A few insider or ‘behind the scenes’ moments here.
And there really are so many ‘moments’ , either of my own, or gleaned from Nun mates, I could write a book about them.
They mostly relate to the time our band (The Bird Nest Roys) arrived in the South Island for the first time supporting the Chills on Tour.
Flying Nun were DYI in those days in the smelliest possible way and offered a hotel service for all the bands who came through on tour. As our band was described by someone at the time as “more of a party than a band” this possibly stretched the traditional concept of hospitality. But then again, very few of the Nun personnel were adverse to a good time.
In Dunedin we stayed at various Look Blue Go Purple houses or at the house of whoever had the party the night before, which was usually the Look Blue Go Purple people anyway.
Mind you, many, many parties were at Shayne place above the Robbie Burns on George Street.
At least that’s the way it seems now. But maybe there was just one, really good party, that seemed like a lot of them.
While much has been made of the Flying Nun football team I could make a case for the early nun sport being that stupid game everyone would play at Shayne’s place throwing themselves backwards off his mantelpiece into the waiting crowd.
My first extremely precise ‘moment’ is therefore the point where I had hurled myself backwards off that mantelpiece into an uncertain future.
Waiting behind me were my new best friends from Flying Nun royalty.
Sure these guys had written some of my favourite songs ever, but could they be trusted to catch a belligerent, reverse flying drunkard.
In the end, there hands were, of course, true and steady.
They caught me, and welcomed me, our band, and Auckland bands to follow like “Goblin Mix” into the huge Flying Nun ‘fellowship’ like we were their long lost mates.
…and in a way we were.
We had a couple of key things in common;
1 a love of music
2. a love of crapping on about music.
In Christchurch we mostly stayed at label head Roger Shepards own, very well positioned and stocked house (full of Gary’s cult videos).
One night Roger planned a night in with a lady friend.
The wine. Chilled.
The ambience. . well.. ambient.
In the VCR (for younger readers this was an ancient device used to watch movies on) the film “du jour” for the discerning hipster - Wim Wendering his way through the desert with his camera to Ry Cooders guitar in “Paris Texas”.
That is until we come back from the pub with the entire pub in tow.
Well, not the entire pub because the barman couldn’t really close up and abandon his post.
There where some of those delicious moments when a drunken person sits down and tries to appreciate an art film;
”this bit’s trippy!”
But I think ‘the man who started it all’ eventually gave up the ghost and abandoned the movie.
From what I remember Roger was incredibly gracious and I think he would have been well within his rights storming off to the bathroom to play with his frog.
All this sleeping on the floor of the music mogul would eventually lead to something (imagine it in the voice of David Attenborough) – “extremely rare and quite remarkable”
We were paid.
By Flying Nun.
David “don’t ever lend him your amp” Mitchell and me were stranded at the house with no money until doleday.
Suddenly Thursday seemed a long way off to Roger and Gary and a cheque book was dusted off and a couple cheques issued.
This was so unlikely at the time when I told people in other FN bands they said things like;
”Get the fuck outta here!”
”you’re a lair mate.”
Finally, the best Flying Nun moment ever, is still whenever The Clean plays.
And I would say the following phrases are theirs and theirs alone;
Where’s the other guitarist?