Things I Carry Around is the memoir of Troy Cassar-Daley who has 30 years experieince in the music industry and is winner of 32 Golden Guitars. He’s also an APRA, ARIA and Deadly Award winner. But his fabulous life story told in this volume, tells us so much more about the Goori fella from northern NSW.
From reading his story I can tell you that Troy Cassar-Daley was in earlier times a self confessed ladies man, believing in his youth that he was the local Love God with a mullet hairstyle, skinny black jeans and pointy boots. I’m sure the fact he liked a bit of Brut 33 didn’t hurt either.
In his own words he was “cocky as shit’ when young. But maybe he had reason to be: he mastered many skills including mustering and branding cattle, working as a mechanic of sorts at 5 Mile Wreckers yard, and he was a chef at Nautilus Resort Coffs Harbour in his late teens.
He’s played in bands with names like the Bundjulung Beat, Southern Comfort and Little Eagle. He rates Goanna’s ‘Spirit of Place’ in his top three alums of his life, while the Warumpi Band from Papunya gave him an appreciation of culture.
Troy had his first guitar lesson at 10 and first visit to Tamworth Festival at 11, where he met Jimmy Little and it started a lifelong love affair with the town and its music, even though Keith Urban once beat him in Starmaker at the Tamworth Festival.
For the stalkers, you might like to know that he eats Promite and avocado on toast. If this doesn’t sound like an interesting person and read, then some of the titles in this book might pique your interest: “You shot me, you fuckin idiot!’, ‘Splinters, black-stained hands and a nine-pound hammer’, ‘How long can you blow on that thing – the Highwaymen tour’, ‘Distracted by Halle Berry’s Bum’ and ‘When love finds you’.
Troy says Things I Carry Around is the stuff people won’t read about him in the papers or on social media etc. This is his story in his words. And we learn about his family first…
We read about life in Vincent Street, a wonderful myriad of memories with family – aunts, uncles, cousins, some sad like Hoppy, many happy like his time with Uncle Buddy who sounded like a prankster / joker. There are so many wonderful memories of his Nan who was a good shot with the single-plugger thong, and Nanna Cassar was a big hearted Catholic woman. And stories of singing with his dad.
And while I wanted to be a nun and Ginger from Gilliagan’s Island when I was a kid, Troy wanted to be a train – and even wrote a song about it – ‘Wish I Was a Train’.
Much of the memoir is about Troy’s journey as a muso – discovering music, including learning guitar, playing on stage with Jimmy Little in Tamworth at 15, the Brian Young tour, touring with The Highwaymen supergroup (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings), smoking a joint with Merle Haggard at end of their tour, his first album deal with Sony and his Breakthrough albums Beyond the Dancing and True Believer.
We read about meeting the love of his life, and now wife, Laurel on the road and their Nashville wedding and Australian weddings.
Most of all we learn of Troy’s success as a family man and how he is a wonderful role model for Indigenous Australians.
I had the enormous pleasure of interviewing Troy at the Brisbane Writers Festival on Indigenous Literacy Day and in my 20 years of participating in the BWF, it was quite possibly one of the most enjoyable and engaged events I’ve been part of. And for that I am incredibly grateful.
Get your copy of Things I Carry Around and get some of the same insight, engagement and enjoyment.