Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Music Tuesday ...

I used to edit the music and books sections of an entertainment publication. Editors aren't supposed to be self-serving. We're supposed to serve readers. But one day, I was driving to work, listening to a tape - yes, a cassette - a well-worn, much-beloved copy of Icehouse's "Man of Colours."

A long time ago, when music videos were new and novel, I fell in love with the man in the "Crazy" video. Well, that man was Iva Davies, lead singer of Icehouse. Creator of Icehouse, really. Writer and singer of songs. Men with long hair make me swoon. This isn't a shot from the video, but it's definitely the hair!


And so, that day in my car, I thought, "I wonder whatever happened to Iva Davies." Being the music editor, I decided that the time was nigh to find out - and write a story about him.

I got some misinformation from Amazon.com, but that piqued the curiosity of the Davies camp. I can't remember now if I wrote to Iva's webmaster or manager, but Gino, his manager, got back in touch with me and told me that Iva wanted to communicate directly to set up the interview. And so I fired off an e-mail to the long-maned man I'd seen so many times in the video.

After some calculating (Sydney is 16 hours ahead of Chicago), we set up a time to talk, and when we did, I made my video confession. He laughed and said, "I don't look like that anymore."

He had written a song that was being used by the Sydney Olympics that year (hey, a timely hook for the story!). He offered to send me a copy, which arrived, signed, "To Beth, With Love, Iva Davies."

Happily, he liked the story I wrote and we've stayed in touch. We don't write often, but from time to time, something will pop into my mind and I'll jot it down to him, and his replies are always charming. He once sent me a disc that Amazon told me would take 8 weeks to get. When I finally bought the CD of "Man of Colours," I asked him if he'd sign the liner notes for me and sent them off to Australia. They arrived back in my mailbox not many days later. I love that I bought the tape all those years ago, and all these years hence, I'm lucky enough to be able to ask him to sign the CD version.

During a recent recording session, I covered his cover of Sinatra's "All the Way." There are certain artists I just can't cover. It's as though their songs are sacred, and I don't allow myself to sing them. But I love Iva's voice, and I've always loved singing along with him, so I it seemed fair to cover a cover.

He's been on my mind lately. A thought of him popped into my head the other night, driving home after "King Lear." And this morning, I fired up iTunes and "Circles in the Sky" was the first tune, out of 4,081. Which made me think, "I wonder if Iva's released anything on his site recently?"

When I interviewed him all those years ago, he was working on a new album. He's still working on the new album. At this point, I don't know if it will ever be commercially available, but he releases tracks from it from time to time. So I surfed on over and sure enough, a new tune has been posted, "Your God (not mine)." You can listen to it by going here, and clicking the download link at the end of the lyrics.

Of course, I'm totally biased, and I like everything the man records. But this tune, truly, is a knockout. He slams the chorus. Outstanding.

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