Given the strength of his own story-telling, it’s not surprising that Paul Kelly’s songs have inspired several Stereo Stories.

Photos by Eric Algra

In How To Make Gravy, Cassandra Atkinson says:
It was only through my parents’ divorce and the breaking up of our family into smaller divided units that I realized the true nature of the song’s story.

In Winter Coat, Kath Presdee recalls a regular road-trip:
My tape version of the song will always stick in my memory. It was incomplete, with Paul Kelly rudely cut off mid-phrase. No swelling final lines, no plaintive recollections. Just a whirr.

In Dumb Things, Tony Kelly cites a case of mistaken identity at the 2008 Meredith Music Festival: Paul Kelly is my brother and I have to admit as the years have progressed we look more and more alike. It’s the eyebrows.

In Feelings Of Grief, the songwriter himself tells us how the song came to be:
2006, my 52nd year on earth, was a tough one – many people I knew died. It seemed suddenly that things had sped up in that way. Now it’s just normal.

In Our Sunshine, Darren ‘Smokie’ Dawson remembers  family road trips:
Whether it was a longer summer sojourn to Coolangatta, or a Sunday winter’s day-trip to Daylesford, it was tacitly accepted, unspoken, that when the key went into the ignition, Our Sunshine was to blast out from the speakers.

Smokie’s story about Before Too Long has been a staple of our concerts, with the punch-line that proved to be a deal-breaker in a young relationship:
“That song is rubbish. Absolute rubbish.”

Read these stories (and other Kelly pieces) in full, and watch a concert performance of the Before Too Long story via:

 The Paul Kelly Stereo Stories Collection.



Editor: Vin Maskell Assistant editor: Louise Maskell Web legend: James Demetrie, of DISKMANdotNET