Not the finest headline, but it has a decent ring to it. On a flight to LA a couple of weeks ago I was in a bit of daze thinking about the sudden departure of my dear friend and co-host Pam Corkery from radio for a return to politics. I’d found out midday Friday that that evening’s episode of The Two would be just The One, likewise Sunday evening’s show. And then at 6am Monday morning I was on a plane to the States for a nine day holiday. All a blur.
In between watching The Lego Movie (5 stars), American Hustle (4 stars) and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (a solid 3.5 stars), I listened to a bit of music to while away the many, many hours. I’d decided to save a few pennies by flying to LA via Australia instead of direct, but four hours plus 15 hours isn’t as much fun as you’d think. Should’ve spent the money.
With all that time, there I was going through the inflight album selection and instead of listening to LPs not owned, I felt drawn to one of history’s greatest commercial and critical blockbusters, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970). I’d played the Commodores Zoom for Friday’s final song as a fond farewell for Pam, but on the plane realised an even better choice to be S&G’s BOTW album track So Long Frank Lloyd Wright. What a song and what a way (in a non-morbid, saccharine fashion) to say goodbye to a colleague.
By 1969 Paul Simon sensed his creative partnership with Art Garfunkel was coming to end, but instead of the clunkiness of writing So Long Art Garfunkel, he framed his message in the metaphor of the famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Even better, he got Garfunkel to sing the lead. The song talks about how “architects may come and architects may go and never change your point of view.” Well Pam and I were both capable of point of view changing in the other. “All of the nights we’d harmonise ’til dawn, I never laughed so long.” Our shows normally finished at midnight rather than dawn, but wow, I never did laugh so long. The harmonies were pretty good too.
Before you say it, no-one’s died and life is good! Pam and I are still great friends and I’m excited about the future of The Two. Adapting to change and embracing it as a reality is a vital skill. Also being thankful for what did happen rather than what didn’t. So good luck Pam and catch up soon. Hopefully we both have Gracelands coming up in the next phases of our careers, though I’m sure we’d take a cheeky Bright Eyes if it comes our way too.
“I can’t believe your song is gone so soon, I barely learned the tune.” Perhaps we’ll take up the tune again someday. In the meantime, thanks so much for listening to Newstalk ZB and stay with us for the next chapter of The Two*.
*Acclaimed writer, television producer and former US foreign correspondent Tim Wilson will be joining me on The Two for the next few weeks. Welcome aboard Tim.