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Curtin research reveals David McComb and the Triffids

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Two fans of 70s Australian rock group, The Triffids, have written books about its lead singer, the late David McComb.

Vagabond Holes: David McComb and the Triffids and Beautiful Waste: Poems by David McComb (The Triffids) are the result of 3½ years of research by the books’ editors, Curtin University of Technology’s Associate Professor Niall Lucy and University of Melbourne’s Dr Chris Coughran.

Associate Professor Lucy said they were fans of The Triffids, and David was an old friend.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of David’s death and I still miss him,” he said.

“We felt that he was a music icon in need of greater respect and attention, and set about the task of writing about him.

“However, the challenge was to write about him without reproducing the clichés of the standard rock biography.”

Vagabond Holes is unique in how it critiques McComb’s life and the Triffids.

“We wanted it to be more than a traditional biography and more than a simple chronological narration,” Associate Professor Lucy said.

“This is one of the reasons why we gathered contributions from a number of people including musician Nick Cave, poet John Kinsella and my sister, comedian Judith Lucy.”

Perth-born David McComb graduated from Curtin with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1981.

Associate Professor Lucy and Dr Coughran were given access to McComb’s literary archive from which they produced a collection of his poetry in Beautiful Waste.

The books are published by Fremantle Press.

Associate Professor Lucy is a Research Fellow in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts in Humanities at Curtin. A member of the consultancy board of Derrida Today, his books have been translated into several languages. They include Debating Derrida (1995), Postmodern Literary Theory (1997), Beyond Semiotics: Text, Culture and Technology (2001), A Derrida Dictionary (2004) and (with Steve Mickler) The War on Democracy: Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press (2006). His Running On: Essays on Australian Culture, Now will be published in 2010.

Contact: Claire Miller, Publicity & Marketing, Fremantle Press, (08) 9430 6331, 0419 837 841,

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