Arrived from the UK in December 1994, bewildered. I'm a Brit musician and music wrangler, a bit of an activist. Moved into the mother-in-law's little place in Mt Wellington. There are grapefruit growing in the garden. I thought NZ was snow, mountains and sheep. Why does Big Fresh have singing vegetables? And a kilo of giant mussels is $2. I'm a Londoner, get me outta here.
Tune into morning radio...some guys are at a music festival called the Big Day Out, broadcasting from the toilets. It's really funny. All of a sudden I feel a connection. These guys are out there, telling it how it is. Talking music anticipation and bowel movements. There's swearing. This is good!
Thank you bFM for providing that lifesaver! 20 years later I'm still here
The UK never had student radio (we had lots of other indie things but not much radio). Thank you student radio peeps for what you have given this country.
Have just realised a good place to start my research is the Brothers Brewery in town...
Good stuff Russell. I just spent time in London. I can confirm a decent English session pint (568 ml @3.8% or thereabouts) in a Wetherspoon pub next to the Tower of London for chrissakes i.e. 'a tourist trap' is 2 pounds to 3 pounds fifty depending on the beer; it was cheaper again in the 'burbs and outside the big smoke. Thats $4 to $7...
Paying $9 for a Mac's Gold or similar here (in a Kiwi mini-pint of 425ml) at nearly 5 quid on the current exchange rate, is woeful…
The other revelation on my trip was American craft beer. Wow have those guys got it good. I sampled quite a few, as my Chicagoan brother in law is somewhat of an expert and was keen to lead this horse to water. I now have a lengthy list of superb US beers I would love to sample again…and they were not expensive.
Is anyone doing co-operative style brewing in Auckland? I would gladly put in some $ and a master brewer gives me a couple dozen pints in return. Or is there somewhere we can buy decent beer that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I don't trust my own brewing skills I'm afraid...
Pearl Jam coming across pretty clearly half way down Crummer Road…if you like that sort of thing (yawn).
My personal favourite is Nick Kent's NME 'interview' with Lou in 1974 (featured in his early 90s book The Dark Stuff). Entitled 'Lou Reed: the Wasted Years' it chronicles Kent's encounter with him on another 'nothing-to-do night' in NY.
'From a distance the character looked just like another sub-human dementoid...looking to all the world like one of those mangy half-starved Mexican dogs who always appear limping pathetically across the desolate stone landscape of a Sam Peckinpah movie...Lou? LOU Reed?
It took me a good minute of solid staring to visually equate this utterly dissipated apparition with any previous physical incarnation that was ever named Lou Reed.'
The subsequent 'interview' shows Lou in a very parlous state indeed.
Nice one Russell. I did the squatting thing for some years in North London (Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington, 89 to 95) and was involved in setting up Squall magazine, which did a lot of things to keep awareness going, stall the Criminal Justice Bill 1994 and supported the free festival and rave scene. NZ seemed like paradise in comparison when I arrived here! Many (not all) Brits have to go thru quite a stretch to 'get on the ladder', though the housing association situation there is way better than here. Interesting that most of the non-govt social housing groups in London were founded by squatters in the 60s/70s, and there is a tradition going way back of course, including many returning servicemen having to squat in bombed out London after 1945 cos there was literally nowhere else to go.
I once did a BBC radio piece on the influence of squatting on rock and pop music. The list of famous rock musicians who have squatted is unbelievable...most of them would rather not talk it about these days old chap! If house prices carry on as they are in AKL I'm sure we will find instances of squatting, but 'living in the garage' is the unseen Kiwi version of squatting isn't it?
Something will wing its way to you shortly. Cheers Russell you are a beacon of journalistic hope in AKL. Keep shining.
And you Russell.
I've just been listening to the new Daft Punk opus on You Tube. It's pure disco to begin with, morphing from Chic into 7os prog and alarmingly even Ozric Tentacles and Hawkwind. I think it will grow on me and many other people...it feels like a classic 70s concept album already
Thanks for the music update Russell - please do this regularly. I remember Select! A (younger) friend of mine is currently LA/West Coast correspondent for NME. She seems remarkably sane despite interviewing and reviewing all sorts of major league musos on an almost daily basis. What fun...
Russell I think you'll find that Jimi, Janis, Jim and Kurt all died at 27 actually.
There was a geezer in front of me at Shihad with the immortal T- shirt slogan, in large Gothic white letters on black:
Everything Louder Than Everything Else.
Briiliant! He looked totally munted too AND he had a mullet! God bless ya mate.