Robert Mitchum, The Rosary and $20,000
I was 8 years old when I got my first real bed. Before that I slept on a fold-up bed. I remember the day I got home from kindergarten three years earlier and my brothers and sisters told me excitedly that I had a ‘new bed’. It was presented to me as special because it folded up – none of the other kids had a bed like that! So I loved it, of course and slept much better.
There were ten of us in a 3 bedroom house and we lived on a war veteran’s estate out west of Sydney. All the men around had served in World War II. Some of them were mean, most were okay. All of them had new families and many of them had lots of kids – mostly the Catholics. These war veterans were offered a special loan to buy these houses because of their service to the country.
We had one bathroom, which was considered a luxury because the older kids remembered a time when they were still using the outhouse in the backyard. And there were many nights that our mother made us all kneel on the floor and say the rosary. We prayed for more money and Uncle Willie. I never actually knew who that was. I don’t remember what else we prayed for but I do remember my sore knees and how the wooden floor would impress itself upon them with red lines. I remember the cold in winter and how we all sat around the cosy – a little coal burning stove in the lounge room. And mum let us watch all the old movies on the black and white t.v. with the rabbit ears. I remember an old Elvis movie and I remember ‘Night Of The Hunter’ in which Robert Mitchum plays a satanic preacher chasing two little children across a mythical southern landscape. It torments me still.
These early years of our lives inform us – they inform our character, they become the very fabric of our cores. And, if we let them, they dictate our reactions and attitudes to things such as money and property, affecting our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth.
So when I thought about launching the fundraising campaign for my new album many alarm bells went off inside me – “You can’t do that! You just can’t do it! A McCue doesn’t ask for $20,000!!” I realised that within me I had a deep conviction that the McCues struggle. We struggle, others succeed.
And in launching this campaign, I have had to confront my essence, somewhat, and try to change my own mind – not easy. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night and hear my inner voice scolding me – “You can’t do that!” – and my chest constricts.
But today the sun is shining and in the light of day I know I can. I can do that. And I can make a great new album, and not only that I can promote it, and I can get it played on radio, just like all my peers whom I admire so much. They all do it and a McCue can too.
‘Even Cowgirls Play The Blues’ – the new album fundraising campaign: