Nothing looks the same in the light

I like ‘Sorrow’ and ‘Life on Mars’ (after binge-watching the series Life on Mars), but I was never a big Bowie fan; I went through a Prince phase when I was young, but that didn’t last long; I love reading Leonard Cohen’s poetry and lyrics, but admittedly I prefer the cover versions of his songs performed by other artists. The 2016 celebrity death that hit me the hardest was George Michael’s.

Believe it or not, I was a Wham! fan. George Michael was one of my first crushes — after Steve from The Land of the Giants, Michael Douglas in The Streets of San Francisco, and Robert (a boy in Grade 6).


George Michael




Michael Douglas

Robert (from memory)

In Grade 4 or 5, we had to come up with an act to perform for the class. My best friend at the time and I choreographed a dance routine to ‘Bad Boys’.

‘Last Christmas’ was the soundtrack to my very first summer-holiday romance, and my subsequent very first broken heart.

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen) is far more profound, but there’s a line from a Wham! song that has resonated with me since I was twelve (although I had to google to remember which song it’s from): Nothing looks the same in the light. I have stolen borrowed and rewritten those words — that concept — in many different ways. I made a list of examples from my books, but deleted it (because, well, who wants to read random, out-of-context lines of prose? Plus it was quite a long list).


I can still remember the inky, shiny-paper smell of the song-lyric sheet in the inner sleeve of the Fantastic album.


3 thoughts on “Nothing looks the same in the light

  1. Paul Taylor VK3HN

    It was a happy coincidence that our impressionable years and ‘peak vinyl’ occurred at the same time. Albums had special qualities that propelled young hearts and minds in all sorts of directions. Can you imagine today’s high school girls becoming attached to a Youtube channel? Maybe.

    Robert was a hunk.


    1. Tania Chandler Post author

      Yes! CDs were never quite the same, and now we don’t even have those anymore. Can you remember the first album you bought? I remember standing in Myer Melbourne unable to choose between KISS’s ‘Dynasty’ (Ace Frehley was another of my big crushes — after Michael Douglas and before hunky Robert) and Racey’s ‘Smash and Grab’. In the end, my mum let me get them both.


      1. Paul Taylor VK3HN

        Your mum was a sport. My first album was Cat Stevens Catch Bull At Four. It cost $6.60. I had that in my money box. I had the impossible dilemma of deciding to by the album or going to his Melbourne concert. I reasoned that if I went to the concert I would hear the songs once. But if I bought the album I would hear them a thousand times. Such is the logic of a 13 year old.


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