Finding The ‘Write Key’ For That Troublesome Third Article….


Glenn Scott is a recently ‘discovered’ new talent for New Matilda, after we came across an epic rant on his personal Facebook page (about coffee). ‘Discovered’ in scare quotes, because, apparently, Glenn’s been around for quite a while. Or so his birth certificate would have us believe. In any event, good writers should write, so we offered him a regular column… and then found out that (a) he’s even more interesting than we realized; and (b) he’s suffered his first bout of ‘writer’s block’. Sort of. Over to Glenn for an explanation…. 

Um … thanks, Chris … I think … I guess the “new talent” bit makes up for alerting the good people of why there has been a bit of a gap in my meagre output. One would imagine one actually needed to identify as a “writer” before claiming “writer’s block”, and two published articles and a poem in an ABC compilation hardly feels like paying my dues however, sure, for the sake of the argument, lets run with “writer’s block”.

So yes, as Chris has so kindly pointed out, I have spent a decent portion of the last couple of weeks gripped in the realisation that there is a difference between throwing any dumb shit that amuses me up on my Facebook page and writing something that is genuinely worthy of your time, my fine NM readers. And this recent experience brought to mind the following story of another time I momentarily went all “deer in the headlights” … 

It was the mid 90s and I was in Melbourne’s Woodstock Studios. It was my first “big time” recording, with Joe Camilleri (Black Sorrows) producing and Michael Letho (Black Sorrows, Daryl Braithwaite) engineering. On this day, I was meant to be recording a piano part for a rock ballad. I had already taken a number of passes at the track and neither I nor Joe were happy.

We decided we needed the vintage stage piano I was playing tuned, so we took a break.

I went for a walk to clear my head. I was suffering from “red light” syndrome. And I was annoyed. I could play the hell out of the track but the moment that recording light went on I sucked. This never happened to me. I had clocked hundreds of studio hours, this session was no different. But it was different. The calibre of the room was different. And I felt like I was failing. This opportunity was slipping through my fingers. I needed a change of headspace. Fast.

I arrived back as the tuner was finishing.

“It should sound a lot happier now, give it a good hammering to set the strings in and you’ll be good to go.”

I sat down and started hitting keys, listening to the newly tightened strings. The instrument responded with a cleaner, deeper resonance. I began playing the opening to the song. Michael looked up from the console and motioned towards the headphones.

“Why don’t you give it a good work out with the track and then we’ll go for a take.”

The click track sounded and I let rip. Over enunciating the articulation of every note and chord, consciously directing as much energy as I could down through my fingers to the keys to the hammers to the strings. I was quickly lost in the performance and began to throw in every small variation and nuance that came to me.

By the outro I was simply having fun, pulling out chords and answering licks to the guitar parts I would never attempt in a serious pass. As the track reached the final fade I looked over at Michael and laughed.

“Well that was hilarious. The piano sounds great though, lets go for a take.”

“No need. We got it.”


“We got it. You’re all good. That was great.”

I realised what he meant.

“You recorded that?”

“Of course. I knew you’d really go for it on that first run through.”

“So you tricked me?”

Michael grinned.

And that was that. Michael was happy. Joe was happy. Therefore I was happy. I saw out the rest of the recording week like a pro and learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life.

Now, I was going to finish up right here – right on ‘learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life’. However, Chris was adamant that I can’t just toss that last line out there, and leave it hanging….


Ok, well, I don’t think I can do the answer to that question justice in one paragraph so I feel a ‘Part II’ or ‘Son of Studio Story’ coming on. In the meantime, I’m sure NM has an email you can send in your guesses….

[Ed’s note: Ironically, that email – which you can access here – has been down for five days. But it’s back up now]

Former owner of Melbourne’s Wick Studios Facility, Glenn has turned his hand to everything from music producer and venue operator to educator, wholesaler and commercial farm manager. Currently Glenn splits his time between home schooling his 14 yr old son, walking his dog Stella and his new side hustle as guest indignant rant writer for NM.