I witnessed how song memory can be locked away, or partitioned, in a brain that is ravaged by deterioration and confusion.
You can tell by the catch in Neil Finn's voice that it was a tough gig to play and sing this song for his former band mate.
As a ten year old I was quite oblivious to the meaning of Galveston – a cry out from an American soldier in Vietnam who is recalling happy memories back home while on the battlefront.
We saw miles and miles of flat plains of farmland from horizon to horizon. A big blue sky above the endless cotton fields, cattle ranches and oil wells pumping up that black gold –Texas tea. We discovered where the saying ‘As big as Texas’ came from that day.
The G.P. took one look at me and called an ambulance. After Emergency I was wheeled up to the cardiac ward and connected to the heart monitor.
My Wurlitzer piano had evolved from designs from 1954. The Wurlitzer ‘electro-mechanical’ Electronic Pianos ceased production in 1984. However, original instruments are now considered retro and funky.
In the blue cloudless sky something caught my eye. At a really high altitude was something - metallic silver. It was glinting in the morning sun and moving very slowly.
Chisel got in the groove and just after the ninth repetition of ‘Saturday Night’ I yelled out the famous line: “Well if you don’t like it what are you doing standing there for twenty minutes for?” You should have seen the stares I got.
“My big sister learnt this song!” “My cousin can play this!” The excitement in the room was palpable. The look on the faces of the Grade One/Two students was a sight to behold. This is what bliss looks like.
David Oke California, April 1997 I’m a little embarrassed to say that my favorite driving song is from a fictitious band.