Don Messerli’s Blog |

An exercise in self-indulgence.

Colin Hay Concert

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

I’ve always thought Colin Hay, the former lead singer of Men at Work, is underrated. Most people only know of him from his days with Men at Work. They were very popular in the 80’s and were known for very catchy pop tunes. Who Can It Be Now? and Down Under were big hits. They capitalized on the popularity and style of The Police and added their own quirkiness. The reason Hay is underrated is because people only think of him in terms of these popular catchy tunes. First of all, if you just take the lyrics to these popular songs and remove them from that context, you start to see their depth.

If you listen to Hay’s later work, including his latest album Are You Lookin’ At Me?, you start to see the true brilliance of his songwriting. Very deep and introspective, yet simple. You won’t see a lot of silly love songs among his works. That’s a good thing if you ask me.

He has a great sense of humor. A lot of people remember him for his lazy eye. It was very prominent in the MTV era. Well, he released a CD called Company of Strangers on his own label, Lazy Eye America. His latest album is titled Are You Lookin’ At Me?. Both self-deprecating references to that lazy eye.

His sense of humor was fully in force during his concert a few weeks ago at The Wild Horse Saloon here in Nashville. Regine and I had VIP tickets and sat at a round table that literally touched the stage. Hay told funny stories about his life and the ups and downs of his career. He even made fun of Bob Dylan, having been at his concert the week before.

He played most of the songs he is known for as well as new stuff from his latest album. He switched from solo acoustic to full electric with his band. The show was thoroughly entertaining. I left with an even bigger appreciation for Colin Hay and his work.

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