Friday, October 05, 2012

Song of the Day: 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat' by Split Enz

  When I was in high school, I had a friend who was utterly obsessed with Split Enz. I was a casual fan -- "I Got You" and "One Step Ahead" were hard to resist -- but Lisa ate, drank and dreamed (of sleeping with) them, particularly Tim Finn, whose name she would marry in a heart on her notebooks. Although they were in medium rotation in the early days of MTV, they were just obscure enough that even the smallest mention of news about them was rare enough to send Lisa into a tizzy. Unable to find a Split Enz T-shirt, Lisa went and had one made at the T-shirt shop at the mall,with red iron-on letters on one of those baseball shirts with three-quarters-length sleeves. The shirt, white with red sleeves to match the letters, simply spelled out SPLIT ENZ -- and could have just as easily been referring to her hair, the frequent victim of Sun-In, a staple in every '80s teen's bathroom -- but desperate times called for desperate measures. Over the years I've come to appreciate the boys from New Zealand more: -- Crowded House was also a treasure, plus Neil and Tim Finn have both made some great solo albums in addition to reuniting on occasion. The only Spliz Enz album I ever had back in the day was "Time and Tide," which my mom got for me for Christmas at the same MusicLand in Fiesta Mall where I bought "She's So Unusual" a year later on the same evening my friend Greg bought "Madonna." I'd seen the video for "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" and was beginning to realize that Lisa was onto something after seeing Tim in his little captain's hat and blue blazer a a sight to behold ... and the song was pretty good, too.

3 comments: said...

During the big 80s my room mate, totally turned me on to Split Enz, Roxy Music and The db's.

I still love them all!

And I love this video ; )

Craig said...

They're on my ipod. But my crush was on Neil. I saw Crowded House years ago at the then Universal Amphitheater (now Gibson). Front row, I felt like I had constant eye contact with Neil. Wishful thinking I'm sure.

Christopher in Aotearoa NZ said...

Goodness! This is mighty interesting.

In NZ Spilt Enz were very big during this time. '6 Months in a Leaky Boat' is a direct reference to the fact that for many European NZ'ers (Pakeha) their ancestors spent literally 6 months in a leaky boat to immigrate to NZ.

I also bought Time and Tide (though the album art was different - the photo on the album covered the entire front cover of the album).

I also bought their next album which was more mellow, and in particular remember one song ('Minor Key') always as it is associated with youthful attraction to a fellow boy at school - "Rain falls on the roof as we lie here together, laughing at the jokes only you and I understand. Linger for a while in the pool of emotion, take your time and see, you'll find it in a minor key, a melancholy mystery..."

Not bad for a couple of brothers from Te Aawmutu...

Thanks for the memory blast!