Photo: Beth Herzhaft

Photo: Beth Herzhaft

Interpreter -colin hay

(A Note from the photographer)

I met Colin Hay a long time ago, we took silly photographs, he made me laugh like a drain, I sat gob-smacked at his live performances, and in the process, I fell in love with his music; a vast, sad, delightful, twisting, winding canon of work.

When I sent him word that I wanted him to write a track for this project, this was the email trail he left…verbatim:

Colin: “I’m not sure if I’ll have time. I go on tour with Ringo in two weeks, and much to do, frocks to pick out etc. How much time do I have?”

I tell him a few months.

Colin: “I’d like to commit, but then I’m about to go on tour, and I may space, and then get home, and realize I’ve got nothin’. Deep down I’m a people pleaser, and wouldn’t want to let you down. Let me stare at the images for awhile, and see if anything stirs.

I gently nudge him again a week or two later, asking “where’s my hit?”

Colin: “I haven’t had time to focus on your hit. I thought I had more time. Do I?”

Yes, I tell him, 8 weeks in fact! I prod again a few weeks later.

Hello Stuart,

I just returned from touring the Western US with my band, so I’m a little crispy.

I’m afraid I don’t have your hit as of this moment.

I will try over the next couple of weeks. That’s all I can do. Life has been happening, and time has been mocking me.

Then finally this comes via email:

Hey Stu,

I haven’t managed to come up with a song yet, as I’ve just been unusually busy of late. Apologies for that.

I did write a poem for you, which you can use or not.

I decide a voice should recite it, and ask if Colin thinks it should be male or female…unless, of course, HE’D like to record it? This is always a risky manoeuvre from the likes of me, possibly overstepping the mark, pushing for MORE material…it can go either way, in my experience. The next day Colin sends a recording of his himself, reciting his beautiful piece..with just this note.

Spoken into my iPhone in a parking lot in Cologne Germany.