"I wanted to be like Jesus/ but I turned out like Judas/ I schemed a lot and cheated my way through/ I lied to me and I lied to you." - Gandhi - Anne McCue.

She landed songs in TV series diverse as Dawson's Creek and U C Undercover and plans to shoot a video in the Joshua Tree national desert near where Gram Parsons won infamy for a creative cremation.

Anne McCue has come a long way since her debut with ARIA nominated hard rockers Girl Monstar and Melbourne band Creatures From The Blue Lagoon.

McCue, youngest of eight children of a milkman from the southern Sydney suburb of Campbelltown, performs here in July before international tours with mentor Lucinda Williams and Heart.

And between those tours the latter day L A "valley girl" wants to shoot her video at her producer Dusty Wakeman's ranch.

"Dusty has a ranch in the Joshua Tree desert," McCue told Nu Country, "we're going to make a western for Ballad Of An Outlaw Woman."

Wakeman's ranch is near where Parsons, just 26, was cremated when tour manager Phil Kaufman and Aussie mate Michael Martin stole his body from an airport hangar after he died of a booze and heroin overdose on September 19, 1973.

McCue's song, from her Wakeman produced third album Roll, has a videogenic theme not quite as surreal as the Parsons creative cremation that earned the villains a $500 fine - not for stealing the body, but the coffin.


"I'm a great western fan," McCue revealed, "I've seen so many movies, especially with John Ford. I love westerns because of the archetypical characters, the same stories, sort of like Shakespeare. Westerns don't have much to do with reality."

McCue is well qualified to delve into videos - she is a graduate of Sydney University of Technology with an Arts degree in film production and studies.

And it was live shows in L A that were the catalyst for her songs being used in TV shows and movies.

Anne McCue & Dusty Wakeman

"Movie people heard my songs when they came to my gigs," the guitar slinger said.

"Sam Bottoms from Apocalypse Now is making a movie and used a song of mine in it."

It's long after leaving Campbelltown - source of her title track, Roll, and paternal eulogy Milkman's Daughter.

So how accurate were those songs?

"I was kicked out of school," McCue admitted.

"I felt I had to leave town, Sydney, for my own survival. My father died a long time ago, just after he retired. The song mentions the graveside and the rain did fall down at the funeral. He never really heard me play."

McCue played with Girl Monstar and Creatures From The Blues Lagoon before scoring a Vietnam tour of musical duty from blues man benefactor Geoff Achison.

She returned home and recorded most of her debut disc Amazing Ordinary Things at Tim Finn's Periscope home studio in Caulfield.

But she joined Canadian acoustic rock band Eden a.k.a for two Lilith Fair tours in 1998 and 1999 before finishing her debut solo album.


But it was the Vietnam experience that inspired her song 50 Dollar Whore.

"It was inspired by the time I spent in Vietnam," McCue explained of a song that used the desperation of a whore as a metaphor for a ruptured romance.

"I was really still in love with someone. I came back and wrote it much later. It was not all true. I had really broken up. You do things you shouldn't, if you had more self-respect you wouldn't have. I was playing music in Vietnam for almost a year where I saw all the poverty and corruption. I went to Hanoi, it was a beautiful city where people had national pride in their culture."

McCue's album kicks off with I Want You Back - a videogenic love song.

"I had been through it years before and a friend was going through it," McCue explained. "I heard a radio interview with Johnny Cash by Tim Robbins - the actor. For two hours he talked about his whole life. The twang in my song came from his music, hearing him talk. It was the emotion he put into the words, just to hear him talk. I had already read his autobiography. He was a great guy, a great human being. He led an incredible life."


McCue wrote Hangman after reading The People's History Of The United States Of America.

"It's a history of minorities, slaves, women, Irish, minorities, underdogs - the oppressed," McCue says.

"It was inspired by the Ku Klux Klan. There is always a mask on the executioner's face. It's just cowardice.

This woman's lover had been hunted down and strung up. She's mad to the point of hysteria and wants to look the hangman in the eyes."

Several songs such as Gandhi - in which she draws contrasts between Buddha and Nixon, Jesus and Judas and Gandhi and Hitler - came to McCue with swift spontaneity.

"I bought this line unit when you loop the guitars, I played over top of that and made up the words," McCue says, "it probably took only 10 minutes, divine inspiration."


On Stupid the singer draws from The Byrds and sounds like long time friend Sherry Rich.

"We were both listening to Lucinda and other alternative country music," McCue said.

"For me it was The Byrds with the 12 string electric. It came in just 20-30 minutes, came out really easily. I was not sure it was any good but Dusty really loved that."

So how did McCue, who recorded live album Ballad Of An Outlaw Woman at the famed Fillmore in San Francisco while on tour with Lucinda in 2002, hook up with Wakeman?


"It was a series of coincidences," recalls McCue.

"I was opening for Jim Lauderdale in L.A. Dusty was playing bass in the band. They saw me play. I met Jim but I didn't meet Dusty. I met Lucinda and ran into Dusty again and gave him my live CD from the Lucinda tour. I had written this song I Want You Back and cut it with him I then went back and cut the album with him on bass.

Dave Raven was on drums and Carl played organ and accordion. I played lap steel on Hangman. I just wanted to do it 3 piece with drums and bass."

Anne McCue with Lucinda Williams

The bonus track is a nine minute plus version of Jimi Hendrix instrumental Machine Gun.

McCue returns to the scene of a previous rhyme - the Cornish Arms, Brunswick, on July 10 for a triumphant launch of Roll on Cooking Vinyl and distributed here by Shock.

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