Don Walker

Chrissie has worked with Don Walker on various albums & tours.

Our father has a tattoo on his right shoulder, a kangaroo in faded ink sunk into his transparent skin, carrying the remains of a flag with a southern cross on it. In direct sun you can still see traces of red and green in the blocks of blue. It had never been a sophisticated piece of work, more like what I’d later come to know as a jail job. He tells a tale of going AWOL from a troopship in Colombo Harbour, he and his mates in one bar after another, then being busted and chased through narrow streets by British military police, escaping through a doorway and resting in the arms of a barber’s chair before the dawn, waking with his aching shoulder and a mate explaining to a tiny Sinhalese tattooist “Now, can we have a battleship across his chest with all guns firin’…”. He has many tales like that, young men getting into mischief and constructing fun out of alcohol and boredom, but I know there are many other tales he will not tell and can scarcely bear to carry. I know that me and my little brother and sister only exist because one or two other families across the world didn’t get to be conceived. All across that flickering newsreel era, the faded stills and the crooning hits, millions of men returned to their provinces, to Auckland and Alberta, Texas, Amritsar and the Clarence River, trying to make it work with young women and babies who could never understand the toll of being alive while millions more, for no more reason than the lack of a bit of luck in a few desperate seconds, are not.

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