Friday, July 07, 2006

What do you see?

Does this look like a little boy who is happy to be sitting on his daddy's knee?

Some random web browsing has taken me back to the eighties (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and Karel Fialka's "Hey Matthew" (which is ... hmm).

Karel Fialka had two hit songs that I can name, seven or eight years apart. For the second and more successful one he pressganged his little boy Matthew, who must have been about five at the time. The song involves the two of them sitting in front of the TV while Karel croons about television violence and Matthew looks more and more worried - "my psychotic daddy has made me wear this Spiderman outfit and is chanting at me about guns and bombs." He lightens up as the song progresses and even starts smiling, sometimes grooving to the music, having realised that the sooner he can humour daddy, the sooner he can get away from this hell. At one point they are joined by a woman who is either Mrs Fialka or an actress hired to represent her. I suspect the latter as she does nothing to stop this abuse beyond a vain attempt to grab the camera for herself. But it's Matthew's childhood that Karel has determined to blight and he makes sure the camera stays on the boy.

There is a lot of red in the Fialka household. Possibly for a reason.

Matt gets a word or two of his own in as the song progresses. In the first chorus he lists a random selection of 80s series he has apparently watched, even though shows like Dynasty and Dallas were on well after a five year old should have been in bed (and Airwolf was good). In the second he lists the professions he wants to be when he's older: turn down the sound and it looks like he's running through auditions for the various roles in the Junior Village People. One thing he conspicuously doesn't say is "I want to be like you, daddy." A tear wells in your eye at his last words, "It's all a game ... I hope ... I hope ..." Even now, his faith in his daddy is such that he thinks this was just recorded privately and will never be released publicly to a waiting nation. Oh Matthew, how wrong you were.

A web search on "Matthew Fialka" minus Karel gets four hits and they still refer to the song. A search for Matt Fialka gets nothing at all. He has either changed his name or is keeping a VERY low profile, possibly as a gaucho in deepest Patagonia.

"Hey Matthew" is to music as Stinking Bishop is to food: it's different, it's distinctive, you will certainly remember it, but it's still cheese. Watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THlJYix6r3g and enjoy. Or not.

1 comment:

  1. Webcrawler11:56 pm

    Karel Fialka is actually Matthew's step father. The boy's full name is Matthew Hayward. He is now 26 and has a profile on myspace which also refers to the video.

    http://www.myspace.com/matthewhayward

    Matthew himself is not a musician (no gaucho either!) but takes care of Karel's offical site.

    http://www.karelfialka.com/

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