Annie Lennox adjusts her pillow, closes her eyes and says, “I’m so glad we can do this now Tom, I thought I might have to book in advance”. I’ve become a Reiki healer. For years Annie and I have danced on the same dance floors but we’ve never formally met until today. And here we all are, sitting in a rainbow, at The Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria. It’s ‘all hands on deck’ at the 1996 Mind Body Spirit Festival, a colourful galleon of buzzed up spiritual pirates sailing this big, cloud-surfing flagship of 20th Century wellbeing. I’m still a musician but today I’m putting my trust in the force alongside my teacher and several other certified healers. Annie, like everyone else visiting the stand today, has four of us at once channeling healing vibes into her. Eight hands. “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone”, that sort of thing.
But it’s time to tune out of my inner playlist and tune in to the music of the spheres for the next 20 minutes. It’s glorious. And free, though I wouldn’t claim it’s philanthropic. We four healers get healed at the same time and we’re here all day. What a trip.
Bob Dylan going electric. Bono going political. Annie going activist. Most people get up from the healing bench blissed out and Ms Lennox is no exception. However, we’re both used to elevated states so before she leaves we’re discussing how neither of us like being pigeon holed by the music press or, indeed, any press. She writes her address on a piece of paper and I promise to send her a cassette of a recent song I’ve written. “I’d be happy to hear it”, she says. “All artists should feel free to branch out and try new things. The press don’t really like me championing humanitarian causes. It confuses them, but what’s the point of me having a voice if I can’t speak up for those who’ve been silenced? They want to say, Annie Lennox? She’s just a singer. But that would be as crazy as saying, Tom Morley? He’s just a drummer”.