beriyant, Matthew (7 May 2006). "Unfinished Business: R.I.P. Grant McLennan". The Big Takeover. Big Takeover Magazine (Jack Rabid). Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  24. ^ ""Doo Wop in 'A' (Bam Boom)" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  25. ^ "SBS takes Great Australian Albums to MIPCOM 08". Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). 8 October 2008. Archived from the original (Portable Document Format (PDF)) on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  26. ^ NLofA Archived 25 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine ISBN 1-875856-73-0 (video) 1875856765 (workbook)
  27. ^ "Community Grants Program publication 'Next Step', November 2000, p9". Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  28. ^ "The Age, 6 October 2004". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  29. ^ Green, Antony. "2003 Coogee". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  30. ^ "Official AEC (House of Reps) Federal seat of Wentworth, 2004 election result". Archived from the original on 14 December 2005. Retrieved 17 November 2005.
  31. ^ "Music Council of Australia, About the Council". Archived from the original on 12 August 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  32. ^ a b Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Website "About Us" Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "High Voltage Rock 'n Roll" by Christie Eliezer Omnibus Press 2007 first edition p129
  34. ^ Support Act Limited Contacts Page Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ ACE magazine, Issue 27 April 2003 p17 Archived 1 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Farouque, Farah (4 January 2007). "Storyline Australia: Junction House Blues". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  37. ^ "Junction House blues" [videorecording]. Academy Library, University of NSW@ADFA Local id: 346809 Shelf: av DVD ML3534 .J86 2007 and University of Canberra – University of Canberra Library Shelf: BRN375844

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