To rattle off the hits of Neil and Tim Finn reads like a checklist of recent pop history. And to think it all began in sleepy rural Te Awamutu – a town whose name had a ‘truly sacred ring’, as Neil would famously recount – where Brian Timothy Finn fell in love with the Beatles, an obsession that would also work its way straight into his younger brother Neil's DNA.
Success for the brothers was a long time coming: it took several turbulent
years in Split Enz – an art-pop band Neil would join in 1977, despite
Tim's reservations – before they produced a genuine hit and connected with
the mainstream. And it was achieved by one of Neil's songs, ‘I Got You’,
which wasn't the sweetest pill brother Tim had ever tasted. After all, Split Enz
was his band, his odyssey, his obsession.
When the Enz came undone, their paths split. Neil led world-beaters Crowded House, while Tim immersed himself in a series of bold if not always successful solo projects. Eventually the brothers reunited, leading to ‘Woodface’, an album considered by many to be Crowded House's finest. Yet that house proved to be a little too crowded, and Tim was fired from the band, before reuniting with Neil again for two hugely rewarding Finn records, though neither came without their fair share of fraternal conflict. Today, the Auckland-based Finns – both OBEs, ARIA Hall of Famers and proud fathers – remain as popular and credible as at any time in their respective careers.
Based on interviews, critical analysis, extensive research and more than 30 years of Finns watching and listening, Together/Alone is the first biography written about the Finn brothers: Tim, the ‘closet drummer’ and accidental bandleader, Neil the guarded family man. This is a story of breakthroughs, breakdowns, sibling rivalry and respect – and some of the best pop songs this side of Lennon and McCartney.
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