On my tempestuous relationship with a certain Crowded House song.
I am willing to bet cold hard cash that nobody has stronger feelings about Crowded House’s not-that-controversial song “Don’t Stop Now” than I do. As are most things, I suppose, it was a matter of timing.
When the album TIME ON EARTH came out, we had recently moved to the other side of Los Angeles – just south of Pasadena, actually. That part of the world is lovely, particularly if you’re fond of Craftsman bungalows and lush foliage. (I’m about 75% on that, being allergic to trees.)
However, I do not understand who lives there. Owls? Bats? Voles? Because here’s the thing: The minute it starts to get dark, you can’t see a goddamn thing. The streetlights are, to say the least, minimal. The aforementioned lush foliage casts formidable shadows on the street signs, which themselves tend more toward the subtle and tasteful than the more appropriate glow-in-the-dark. Combined with my genetic lack of sense of direction, this meant trouble.
Before I basically stopped leaving the house after dusk (unless it was a straight shot to the freeway and outta there), I spent a tremendous amount of time driving around trying to find my own house. And crying. If you’re thinking, “Really? That’s worth crying over?” I assume you haven’t experienced the specific and profound humiliation of being regularly incapable of finding your home.
Also, you should know that we’re not talking about doubling back a block or two. Once I went to a store that Google Maps informed me was 1.7 miles away. By the time I made it there and back, I had racked up more than 32 miles on the odometer. We are talking LOST.
That was when I bought TIME ON EARTH. The opening track struck an immediate chord with me and, I learned from reading the press, was inspired by the Finn family having moved to a new town – in which Mrs. Finn was unable to find her way home.
Another pleasant day in the countryside
Has ended up in tears on a stormy night
Cause you can’t follow my directions home
But don’t stop now
God knows where the satellite’s taking us
I can’t tell what’s right in front of us
But I hang on every word
But don’t stop now
No, don’t stop now
This song clearly understood me. Everyone else thinks I’m an idiot – but here is proof that this has happened to at least one other person. It’s a small comfort, but I’ll take it.
And then this happens.
Give me something I can write about
I’m sorry. Give you something you can WRITE about?
You could write her some better directions. How’s THAT?
(Clearly, I’m projecting a little bit.)
Now I live in a proper city neighborhood, in a majestic and well-lit building that I can locate with ease from all four directions. But when I saw Crowded House play Club Nokia on Friday night, damned if my love/hate reactions to that song were not every bit as strong.
I guess it just goes to show that you’re never too old to have a formative experience.