DAVE JORDAN: “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

Posted on November 22nd, 2014 by Chris.

I have the pleasure of receiving letters and e-mails from strangers – people who have sat in an audience and been as moved as I have been in performing lyrics which touch the soul. Dave Jordan was a rare and special talent in New Zealand. He wrote with a passion about topics from the mundane yet humorous to the breathtakingly sensitive.

Last week’s e-mail was an enquiry as to where my recordings could be accessed and how one song in particular had left its impression over 40 years. Dave’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” won a Silver Scroll in the industry and remains, to this day, one of our defining moments in music.

The enquiry:

Hi Christine,

I doubt that you will remember me, but a long time ago – in the late sixties, early seventies, I was a regular at the Banks Peninsula Folk Club. I sang warm-up acts from time to time, alone and with Phil Calder (and our group, “Penultimate”), Wyn Drabble, Eric McEachen and others, and often when you were the featured performer. One of your songs was Dave Jordan’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” which I found hauntingly beautiful then and still do.
After all these years of children and career and, now, grandchildren, I am back playing and singing and still haunted by that song.
I’ve searched for it on-line, but without success. However, my search picked up your website and I wondered if you may have a digital copy or could direct me to a web link where I could obtain it.
I trust that life has been good for you – it certainly seems to have been adventurous!
My reply:
I, too, was enchanted by “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” and regarded Dave’s writing as a mark of the soul of a few New Zealanders who represented the best part of our country’s lyricism at that time and now.
Before he left for London he came from Wellington to attend some folk nights in Chch and I was too shy to speak to him but I heard his words. Later, I met him at the anniversary of the folk club in Chch and at that time he was wheelchair bound and close to the end. We spent some time talking about the song and my recording of it. He was very complimentary; and for that I will remain humbled by his words.
Several months later I attended his wake. His son, his friends and I sang through the afternoon and into dusk and I was able to play his piano with his son sharing the stool. We had his ashes on the piano in order for closure. Eric sang “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” and Dave Calder contributed also.
I have searched the web and have found no real access to my version. It is mentioned but I have kept a low profile in order to continue with my love of music rather than the industry. Once I had recorded it, it was out of my hands or any form of ownership.
E-bay or Trade Me have the odd sale of the song which was recorded as the flip side of “Go-Go Girl”, one of my MD’s choices – not mine.
The disc’s catalogue Number is: MAS 109, 1969 7″ format and recorded on the MASTER label.
Please visit http://folksong.org.nz/dave_jordan/ in order to read more about Dave’s career.

 

5 comments.

Min Whyman

Comment on September 25th, 2015.

Chris, Today while looking for your LP ‘Lady” in Pennyfarthing Record shop, I found a copy of Dave Jordan’s LP ‘Seasons’. One of the tracks is ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’, another is ‘Lady’. I couldn’t find a copy of your version but now have a copy of Dave Jordan’s for you.

chris grosz

Comment on September 29th, 2015.

Hi Christine, I used to flat with Dave in Wellington and played harp on his first album…a very confused man but a great talent as has been mentioned irony with no malice…I didn’t realize he had such a hard time later in life…i hope he’s resting easy.
Regards from Chris Grosz

Chris

Comment on September 30th, 2015.

Hi Chris, lovely to hear from you. It’s been a long time, although I caught up with Richard Oddie in 2012 and he spoke of you, how talented you were and remain and how fortunate we are to still be standing. Dave was an enigma and a talent who could put his finger directly on the pulse of absurdity and beauty at the same time. From ‘Gutboard Blues’ where so many of the Uni students spent their holidays working at
the freezing works in order to get through the next semester, to ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ and ‘Lady’ the Kiwi markers were identified and pinned to the ground in his lyrics. Your first-hand knowledge of him probably views him in a light which is personal and relevant to you but isn’t that ART after all? I still miss the days of Brock, the Band of Hope and the days of raw and unbridled talent. I used to feel like a kid amongst all of it. It was inspiring if a little daunting.

Michael

Comment on July 13th, 2016.

Hi Christine,

Random internet denizen here. I will occasionally buy a random record from a thrift shop just in case there’s something interesting to hear. Even one great piece of music is enough to justify spending a dollar or less, and sometimes I’ll find something I really like. This was the case for your recording of “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” which I recently found on the compilation “40 Great NZ Country Hits.” The rest of the record is fine, but this song is truly a standout and I’m happy to have found it.

Not happy, on the other hand, to realize it’s not readily available online! I hope you won’t mind that I’ve posted a copy on youtube, the writer above may appreciate hearing it and hopefully others as well. It’s just recorded form the scratchy vinyl, but better than nothing! Happy to take it down if you’d prefer, but to my thinking it’s better it gets heard than fall out of sight so to speak 🙂

https://youtu.be/k5L-KFKdKB8

Cheers!

Chris

Comment on July 17th, 2016.

Hello Michael, thank you for your kind words and for posting the track to YouTube. I am very happy you took the initiative to make it public and to add visuals as well. How very considerate of you. I loved performing and recording this song. I met with Dave a few months before his death and sang it for him at Maddisons in Chch where the Canterbury Folk Music Club celebrated its artists over its entire history. Later, at Dave’s wake, his son and I played and sang some of his beautiful repertoire, with his ashes next to the grand piano he often played.

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