I’m a little weary lately
less inclined to run from what runs after me
Nothing to do with me chronicles – in snapshots – a pretty transitional part of my life – and I guess to some extent one that continues now. In my early thirties I went through a major break up, and the ensuing chaos of my life took me in a multitude of unexpected directions. Many of these directions were deceptively and heartbreakingly unhelpful, others became steadfast and enduring friendships.
The song emerges from a steadily building conviction I have been nothing if not fortunate and saved by the grace of these friendships, moments and kindnesses I have stumbled into. The four snapshots run from some of my most broken moments on Maroubra beach (while staying at the home of the awe-inspiring Rev. Andrew Collis) – when Spike Mason stopped what he was doing, and on hearing my desperation on the phone came to find me – to years later when my inexplicable journey to Yokohama, Japan, as a director with a crew of performers in their early twenties from Shopfront (and later with pirate rogue Rick Bull, and Skank) totally changed my life, thanks to Nerida Woods, Nerida Rand, Cymbeline Buhler, Saskia Vromans and Mikuni Yanaihara.
Written staring out the window in Kreuzberg Germany during my first winter here in Berlin, the contrast of love ‘finding me’ – with it’s lofty implications – feels undone by commonplace realities – A simple meal of crackers and cheese with the ever generous Derek Wilson; …drinking sho-chu and speaking hopeless Japanese with Noel Shimojima, Arnab Ahmed, Holly Thompson, Eric Avery; Sarah Emery; David Kirkpatrick and David Buckley in Sheva bar, Yokohama; a smile in winter clothes from beautiful Ayumi Tanaka.
It is something I don’t understand. So much is a gift, unexpected, unplanned. I want it to be other. Nothing to do with me reminds me many of my best moments have happened when things went counter to my expectations.
Musically I feel the imprint of Stax records – another song where I’m chasing the imprint of Percy Sledge’s Dark end of the street. The guitar on the right hand side features a (somewhat broken) Real McCoy wah I was lucky to pick up on my last trip to Australia, and the backing vocals at the end are ethereal and lively – like the shivering rain on those nights in Yokohama when we were joyful and grateful to be able to stagger back to somewhere we could call home.
Whatever I did it had nothing to do with me
Whatever I did, love found me