Episode #194: Parachutes    (Song starts at 4:40)

Back in 1993, I had a residency as a pianist at a resort in Wairakei, near Taupo, in New Zealand. To rejuvenate myself – and lift my spirits – while I know I was very lucky to have this sort of gig, being a pianoman has it’s ups and downs. During the daytime, I’d often get out into nature. I’d play golf or go trout fishing.

I wrote the words for song #303, Parachutes, as I sat in my old van Hercules one late morning. I’d taken a drive to a vantage point where I knew there was a fantastic view of Lake Taupo, with the volcanic plateau as a back drop. It was a pristine early winter’s morning of blue sky and water.

It had a been a big night, the night before. After some persuasion (a conversation in a bar after the gig), I’d finally been convinced to go parachuting the next day. I woke in the morning with a bad hangover and a sinking feeling of doom – which was quickly alleviated by a phone call “ It’s too breezy, we’ll have to skip it this morning”.

I got away with it.

As I wrote the lyrics, the winter breeze had chosen to be kind – kind to me, by blowing early, then calming down for some other parachutists, who were now hanging against the distant storm clouds in the distance. Although I wouldn’t have minded their view, I certainly wasn’t wishing I was up there.

Comfortable in my van, I imagined their view. It reminded me how free I was. Young, single, on the road – the future was wide open.

I was missing my co-songwriter buddy, Paul Dredge. He’d recently left – onto other things –  so I was licking my wounds a bit, determined to carry on.

So when it came to writing the music, back in the incredibly peaceful Kuratau, where I was based at the time, I had a go at writing an ‘up’ sort of song that Paul and I might have written together, with Paul on guitar.

Fast forward to 2023, I found my self recording a demo midway through this episode. Something was missing, and then it hit me. Another voice!

So I went back and recorded another vocal part (in the style of Finn brothers, Every brothers, etc) and I think Parachutes finally came together. Paul and I still enjoy singing together like this.

Another year is coming to close. It’s been a goodie for me: I’ve chosen to spend lots of time creating music and art. It’s a timeless time. I’m in another world. I leave all my worries, all the ‘goings on’ behind and I’m completely in the zone when I write words, music and paint pictures.

Paul and I are close to finishing our 6th Folk Rock album . The rock band PP and the Patient Hum are closing in on another one. You can find my music here:  (also streaming on the usual platforms).

Looking forward producing to a stack more music and ain 2024.

Ok join me in Hercules the van, over looking the lake, back in 1993:

Church bells are ringing from somewhere afar

Times gliding by, day by day,

I’m biding time and I gaze

At the parachutes in the sky…


Lyrics and more art and music here on my blog