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Driving through the bush
June 1999

I've got that strange desire to spend time in my car driving through the country-side of Queensland (Australia). It's a strange country-side when thinking of it in sociological terms. My American Indian friend would probably say: forget sociology, Eberhard, get real.

Well, it's hard to get real in a world becoming increasingly unreal in terms of politics, ethics and other milestones of human ingenuity.

Driving the roads is a long lasting metaphor of blues, folk and rock. And I would add: it's a real one because nothing more appeals than moving ... just moving, following the rhythm of the roads, the different sunlight at different times of the day, and the different songs emerging from the radio or cassette player (still haven't got a CD-player, damn!).

A few days ago I drove through the Mt. Tamborine region (south of Brisbane), enjoying the site and simultaneously listening to music I taped way back in the 1980s. Old stuff blasted through the loudspeakers: Eagles, Terry Allen, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, you name it. In between, there was a song by Lowell George with Little Feat: "Long Distance Love". A beautifully melancholic song about being separated and not being able to move closer to each other. While I was driving, I thought I'm moving. But while I thought of moving, I realized I got hooked on this song, and played it again and again. It carried me through serpentines and look-outs of the gorgeous landscape. It led me back to the valley and finally back to the open land.

I joined the rest of the crowd driving back to the city. I stopped rewinding the cassette and let the next song go ahead. While I drove through a small town of almost no character, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour sang "We're just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl year after year ...".

Unbelievable. And then, while I was closing into the city, Gary Stroutsos played the magic flute with American Indian songs. Just the kind of music to calm a die-hard rock-fan down and get him relaxed.

Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 1997-2001