Amsterdam

Album: Intriguer (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This song tells the story of one very weird day the band spent in Amsterdam. Frontman Neil Finn recalled to Spinner UK: "That was one of the strangest days of my life. That wasn't on the same trip (as the events described in the Intriguer track "Falling Dove"), but there is a slight European thread to the record, unusual events in foreign locations. But Amsterdam is a very mixed bag as a city I think. In many ways it's fantastic, but at five in the morning after a very long night it feels a little bit like it's not peace-loving freedom for all any more. It was a big city for us, early on in Split Enz, we spent a lot of time there because we did quite well. Amsterdam was the most exciting city on Earth. We'd go straight to Paradiso and have our 'selection.' The idea you could buy pot in any amount from anywhere in the world, it felt very exciting. It had an exuberance then, a true hippy mentality. Which now seems a little faded. There are still good things about it. But this in particular was one harrowing day... still, we got a good song out of it."
  • Finn described to Spinner the difficulties of writing on the road: "It is difficult to write on the road but it's good to have experiences and just record them, and then later on they come back. I never find it easy to write on the road, you're scattered and a little bit betwixt and between. It's good to seek experience and not stay in your shell, and you process it, and then you get home. And those things come back and you get some rewards for them. But it's very easy to drift through it and get to the end of it. But it's a great asset early in your life to keep a journal or have a tape recorder handy. All those things are valuable as a writer, it's surprising how difficult it is to maintain. I think on the fringes of travelling there are great stories to be found, but if you're just writing about your experiences of being in airports and missing planes or being out all night drinking and whoring, that's not very interesting."

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