Well I remember when I was Young the World had just begun and I was Happy. I used to wonder about the Earth and how it moved around the Sun so Snappy. Imagination goin’ wild makes a very backward child they told me. So back at school I’d sit around just waitin’ for the Sound so I could go Home.
I Remember When I Was Young was formulated on a dilapidated guitar when Matt was living a commune life in Beechworth. He had turned his back on the music industry late in 1971 after his successful band Chain had disbanded. Then forgoing the commune life late in ‘72 he was the first signed solo artist for Michael Gudinski’s fledgling record label, Mushroom. Gudinski’s advancement in the Australian music industry had mostly been on the back of him being Chain’s manager. Matt had one condition on recording for Mushroom, they had to bring the studio to him onto his farm in Frankston- and so they did. I Remember When I Was Young (and a few other tunes) was recorded live from a paddock on the farm just before the Sunbury festival, where the equipment would be utilised just days later. The song wouldn’t appear on Matt’s comeback solo album of 1973, Straight As A Die, and in hind sight this appears not to have been such a great decision. Interesting to note that Matt is the producer and Michael is the executive producer. I’ve never asked him about that!
The tune would be released before the album (Matt assured me it was sometime before – early September I believe) and it peaked at twenty three Nationally (Go Set). There is physical evidence it was released before November (where it has been claimed to have been released) as 3xy chart of October 12 had it as ‘hit bound’. Funnily enough however, Straight As A Die went into the Album charts at number twenty the following week and I Remember didn’t chart (still ‘hit bound’)! It wasn’t until the following week where the single would make its appearance – straight in with a bullet at twenty nine. On the local charts the single finished as high as three behind Old Dogs Children & Watermelon Wine by Tom T Hall. The album climbed even higher on the National Charts reaching number thirteen. Probably fair to say that that this tune reached greater heights as time passed by, maturing into a National icon. Perhaps, because we all started looking back at days gone by. Heck I’m doing it here!
Harmonica in Key of ‘C’ as the bompa bompa is in ‘G’.