Hang on, hang on….they haven’t finished the last one yet….
Hang on, hang on….they haven’t finished the last one yet….
‘A million miles from New Orleans
Drinking a can of beer
I think about Memphis and Detroit City
I hear you ladies there are young and pretty
Will there be rhythm and blues on the radio?…‘
‘No movie stars or really big deals,
Me and the band just need a place to play
What more can I say?
This is a record with pictures from New Zealand‘
This is for Kiwi Music Month. Street Talk is a band which has been kind of forgotten, or overshadowed some of the higher profile bands of the era. They had, in Hammond Gamble, one of the most distinctive lead vocalists of all the Auckland bands of the late ’70s, and some great original songs, but they didn’t have the decadent, squalid glamour of Hello Sailor or the brattish bad boy image of Th’ Dudes.
At least one of the key lines from this album track, “Stranded in Paradise” lives on in the title of John Dix’s great history of New Zealand rock music. Street Talks’s two albums appeared, without any real promotion, on itunes about a year or so ago.
I recommend them as examples of good, ballsy, meat and potatoes rock/ r&b from the time. I just wish the non-album single, ‘She’s Done It Again’, was also available.
And I love this song, as much for the overall feel of it as for the playing (especially that great keyboard work and lead singer Hammond Gamble’s gruff, bluesy singing).
we got a band that’s been milkmen
and taxi drivers
and truck drivers and postmen too
accountants and door to door men, believe you me:
we got jukebox heroes just like you.
All very wistful and pleading. There was always a feeling, in New Zealand, that anything that mattered happened elsewhere. I think that’s the big difference in mood in the past 15 years or so.
Yes, New Zealanders are still big travellers, and we will continue to be so, I think. We still look energetically and often a bit excessively overseas.
But more of the younger generation of godwits, I think, will return.
And I think, now, we’re less prone to assume what we do here does not matter as much, or isn’t as good, somehow.
“Red wire, blue wire…”
I’m not a big fan of shoot ’em up fillums, but this one had perhaps one of the best opening sequences I’ve seen.
Mel Gibson’s psychotic nihilistic side was seldom more in evidence.
Found myself thinking of this scene when pondering the governing arrangement talks going on between New Zealand First and the Labour and National parties this week.
Do I have any great insight? Nothing I haven’t already shared with the readers of NBR. The fact neither Labour nor National are saying anything about what their policy priorities are, and allowing Winston Peters to look like he’s setting the agenda, leads me to think we’re not going to see a deal emerge out of these talks.
Finding my voting place? (Scratches head…)
Where was the last place I had it?
Ok, seriously… I’m currently sitting in a house deep in a mid-Auckland suburb, at the tail end of probably the most interesting campaign I can remember in 21 years in the press gallery.
And most difficult election to predict I can remember.I don’t know what the results going to be – but there is a feeling that this is very important election.
On the subject of actually a casting vote, I’m not one of those political journalists who feel I can’t or should not vote.
Voting is a sacred act. People died to give us the right to vote. They died defending that right.
There is blood on those ballots. Human nature and a wicked world being what it is, people will probably have to die to defend that right again.
Which doesn’t mean, to use that often heard, simplistic phrase, “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”.
You are always allowed to complain. That’s the whole point of democracy, or at least one of the points of democracy.
You have a say.
Voting is the tail end of that process in which you have a say. Voting essentially picks who is going to form the government for the next three years. It is mostly about picking people, not policies.
Which means you can complain all you like about policies – and the people for that matter – but if the smorgasbord of people on choice, come election day, isn’t to your liking, you’re perfectly entitled to not to vote.
And to go on complaining.
Voting is not democracy. Its a part of it, certainly, but its probably not even the most important part.
Democracy goes on in the arguments, discussions, shared annoyances, shared ideas, shared hopes and dreams, of human beings everyday.
Nor do I believe there is such a thing as a “wasted vote” if you are voting what you believe. That right, to vote what you believe, is what people fought and died for us to have.
To me, the only wasted vote is if you vote for something you don’t believe.
Finally, a more general comment about New Zealand election is this: we’re okay, I think. If you look at the options available for New Zealanders, we’re doing better than most democracies. Views may vary intensely on the qualities of the two alternative prime ministers, but from my observation, and certainly compared with certain other democracies, they’re basically decent and not at all dim people.
And whatever happens at the polls, we do, I believe, have a more economically secure base than we’ve ever had before.
There’s still a long way to go: a country of less than five million people, spread over a land mass the size of the UK or Japan a long way from anywhere else and with geological difficulties, not to mention an inconvenience strip of water across the midriff, is always going to have a high level of economic vulnerability.
But for a whole lot of reasons, the scope for reducing those vulnerabilities now is better than it ever has been in our history. I just hope that whoever forms a government after this weekend maintains a focus on reducing those vulnerabilities.
I’m starting to enjoy this election.
“It’s a wee bit on the horrendous side, is this town-going.” – John Clarke/Fred Dagg
The late, and very much missed, John Clarke. For his birthday.
Contains Harris Street, just outside where the library is now, and bits of Victoria Street in that vicinity. Filmed in roughly 1976: it looked much the same when I moved to Wellers in 1982.
This was Graham Mourie’s first test. Huge build-up. The ABs had lost the previous test and only had an iffy win in the first test. Coming the year against a lost series in South Africa, there was a sense of crisis.
The selectors went berko after the second test loss, making six changes and – most shockingly of all – dropping veteran halfback Sid Going.
It was an extremely wet winter, and Carisbrook had been rained on all week. From memory, the rugby union hired a couple of helicopters to fly up and down the ground for hours before the test, trying to dry out the ground with the downdraft from the rotor blades.
This may be a bit of a legend. I don’t know.
The dropping of Going at halfback was seen as a signal the All Blacks would run the ball through the backline rather than having Sid Going have a go on his own and fold it back into the forwards.
Anyway, they showed they would do that, right in the opening minute. Bruce Robertson – Counties’ only player in the side, something I kind of noted, as a Waiuku lad – had a fantastic day.
After a couple of years without a decent goalkicker – Joe Karam, who has since gone on to fame in other areas, had been a dead-eye dick with the boot for years but in 1975 he went to league – the new boy at fullback, Bevan Wilson, was a real find.
And of course it was Kirkpatrick’s 50th try.
Anyway, it was a really great game. Here’s the highlights.
And here’s hoping to a decent win tonight.
Song from the Dark Times.
I don’t think I’m the only person who, when this came out, thought they were singing about Janet Frame.
That, though, would have been a bit too direct for Don McGlashan.
Someone once defined the Muttonbirds as being like the a Kiwi version of the Kinks with a touch of Twin Peaks’ undefined menace to them.
That to me is almost right. The band – and Don McGlashan’s other work, with Front Lawn and Blam Blam Blam and elsewhere – certainly get, and convey, New Zealand culture in a way the Kinks, at their peak, were able to do for the English.
But Twin Peaks? Hmm. You can see it a bit in this video clip, I suppose. But really, you don’t need to go offshore to seek influcneces. The band is like a rock muso version of Maurice Gee’s novels, or of some of our infamous ‘Cinema of Unease’.
If peoeple still bothered to market music compilations, someone could do a very good ‘Music of Unease’ of Kiwi Music.
In fact, of course, you could probably make one of your own.