Tuesday, January 30, 2018

"Toto: how we made Africa"

TG:

As a kid, I’d always been fascinated by Africa. I loved movies about Dr Livingstone and missionaries. I went to an all-boys Catholic school and a lot of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa. They told me how they would bless the villagers, their Bibles, their books, their crops and, when it rained, they’d bless the rain. That’s where the hook line – “I bless the rains down in Africa” – came from.

They said loneliness and celibacy were the hardest things about life out there. Some of them never made it into the priesthood because they needed companionship. So I wrote about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. It’s a romanticised love story about Africa, based on how I’d always imagined it. The descriptions of its beautiful landscape came from what I’d read in National Geographic.

...

I remember listening to the lyrics and going: “Dave, man, Africa? We’re from north Hollywood. What the fuck are you writing about? ‘I bless the rains down in Africa?’ Are you Jesus, Dave?”

Then we made a video that was so full cheese. They built this stage that looked like a pile of giant books and stood us on top of it. You can see me laughing.