Discover more from The Retroist
Memories of Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok”
Ah, the memories of that balmy Florida vacation still linger like a hazy dream. It was during those sun-drenched days, with the gentle waves lapping at the shore and the scent of sunscreen in the air, that Murray Head's iconic anthem, "One Night in Bangkok," began its ascent up the musical charts, embedding itself in my family's vacation soundtrack.
As we embarked on our Floridian escapade, little did I know that this catchy tune would become the ubiquitous backdrop to our adventures. Picture this: a car filled with eager excitement, my sisters and I vying for control of the radio dial. The Top 40 stations were our constant companions, and as the miles stretched ahead, so did the infectious beats of "One Night in Bangkok," demanding our attention and weaving itself into the tapestry of our journey.
Of course, our beach excursions were no exception. A humble portable radio, its tinny speakers struggling valiantly, would accompany us to the sandy shores. As the salty breeze tousled our hair and the glistening ocean stretched as far as the eye could see, the familiar strains of that song would carry over the sounds of crashing waves and seagull symphonies. And it was here, beneath the azure skies, that I first grappled with the enigma of this musical creation.
Its melody, unlike anything I had encountered before, refused to fade into the background like mere background noise. It was as if "One Night in Bangkok" possessed an almost magnetic allure, pulling me out of my reverie and into the rhythmic embrace of its unconventional harmonies. So often, while I lounged on the sands or dipped my toes into the cool embrace of the water, the song would break through the ambient hum of the beach, catching me in its melodic grip.
There was one particular moment etched in my memory like a vivid snapshot. It was a balmy evening, and the air was charged with a sense of anticipation. I had settled into the hotel room, remote in hand, ready to indulge in a cinematic escape with the movie "Up the Creek." The door leading to the patio stood open, inviting in the faint strains of distant revelry. Unbeknownst to me, a neighboring party had commenced, a merry gathering where music flowed as freely as laughter.
As the plot of the movie thickened and the characters embarked on their zany escapades, a familiar refrain began to weave its way into the narrative, stirring me from my cinematic trance. Murray Head's voice, dripping with a unique blend of intrigue and playfulness, echoed through the open door. The realization hit me like a sudden revelation – the party next door had adopted our musical companion, "One Night in Bangkok," as their anthem for the night.
With a surge of determination, I rose from the comfort of the couch, propelled by the urge to shut out the intrusive strains of music. My steps were firm, my purpose clear. As I reached the sliding glass door, I swung it shut with a force that betrayed my annoyance. And then, in an instant, the world shifted.
The impact resonated like a distant thunderclap, a sound that was at once dissonant and alarming. The glass, once a barrier between me and the outside world, shattered into a mosaic of gleaming shards. It was a symphony of chaos, a crescendo of unexpected consequences set to the rhythm of my impulsive action.
As the reality of the situation settled in, a sense of bemusement mingled with my shock. I had unintentionally transformed a tranquil night into a spectacle of shattered glass and unintended disruption. The breach in our once seamless connection to the outdoors was now an artistic tapestry of fractured transparency, a testament to the power of a single impulsive gesture.
The hotel staff, gracious and understanding, rallied to contain the aftermath of my unwitting escapade. While a repairman could not be summoned to rectify the situation in the late hours of the night, a makeshift solution emerged. Cardboard, humble and utilitarian, was employed to bridge the gap between our room and the outdoors, standing as a temporary guardian against the intrusion of unwelcome insects and curious lizards.
Morning greeted us with a chorus of sunlight and the gentle rustling of palm fronds. Yet, as the rays filtered through the cardboard barricade, they illuminated a room transformed. The once serene sanctuary had become a sanctuary of the unexpected – a realm inhabited not only by humans seeking respite but by the denizens of the wild, drawn by the allure of an unanticipated entryway.
The room was filled with flying insects and lizards. EVERYWHERE
I have mixed feelings about this song…