• Music

Boy On A Plane: An Airborne Fixx

‘D’y’ever do something once and have such a vivid experience doing it that you do it again? And then again and again until it becomes a sort of ritual? I’m not talking about something big, like surviving a plane crash in the Andes and then meeting with your fellow survivors once a year for happy hour at Chili’s. Nothing like that. I’m talking about small, nonsensical, peculiar, the kind of ritual that only you, yourself in this wide, overpopulated planet ever do, the kind that seeks to reclaim, without ever succeeding, something of the magic that befell you the first time you did it?

I thought so, but I bet yours doesn’t involve The Fixx and a PSA jet.

Here’s mine. Every time I fly, whether it’s from LAX to Sydney or Denver to DC or down to the Whole Foods on the corner, I have to listen to “Woman On A Train” by The Fixx. That’s right. Man on a plane listening to “Woman On A Train.” Yeah, I said I was unique. Here’s the song:

The Fixx – “Woman On A Train”

It all goes back to a trip my brother and I took way back when I was fourteen. We boarded a plane bound from New Mexico to California to visit friends, and we did it alone, without parents. Not our first orphan flight, but the first for me since making it into a roiling adolescence, and since discovering the raw, sexy, seductive allure of music.

As the plane pushed off from the gate I had my Walkman in my hand–not an official Sony model; it was a Panasonic, I think–and a tape-recording on a Maxell C-45 of Phantoms by The Fixx scrolling insde on continuous auto-reverse infini-play. As the plane lifted off the ground, the song in question kicked in with its meticulous percussion, oleaginous synth pulse, ethereal guitars and deep, rolled-back bass. Synapses connected with a crackle of ozone.

The song has since reminded me of airports and flight and Mr. Pibb in very small plastic cups and the wonder and fear and amazement at the mystery of onrushing adulthood, whose harbingers were giddiness, confusion and the soul-crushing grip of first love.

Lyrics after the jump.

And by the way, the first word in this post is pronounced “JEV-er” (Did You Ever?)

On the web:
buy the song on iTunes (not this version, which is inexplicably unavailable)
official site
tour schedule (they’re coming to LA, folks)
Erlewine’s take on the album

Woman On A Train

Pictures chase across the ceiling
As I try to sleep at night
There’s a voice inside my darkness
Laughing at the life I’ve lost
She’s no girl on pills in limbo
She’s a woman on a train
With her senses sharpened by the warning cold
She brings me to memory
She flashes her lights, her mission bites
She flashes her lights
Across my desert mind (still no change in me)
(She’s) no girl on pills in limbo
She’s a woman on a train
She’s here…
The woman on a train…
And I will speak no words but the truth for her to hear
Hold her close… but never dare
(She’s) no girl on pills in limbo
She’s a woman on a train
She’s here
The woman on a train…
She will speak for us both
She will speak for us all
Till I learn to care…
She’ll override my best intention
Attack my weak deception
A friend for life and after
I’ll never catch her off her guard


  1. Posted June 17, 2008 at 10:06 am | [link]

    I shared this with the Fixxtures forum, thanks for a great memory!

  2. Posted June 17, 2008 at 10:07 am | [link]

    I shared this with the Fixxtures forum, thanks for a great memory!


  3. Posted June 17, 2008 at 9:12 pm | [link]

    I might just have to join that board…

    Thanks for the link, Gary!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *