Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts “Family From Cuba” CD Release
“Ian is pure heart, pure soul, pure music” – Paul Kelly
“Ian was a national treasure” Don Walker
“The man was a damn good kisser” Tex Perkins
“It’s got a massive thumping heart and a twinkling eye and a hand up yer back – the real deal” Tim Rogers
FORGET what you think about posthumous albums. Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts’ Family From Cuba is bursting with life.
Recorded in July 2006 just months before his passing, it’s an album that demonstrates how powerful and inspired Ian Rilen was right until the end.
Long-time friend and manager Sebastian Chase has re-activated his Phantom Records label to usher the album into the world.
Chase notes Family From Cuba in imbued with the energy of Rilen’s live set.
“He loved this record, he’d found a space where he was really comfortable playing venues that he loved, in front of people that liked him, not in front of big crowds but small intimate settings where he could be comfortable.”
Rilen’s CV includes iconic rock bands Rose Tattoo (he wrote 1977’s Bad Boy For Love) and X as well as solo work before launching The Love Addicts.
His long-term musical partner Cathy Green said recording the album in Sydney with producer Chris Townend was difficult, with Rilen in ailing health – he’d lose his battle with cancer aged just 59 on October 30 2006.
The Love Addicts were at their peak – a ‘Shanghai Suite’ with a mattress was set up for Rilen to rest during recording of what everyone involved knew would be his last work.
“Although he was in a lot of pain you wouldn’t have known that,” Green says. “I think we all had an understanding of what was going on, so, you know, we just got in there and did it.”
Recorded straight after two road-testing shows at Sydney’s Sandringham Hotel, there is a raw spirit and emotion that is undeniable.
Guitarist Kim Volkman accurately describes opener Wishing Well as “like being hit with a sledgehammer 15 times over and points out the “pure sex” at the heart of the primal You Don’t Love Me No More.
“There was no affectation with Ian, just pure honesty,” Volkman says.
Song For Romeo, written for Rilen’s son, is heartbreakingly beautiful – James Cruikshank guests on piano. It captures a softer side to Rilen – one that Tim Rogers discovered as a life-long fan.
“He was dismissive of me as a musician but for him to even know who I was was a huge thrill,” Rogers says. We shared a plane ride only months before he passed, that confirmed what I presumed as a fan for over 20 years. He was generous, ribald, hilarious and passionate. This all was obvious within an hour flight. Living with this record now I’m thrown back on that plane ride and the wide-eyed thrill I experienced. It’s got a massive thumping heart and a twinkling eye and a hand up yer back – the real deal.”
The title track pinpoints Rilen’s vision of his life in music as a family of gypsies travelling the world – “they don’t look medicinal but their music’s gonna soothe ya.”
And in Rock n Roll Man Rilen has contributed a painfully-autobiographical antidote to every cliched rock anthem you’ve heard – Friends ask me did I see it coming, I have to answer yes. Cos I’m a bad man when i’m drinking, you can guess the rest. I’m just a rock`n’roll man, we’re just doin’ it `cos we can.”
Family From Cuba (Phantom) released October 12