Music has the ability to take us anywhere. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, and it brings back so much for me. Music transports me to places like nothing else.
I’m going to share my journey through life with my soundtrack in a weekly update on Journeys.
I was born the son of a NSW country rugby league referee, and spent my first 8 years in Glen Innes, on the New England Tablelands. My earliest memories are being driven the vast distances between the towns where dad was referring, me and my two brothers. Dad was a genuine country boy, even though he was born in Windsor west of Sydney. Today, Windsor is a thriving suburb in the sprawling western suburbs, but back then it was an outpost. Dad loved his country music, and it has to be said, that my brothers didn’t share his enthusiasm of listening constantly to the likes of Slim Dusty and Charlie Pride. Those days led me to my life long love of Rugby League and St. George (Now St George-Illawarra)
Dad passed away in 1987, and I miss him every day. He missed so much of my life, he missed seeing the person I have become, he missed meeting his daughter-in-law, he missed knowing his grand kids. But he remains with me deeply. This store transports me back to those days driving between games, with dad singing and my brothers fighting. I often can’t listen to this as it never fails to move me.
The next song I want to share is so poignant for me at a time of my life that genuinely shaped me. We moved from Glen Innes to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. I fell in love with the beach and started surfing. Constantly. It was not rare that we would be surfing at 5am on a weekend and make it home just after dark. We had boundless energy and the feeling of being on a wave has never left me. It is magic and where I feel most grounded.
It was the winter of 1977 that comes back whenever I hear this song. I can always remember money was tight growing up and luxuries like a wet-suit were never on the shopping list. Surfing in winter meant a t-shirt, which became useless as soon as it got wet but the winter swells were more consistent and if I wanted to surf, this was a price that had to be paid.
Around this time my brother had bought Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album and gave it an absolute flogging. Repetition was borne out of a number of things, obviously he liked it, but he didn’t have many other choices. The song “Heaven Can Wait” was the one that played on in my head, on those dark, cold wintry sessions in the surf and the opening piano takes me back to that 12 year old, shivering out of the back waiting for his next wave.
I would welcome your thoughts and comments on the music that shaped your life. Join the journey.