Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things we talk about before school

I get up. Fred and Una are sitting on the couch side by side. Fred is holding a giant rubber spider up to her face.
Fred: I'm hiding.
Una: From you.
Fred: Well not from you. From a person called You.

After watching Justin Bieber (Una is an out and proud Belieber and I suspect Fred is a closet one) on the Tubes I said, "Do you want to see someone I used to love when I was a teenager?"
They were both extremely keen on the idea. So I searched for the film clip of Never Tear Us Apart, my favourite INXS song. My goodness, what a festival of eighties New-Romantic glam-pop gender-bending aesthetic that is, I had to keep pointing out which one was Michael Hutchence and which the random wafting girl. And of course the whole thing is filmed in Prague. Of course it is. Wikipedia describes the song as "a sensuous ballad, layered with synthesizers and containing dramatic pauses before the instrumental breaks. Kirk Pengilly lends a cathartic saxophone solo near the end." You gotta love a cathartic saxophone solo. You just don't get that anymore. Music today. Etcetera. Everytime Frederique sings "I'm wearing all my favourite brands brands brands" a little part of me dies inside.
As I watch the clip I think how young Michael Hutchence looks, how soft in his jawline, how clean and safe.
"Did you really like him?" Una asks.
"Yes," I say.
"I like him," Frederique reassures me.
"Do you know the really sad thing?" I say. "He died."
"Was he old?"
"Not very old. About my age I think."
"How did he die?"
"Well, he was all alone in a hotel room. No one's really sure if it was an accident or if he did it on purpose."
"Maybe he was murdered," Fred suggests.
"Mm," I make a non-committal noise.
"Maybe," says Una with relish, "it's one of the world's last mysteries."
"Like Tutenkahmen,' says Fred.
"Yeah," says Una. "No one knows how he died."
But later Una comes up to me and says "I think he must have done it on purpose. If he was all alone in the hotel."


  1. Oh, wow, what a rush of nostalgia that was. I was twenty two and selling Kick at Warner (I can probably remember the catalogue number if I really try) and wearing all those berets and big tangled hair and sweeping coats and trying to look as if I was wafting around Prague myself... Self-conscious days...

    (The captcha is mensiv - men being pensive? Hmmm)

  2. Good for you for learnin' your kids on some real music videos!

  3. Oh, Una, sometimes I think that too, but it makes me sad for sure.

  4. Una. Wow. Your girls,Pen, far out. I realise this sounds like airhead speak, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

  5. Anonymous10:11 PM

    I also love that song. The memories from my teen years that are bound up in songs by INXS....And how do you remember those conversations with such beautiful clarity?!

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  7. I chew over and over them in my head until I get the chance to write them down.