Tennille (live)

by The Bedroom Philosopher

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TAKEN FROM THE CHILDHOOD MEMOIR 'GET UP MUM' Amelia tells us to pose for a photo. We’re standing side by side. ‘Put y’arm around her!’ Amelia yells. I put my right arm up as my fingers rest lightly on her shoulder. She feels small. Tennille reacts by putting her arm around my back. I like the feeling of being held. I wouldn’t mind staying like this for a while.Tennille has a cool white windcheater with blue and gold cats on it. I have my black Adidas top with bright green logo. We both have small parts in the middle of our fringe. Mine’s off to the side because the wind keeps blowing. ‘SMILE!’ yells Amelia. It isn’t hard. At dinner I’m between Tennille and Nick and opposite Mr Burgess. All my favourite people! Nick wants to know what the hell ‘chicken a la king’ is while Mr B tells us about the new Mac game Captain Magneto. Nick teases Kristy about how freaked out she got by the possum skins inside the trappers hut. He’s overly gruesome, as usual. Tennille sits quietly and I can feel her elbow touching mine. She taps me on the shoulder. ‘Amanda says I have food on my face, do I?’ Tennille is so pretty. Her brown skin is incredibly smooth. Her eyes are soft and bright and kind. I feel shy looking at her mouth. ‘Ooooh, lovers!’ The girls don’t miss much. Tennille blushes, as usual. After dinner we meet in our ‘couples’s gang.’ The plan is for each pair to wander off behind the rec room for five minutes and ‘do whatever they want’. There’s a movie and spotlighting due to start at eight. It’s nearly dark now and I’ve got my jacket on. The smell of cool, wild forest is in the air. I don’t look at Tennille. I feel a bit sick. Too much butterscotch pudding! Nick and Kristy go first, but it’s not a big deal for them. I know they already practice pashing. Nick’s pretty bold and Kristy is the first girl in class to have boobs. They return with fingers linked. Kristy’s cheeks are pink and she smiles at the ground. Nick has a dazed smirk and keeps his mouth closed. He seems more grown-up. At last year’s camp we spent our free time in the rec room playing quoits and table tennis. It’s different with girls around – we have to act like we’re sensible. ‘Okay Tennille and Justin, your turn.’ We walk away from the others, behind the trees. An outside light makes spindly shadows on the walls of the cabin. Tennille stands with one leg bent and her arms by her sides. She stares off to the side, shyly. Now we’re alone, for the first time. Something is supposed to happen, I’m quite sure. How exactly it’s going to happen, I’m not quite sure. I’ll probably have to do something, but I wonder if I’ll know when that is? Okay, I’m thinking about it. I’m staring down at Tennille’s shoes. They’re simple white canvas ones. Now I don’t feel very good and I’m waiting and I’m wondering. I don’t like it much, this feeling. I look up hoping Tennille will look at me but she’s looking downwards and doesn’t seem sure so that makes me wonder what the right thing is to do. I know we’re supposed to kiss but when does it start? I could lean in but I can’t move. I feel very still. I don’t want to move. So I don’t do anything. I stare and wait as Tennille does the same. I’m sort of used to it now. I’m so shy. And so is she. And she’s waiting. And so am I. There’s a tightness in my chest. I’m scared. I don’t know Tennille that well. ‘Let’s go back,’ she says. That night I have a lot more fun with the boys in our cabin. We keep shining our torches and flashing moons and cacking ourselves in our sleeping bags.When we head back to school on Friday Tennille and I start out sitting together on the bus but she spends the whole time talking to her friends. Back at school Mum picks us up in the Volkswagon. She offers to give Tennille a ride home. She climbs in the back seat. I get in the front seat because that’s where I always sit, but then I wonder if that’s the right thing. The car pulls away and I’m relieved because I can’t change my mind. I’m embarrassed by our noisy car. I see Tennille in the rear view mirror. She doesn’t seem happy. I realise we haven’t spoken all day.
Love Song 02:32


Hello! I had this song kicking about. And this interview. I guess the Tennille song is closely linked to the memoir Get Up Mum I published as Justin Heazlewood in 2018.

I talk a bit about sex and trams in the interview, as usual. That guy at the end is pretty weird, but then all of this performing and public speaking thing is completely unnatural, in a way, let us remember.


released May 22, 2020

Recorded live on ABC 774 in 2011, year of the rabbit.


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The Bedroom Philosopher Burnie, Australia

Indie song and dance man The Bedroom Philosopher is a whip-smart maverick of jollies and jazz-chords. The Tassie born “Jarvis Cocker of Stand-Up” rose to fame with a songwriting segment on Triple J’s Morning Show.

As one reviewer said BP is “obviously uncomfortable with himself, although very comfortable with the audience.”
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