It's time to get one thing straight - Tumbleweed were never stoner rock.
That's the tag the band has worn throughout its career - from their first go-round in the 1990s to their surprising second bite of the cherry in 2009.
It's easy to see why the tag stuck - they had long hair, they had trippy lyrics and they sang songs about dope.
Sure, the song was called Sundial but everyone remembers it as "Mary Jane" because of the chorus. And they also penned the much more obvious tune Stoned.
Also, there was an infamous Rolling Stone feature story, written around the time of their debut album, which mentioned drugs so often that singer Richie got a talking-to from his mum.
So they were partially to blame for the stoner rock straitjacket they would struggle with for the first part of their career.
"We're just normal people," Richie would tell one interviewer in 1995. "Sometimes we smoke and sometimes we don't.
"I don't want to talk about it too much. It's been overdone and, besides, my mum reads our interviews."
They would finally try and shake off the tag in 2000 with the release of the much under-rated and oft-forgotten Mumbo Jumbo album, but by then it was too late.
No-one was really listening any more and the only two remaining original members Richie and Lenny were sick of it all anyway.
Still, the signs that Tumbleweed weren't to be written off as "stoner rock" were there from the start, if people bothered to listen.
Tumbleweed's music had swing, it had groove. It had too much damned energy to be stoner.
That debut album featured indie rocker Healer and a heartbreaking ballad Acid Rain, neither of which are "stoner rock".
In fact you can go through all their albums - pre and post-reunion - and find examples of songs that show Tumbleweed was and are more diverse than they get credit for.
Their last release - 2013's Sounds from the Other Side - has a lot of musical styles crammed into its 13 tunes. And "stoner rock" isn't really one of them.
Hell, just go and listen to the gem that is Drop in the Ocean from that album and try and convince yourself that this is the work of "some stoner band".
That Tumbleweed seemed to get written off rather than respected was what inspired me to write Healer, a biography of the band that starts with the Proton Energy Pills, goes through all the turmoil and tragedy and ends with a band that is still going and about to release some new music.
It's drawn from numerous articles and interviews the band had done over the years, including a large number with myself going back to 2008 when Tumbleweed was still spoken of in the past tense.
You could call it an "unauthorised" biography in that the band didn't know I was writing it until it was almost finished, but that suggests there's a whole lot of dirt in Healer.
While I was in and around the local scene during the band's heyday and heard all sorts of scuttlebutt, I wasn't interested in writing that sort of book.
Besides, the Tumbleweed story already has enough drama that is well-known to bother with going in search of more.
This is a band that signed to a US record label after an executive heard a single playing in a Sydney record store. A label who then refused to release any album they recorded.
This is a band who contributed to the end of an iconic Sydney indie label, who sacked a member not long after releasing a top 10 album, thereby sowing the seeds of their own downfall.
A band who stumbled to what it thought was the end in 2000 with just two original members. A band who spent a decade full of anger or regret (depending on what side they were on) about the break-up and barely said a word to each other.
Then, when they finally answered the wishes of the fans and reunited, they only had five years together before one of them, bass player Jay, died. The remaining members spent around a year feeling like that would be the end of Tumbleweed, until a jam with bassist Jamie Cleaves felt right and gave the band a reason to continue.
In reality there's been enough drama there to cause the end of several bands, yet Tumbleweed have managed to keep on going. Hence the name of the book; despite all the trauma they've faced, the band has an impressive ability to heal.
As well as the drama, the story of Tumbleweed simply deserves to be told - at least for the people of Wollongong.
Tumbleweed has a lot of rusted-on fans; even during that decade when the band had broken up, they kept holding onto the hope Tumbleweed would reunite - though that thought was the furthest things from the minds of the five original band members.
Nowhere is that loyal fanbase stronger than in their hometown of Wollongong.
They were the first band from Wollongong to make it on the national stage - without leaving town to do so.
While other Wollongong acts in the 1990s would fib and claim they were from Sydney, Tumbleweed played up the fact they were a bunch of guys from Tarrawanna (which some noted rhymed with "marijuana").
In that, they resemble Hockey Dad, another band who have made their Illawarra roots a part of their story.
And that goes a long way to explaining the Illawarra's fondness for Tumbleweed. Regardless of what happened, they were always a Wollongong band.
Healer: The Rise, Fall and Return of Tumbleweed is available online via www.lastdayofschool.net or at Music Farmers record store in Keira Street, Wollongong.
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