I Dreamed of Don Walker and the Kings Ghosts in the Machine

Text: Michael Dwyer

Bought a car from Don Walker last night.

Early ’60s Kingswood sedan. Pale blue, white roof. Suspension pretty ragged but I had to get to Sydney pronto. Heading through the Maccas dogleg on Lygon and Holmes I realised I had a problem: couldn’t see over the steering wheel. Cars honking, I spun a dangerous right into Albion, all the while fiddling for the steering column adjustment I knew full well wasn’t there. It was an early ’60s Kingswood, ffs. Found Don again, puffing on a long cigar on a dark street corner. Said he could fix it, led me across the road to his place: a tiny room above the seediest pub you ever saw. A pair of Vietnamese kids were playing on the creaking staircase, which grew darker and darker as I followed him up, until he disappeared in his own cigar smoke. Last car I buy from an enigmatic truckstop-blues raconteur.


‘Ghosts in the Machine’ is a column dealing with the unique and intimate ways that artists become iconic in our life. We are open to submissions below 500 words.


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