When I arrived on DD’s front door on Sunday afternoon I could hear Split Enz music drifting through his house, which seemed a little odd as he’s not a massive Enz fan.
I smiled when I heard Neil Finn crooning “Message to my girl” – I’ve been in love with the band’s music since I was 13 years old. But for some strange reason my hopeless RSVP profile when I met DD said I was into Snow Patrol.
I liked a couple of their songs, but it’s not like they’ve been a seminal part of my life.
(As an odd aside, it’s a bit weird that “seminal” can mean 1. “strongly influencing later developments” and 2. “relating to or denoting semen”.)
“That wasn’t in your profile” has become one of DD’s favourite sayings over the years.
When he opened his front door I saw his electric guitar leaning up against the sofa. It turned out he was teaching himself how to play “Message to my girl”.
He said it was a bit tricky as it had been composed on a piano in an unusual key. He poured me a glass of rose and I curled up on the couch beside him as he plucked away, while various live versions of the song played on his TV. I alternated my gaze between the screen and his lovely fingers on the strings. It was such a happy place to be.
He switched to John Cougar next, which was much easier to replicate and a mutual old favourite. Then he asked if I had any other live music requests from YouTube. I mused for a moment and asked for New Order.
My joy soared all over again as “Temptation” started to play. I was swept back to Eighties me on the flashing dancefloor at Gunfight’s Rest on Newcastle’s infamous Hunter Street.
Oh how I loved dancing under the ultra-violet lights, as my white puffy shirt – and teeth – glowed in the dark and the dry ice steamed from my Dingo Dangler cocktail.
DD and I watched various incarnations of New Order lead singer Bernard Summer singing Temptation, Bizarre Love Triangle and Blue Monday.
And I recalled that while I spent many nights dancing to New Order’s music in nightclubs, I didn’t actually see them play live until I was 48.
In 2016 I went to see them perform with a friend of DD’s, the most lovely bloke called Cliff. New Order has a special place in his heart because he grew up near the original band members.
The gig at the Sydney Opera House was sooooo good. I danced and sang and danced some more with the biggest smile on my face.
Last year, days before lockdown, the eldest and I were lucky enough to see New Order live at the Hordern Pavilion and we both absolutely loved it. The videos and lighting that accompanied the band were amazing and I was so moved by favourite songs such as Bizarre Love Triangle that I started to weep.
I felt a little teary again on Sunday as DD pucked away at Temptation on his guitar. There’s something very special about your twentysomething happy place meeting your fiftysomething happy place.
We finally dragged ourselves away from the TV to have a lamb roast at the Four Pines, then I drove back to my real world to put the bins out. I texted DD to say goodnight and we both said how much we’d enjoyed our interlude together.
I felt very lucky on Sunday night. I hope he did too.
Song of the day: Split Enz “Message to my girl”