In “Can’t Take This Town,” Colin Hay explores a few of the more unpleasant aspects of life in Los Angeles. It’s a good companion piece to “In California,” which Lucinda Michele reviewed last week. Hay’s song is perhaps a bit less poetic, but it gets the point across while exploring things such as vanity, parking, and schmoozing. He also delves into the more serious issue of violence.
There’s a woman in the mirror, fixing her lips
There’s a man in the bathroom, looking for tips
I park the car, and no one to pay
And one pizza later, it’s towed away
I’m not a fan of restroom attendants and am perfectly happy to get my own paper towel. Likewise, I’m not big on the car towing thing. Luckily, I’ve only had that experience once and now read parking signs much more carefully. It’s an expensive mistake to make. Parking in L.A. seems to be a common frustration. The lack of free parking, the overabundance of overpriced lots, and the frequently changing rules and fees for street parking can all be irritating.
I had the pleasure of seeing Colin Hay perform at Largo at the Coronet last week. Over the past several years, I went to many of his shows at the original Largo, but this was the first, and I believe his, at the new digs. As usual, the former lead singer of Men at Work regaled us with many anecdotes between songs. Hay is quite the storyteller and his tales rival his impressive guitar skills and amazing voice.
We heard about his recent trip to Australia, where he had lived since leaving Scotland as a young teen. He was chatting with a local who said something to the effect of, “You live in L.A. now, right?” Colin confirmed and the guy replied, “Oh, I could never live there. It’s full of [widely used expletive in Oz]. Sure, there are a lot of [same expletive] here, but there are a lot more there.” He laughed off the impression the stranger had of his home of the past 20 years. In spite of not quite achieving the original goal of moving here, which was to “return to superstardom,” Hay said, “I love L.A. Things happen here that don’t happen anywhere else.”