So, there I was siting in a Pizza place my first night in Narvik, Norway, and as I awaited my #13 Pizza (with ham, chicken, onions, and peppers) I began to search the building for something that might tell me more about the town I just arrived in. A picture, a card for a cab company, a “Wanted” poster; anything.
A few seconds went by, and I instantly began to think my quest would fail. Suddenly, I spotted a large poster by the door. I got up and went to check it out. It was for an upcoming summer concert in Norway; “Stars of the Eighties.” The lead band would be none other than Katrina and The Waves. I smiled as I thought of several things.
One of their biggest hits was the song ‘Walking on Sunshine.” It was written by Kimberley Rew, who by the way, was one of the British male members of the band. Katrina Leskanich did the vocals. Katrina was originally an Air Force Brat moving around when her father was then stationed in England. The band was slightly surprised by Walking on Sunshine when it hit the American music charts as they had released it a year earlier and it got little play, mostly in Canada and England.
One of the very best scenes in the excellent movie High Fidelity with John Cusack and Jack Black is when Jack Black rolls into the record shop on Monday morning, and among other things bursts out “Holy Shite!” Soon, Walking On Sunshine is blasting out of the store speakers.
Another gem on the first album From Katrina and The Waves is also the Rew written song; “Going Down To Liverpool.” Although a great song in itself, the song was covered by the band “The Bangles.” This got a lot of air play on MTV at the time, but the coolest part is the video. It shows the 4 Bangles in the back of a car singing, and the driver is none other than Leonard Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr Spock from Star Trek fame.
Walking On Sunshine still makes about a million dollars a year on royalties which the band and songwriter split since they decided to share the rights they own, instead of a record company. The song has been popular with TV ads which also generated revenue.
I didn’t find much else in the pizza joint to tell me about the town, but to know that there are people ‘out there’ doing what they love for as long as they can make a go at it, makes me smile for the joy they have brought me.
Ride that wave Guys!
Enjoy the two videos………