Have you ever wondered how earworms are born? Songs like I Hear Motion, Barbados or even the theme from Round The Twist?
Lecturer in music composition, keyboardist with iconic bands Models & Absent Friends, and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Andrew Duffield doesn’t have to wonder. He’s lived a life that has delved into every musical avenue that Australia has offered, from movie and television soundtracks to top 10 charting singles.
More than anyone, he knows that for every blockbuster hit there are experimental first steps, for every success there are countless attempts, and behind every closed door is a new opportunity.
By his sixth album he was the multi-talented prodigy of the modern music era. His ninth album all but assured his position as the Mozart of the 21st Century. But for the numerology-fixated Prince Rogers Nelson, it was unlucky album 13 where things became unstuck, and a curse struck him down. Within four years Prince went off the rails, off his major label, and off the charts.
The year was 1959 and a 12 year-old boy stood transfixed, mesmerised by the image before him. David Jones had been in this record store before, buying Bill Haley, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley, but this was different – the image of the “fantastic looking mountain or whatever that is” called to him.
The future David Bowie bought the Stravinsky album purely because of the photo of Uluru on the front cover, and thus began a life-long love affair with our great southern land.
Once there was a man who wrote a song so powerful it came to life and moved into his house. He was proud of its success: it won awards and earned money which it shared with him. However, unfortunately it was very promiscuous and kept bringing home women. He would meet them in the kitchen in the morning, looking dazed and eating his cornflakes. He worried that his song was better in bed than he was, and also he felt grumpy at constantly running out of cornflakes. To make matters worse, the song resembled him physically and they were often confused with each other. The world was suddenly full of people convinced he had had deep, tender conversations with them. He took to hugging absolutely everyone he met in order not to risk offence. He could only wonder how the song coped when his own friends assumed it could talk…
There’s a tenderness to this song, both lyrically and structurally. Your predicament is that you yearn to reach out and comfort the singer of the song … or the song itself … but of course that’s impossible.
They rocked, rolled, crooned, chortled, impersonated, illuminated … and that was just the first 30 minutes of The Basics gig at Brisbane’s The Triffid on that fateful evening of Saturday the 17th of October 2015.