Snap Shot #43: Deborah Conway’s Ankles

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Once again I must confess to yet another memory whose details have grown fuzzy. The year was possibly around 1994-95 but could have been a little earlier or later. I was producing a music video for ABC Music but can’t tell you the song or even all of the featured artists, other than that there were a few. What I can confirm is that Deborah Conway, former lead singer of 80’s band Do Re Mi and by the mid 90’s a significant solo artist (“Alive and Brilliant” remains one of my favourite Aussie songs), was one of these artists. I must now also confess that I had nurtured a crush for Ms. Conway for several years and although I did my very best to feign a cool demeanour when told that I’d be working with her, I don’t think I fooled anybody. Although I was supposedly producing the clip, it’s low budget meant that I also performed whatever other minor tasks were required. One such job was picking up Deborah and taking her to location. Yippeee! I arrived at her place mid morning but she had just woken up and was not feeling (or looking) like a singing celebrity. So first stop was a café to get her something to kick start her day. She was a bit better after that but I could sense she was not overjoyed at having to perform. But professional that she is, she shook off her hangover and was soon being made up. This seemed to transform her into a star. We must have shot a few scenes with her but the one that I remember involved driving over the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a 1950’s candy apple red Cadillac convertible. (Here’s an interesting aside – I had to arrange the hire of the Caddy and got it from a garage that, a couple of year’s later, I would be living on top of in a little bachelor flat and, a matter of months later, I would then be driving such Caddys for weddings in an effort to earn money for my trip to Europe – strange coincidence…). Anyway, for safety reasons, with Deborah sitting on top of the Caddy’s backseat for a better camera angle, I had to be on the floor holding her ankles so she wouldn’t tumble off the back and feature on the six o’clock news. So there I was, laying on the floor of a Cadillac, my hands wrapped around the ankles of whom I considered to be one of the hottest women on the planet. Afterwards, when she was feeling more animated as I drove her back home, we had a very interesting chat about many things, including what her ex-lover, eccentric director Peter Greenaway, was like. And as special as this shared moment was, it didn’t come close to holding her ankles in the back of a Cadillac driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was and remains one of the highlights of my life.

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