Fingal Heads NSW 2014

It’s one of those perfect spring days that, I’m certain, only happen in Australia. One of those days that you’d love to be playing in the surf on one of our perfect beaches, riding through one of our forests or just sitting in a natural pool sipping a cold beer. I was doing none of those things. I was heading into Fingal Heads in far northern New South Wales to work on a high voltage pump motor used to keep the local river from blocking up with sand.

Fingal Heads is one of those timeless little communities that you could dial any date in the last forty years into your time machine and it would look pretty much the same. I drove around the marina towards the lighthouse and the opening staccato of Happy Man by the Sunnyboys suddenly rang out from the car radio.

Sitting here in my room
The whole damn thing is coming down on me
Gotta straighten out
Find an answer to my prayer, oh yeah

The time machine in my head immediately kicks in and transports me back thirty odd years and I’m suddenly a teenager in north-west Queensland heading to a local waterhole for a BBQ and some drinks when one of my mates pulled out a Sunnyboys cassette and said “Give this a chop.”

From the position I stand, yeah
Stop that sound can’t you leave me alone
Try to understand me now I’ve gotta hang up
I can’t communicate I’ve gotta hang up
But I’m a happy man

The next few minutes were life-changing. Well not really, but they did change the direction of my musical life. My friend’s cassette got thrashed that weekend and I knew the lyrics to most of the songs by the next day. On Monday I was at the local record shop buying my own copy of the Sunnyboys self-titled album.

Memories of you tearing me apart
I think I’m swimming in a sea of doubt now, yeah
I get so uptight
Ikeep on telephoning up now, well alright

I turn left at the local shop and check the mirror and spy the grey haired middle aged man looking at me, and for a second I wonder how this bloke got in the car.  Then I realise it’s me and the spell is broken.

But those long forgotten memories stayed. So thank you Fingal Heads for staying the same and thank you Sunnyboys, your music affected my body and soul.

I’ve gotta hang up
I can’t communicate
I’ve gotta hang up
But I’m a happy man
I’ve gotta hang up
I can’t communicate now
I’ve gotta hang up