Sex? Drugs? Sometimes all you want is a great story. They don’t make ’em like Tim Rogers anymore; with “the spirit of Ollie Reed” he’s the last of the great rock stars, and there can be no denying he’s a great artist as well.
An Actor Repairs is a concept album of sorts, about an ageing actor who decides to retire. But maybe the record reveals more about Rogers, a true rock ’n’ roll survivor. “They can scratch,” he declares, defiantly, “I never bleed.” Then he adds, “It’s said I have no discipline, yeah, well, discipline’s for creeps.” It’s self-deprecating (“I’ve written bullsh-t songs”), with revealing, wry rhymes. Every song is perfectly realised – props to producer Shane O’Mara – and the instrumentation is so vivid, all you have to do is close your eyes and you can see the story come to life. It’s more stage show than rock record, though the final track salutes Springsteen and Chuck Berry, as well as Rogers’ own body of work. “There ain’t nothin’ better,” he sings, “than singin’ about cars and girls.” It’s a flippant coda to an album that’s about a whole lot more. An Actor Repairs is a masterwork.
An Actor Repairs is out April 28 on vinyl and CD via FOUR|FOUR/ABC.