Colin is the one reason I own a Palm m125 - tying in the last post of getting Time Management for System Administrators by Tom Limoncelli quite nicely, I hope. The last time Colin played at BVMC I forgot the show was that night and it has remained the only show I missed due to me being an idiot. I went out and got a Palm the next week and haven’t looked back.
The kids were with me and got to run and play at the club while we set up and a great time was had by all. We had to run off and do a few chores - get lunch, go get washer fluid for the car, odds and sods stuff - and we got back in time to catch sound check.
I happily abuse my position of volunteer bartender and roadie and attend sound check ostensibly to be there to assist the artist but in reality especially so my kids can get a taste of what the show will be without staying up to midnight. Sometimes they get to meet artists who are or were influential in my life.
Men At Work are one of those bands from the 80’s that has the story of a flash-in-the-pan. They had two albums released one after the other and you can just feel the world jumping on the bandwagon at once. The release of the third showed the band was washed up and nothing but hype was in the great Men At Work tour-bus and it collapses and we forget all about it and file it into the “Why ever did we listen to that crap?” category.
The spin is a little different from the actuality, of course. Men At Work fell into the great marketing machine that is the part of the labeled music industry that makes it truly such an evil creation. Ignoring the better sense that North America was just catching up with Australia, Men at Work’s ‘Cargo’ got dropped on us 3 months after we got introduced to them. The resultant flare was intense, but all that heat can’t be sustained and the collective population burnt out.
By now I should have well and truly painted the picture for you. A die-hard fan of Men At Work at a sound check with two kids in tow who haven’t the faintest idea who he is, but they do know their Dad knows the lyrics to the songs. I mention to Rebekk, “He plays guitar really well, doesn’t he? A lot better than your Dad.“ “He’s way better than you, Dad.“ Thanks, kid.
During soundcheck, Colin complimented Rebekk’s hair and asked if she picked out the colour for the streak herself. He struck me as a guy I’d like to meet in a pub for a pint or two. He signed two CD’s - one for each kid - and we were out the door on our way to grab dinner and drop the kids off at my friend’s place who was going to take them for the night. Once we got to the car, there’s a guy out in the parking lot with a stack of vinyl records asking Colin to sign them.
On stage, Colin bore the battle stories of being ground in the hamburger machine of music marketing. People get stuck in time, and from their perspective Colin has been basking in the glow of their adoration for the past 15 years. He’s got some great war stories of people talking to him over the years, but it strikes me that if people are stuck in the past, they’re missing out on the present.
Colin’s been getting a bit more of an audience lately and getting some notice for his songwriting again. His songs now are much more rich - I supposed that goes with the territory of continuing to hone his craft for 15 years. “My my my, it’s a beautiful world / I like swimming in the sea” has been going through my head since I heard it in sound check. He didn’t bring all his CD’s with him this time round - I wanted his disc “Company of Strangers” if only for the song “Dear J” (you can hear a snippet there). I suspect I’ll order a copy when his latest CD gets released in April.
Thanks Colin, that was truly a wonderful day for me. I’d love to know how the kids feel about it 15 years from now..