Category Archives: philosophy

How About That Then

StJamesTheatreThe good news is that the St James Auckland is open again.
The bad news is it closes in March 2016 for three years while a 39 story apartment block gets built next to it.

That gives us a little window to do shows there. Go have a look. The doors are open daily and you are invited to walk around (and a cafe has setup.)

“How about that then?”
Reminds me of when my son was heading for the grand old age of one and he was still not talking. Then all of a sudden he blurts out in perfect English

“How about that then”.

Dylan called his fans ardents .
He was a poet with the following of an A list rock star
He was based in a tiny extremely conservative village in Wales..
When invited to tour the US his wife encouraged him to court the “gullible Americans” and bring home some much needed money
At home when not writing he liked to loll around in the bath sucking on boiled sweets or hang out with his buddies sinking vast amounts of alcohol

Imagine the contrast of touring America , being hailed as a genius and performing in the best places well paid and surrounded by worshipful beautiful people.
You would think that this would be a good time to let the old habits go ,wake up and smell the coffee and embrace a rosy future
He preferred instead to drink whenever possible, generally squander all his money and get involved in absurd romances
He returned home penniless
O dear.
Strange how many people follow the same pattern in the face of success
Why so many artists foul their own nests when presented with the “big time”?
I guess it just don’t seem real
Cause in fact it isn’t
It crumbles in the first little huff and puff

My father was a surgeon and in his spare time an abstract painter
He considered himself a painter first and a surgeon second
Its an expensive career. Quality art materials cost a FORTUNE
He only got the best.
He was tortured by doubt and worry but there was no doubt he had something.
I own one oil of his and the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore has most of the rest of his work.
A large body of his work was destroyed in a fire recently.
Thousands of hours work and HUGE expense and intense application all up in smoke
The record of most of his work is lost forever


Which reminds me of an experience I had in Grafton St Dublin Ireland -the home of my father (he was born in Cork and studied in Dublin)

This guy comes up to me and gives me a 50 Euro note.
He invited me to join him and his friends for dinner in a place close by
When I got there he told me to put my amp on the bar and start playing
I played for hours and people streamed thru the place
The people he introduced me to were obviously onto it and successful in their various fields
Who was this guy and how did he have the authority to take the place over?
The staff didn’t bat an eyelid about me playing in this place that had never had live music before

At the end of this extraordinary night we had a chat and I told these guys my big plan for “making it” in Ireland
They just stared at me like I was a total imbecile “You don’t need to talk shit to us” they said
And followed up with the best advice ever.
“Just play like a bastard”
“Forget about selling anything> Just play!”

That’s it folks
The greatest thing a musician can do is just play sing write
Nothing can replace the live here and now
Never mind the bollocks
Just play!

If you want me to play for you just call me 021 0259195 and I will come and play like a bastard at yours

Keep safe

Everything we do is part of the art

There is a Billy Apple exhibition on in Auckland
My friend Clive rates him highly
Clive pointed out to me that everything we do is part of the art
The artist himself is a brand and everything he does makes up that brand
The thing I really like about Billy is this …that the artist himself IS the art
So everything he does is relevant
There is no real point in trying to hide behind a thin veneer of bling
Mr Apple takes it to extremes

But I suggest a moderate version of his stye
Just be honest and not afraid to expose the sensitive issues
Fact is an artist is not a superhero
He is just creating art and in doing so he IS the art
His weakness can be turned into strengths
Like in the Tesla car.
The huge extra weight of the battery gives the car incomparable traction and stability
You can’t roll it in a standard roll test
There is the line “My strength is made perfect in weakness”
Love that line
Where does it come from?

Got some great feedback from Potato Sack Perry
He advises me to write regular blogs and to talk about ME
I would love to do that
Here goes!

For years I have had a problem with sitting down and writing songs.
I know I can do it but I prefer to work on my feet as it were and play constantly to discover all kinds of riffs and ideas
The music develops this way but what about the lyrics?
Not so good for developing lyrics
I really need to apply the seat of my pants to the seat of the chair
That’s what I am doing right now and its not too painful

I wanna write a song about MS anyone out there with information on this disease?
Have you heard of BID FOR A BETTER LIFE?
I have been asked to submit a song for this cause

Thanks for getting in touch Patrick
Could I ever forget? Ha ha
You also have been a big inspiration to me
I loved your insights and your stories
Especially the one about the Top Guns party
Can we tell it to the people? Its a great story.

You see? It works
I asked for feedback from my last blog and I got it
I now ask for even more so that we can really start to roll this blog
Tell me if there is anything I can do for you
People used to say that ALL the time
You don’t hear that so often these days

I wanna post up the lyrics of my songs and the chords
Just give the music away
Why not?
Elon Musk gives everything away and he’s a billionaire as a result
The more you give the more you get to give more

Tallk soon

In your wildest dreams the real life stories of the street

You could not script it in your wildest dreams the real life stories of the street. Things happen that you just don’t understand. Like the guy on the pushbike who does a wheelstand riding full speed down Queen St block after block. He does this often. Why? Who knows?

Or the guy who forever checks out the bins going about his quest in the manner of a professional he is retrieving left over drinks to top up the paper cup he carries. So many characters that come up to you asking for particular things and you kinda have to give in sometimes.

Like one guy who looked like THE most unhappy person I ever ever saw in my life. I couldn’t help staring at him. He noticed this and said “I suppose you think I’m a fuckwit”. I told him that I had no way of knowing where he was at. I asked him what he wanted.

He replied in the most heart wrenching tone I ever heard “I want to be happy”. I asked him what would make him happy. “A burger and chips” was his reply. Not knowing if this was his true desire I asked him to go get his burger and chips and make sure he brought me the receipt so we could be sure he wasn’t gonna spend the money on alcopops.

He came back some time later literally shaking with fear and held out a receipt and said that they didn’t have a burger and chips so he bought chicken and chips instead.” Is that ok” he said in a voice trembling with fear.

He was convinced I would get angry with him for not doing exactly as instructed. Never forget his trembling hand holding out a receipt and his forlorn face like someone reaching out from the depths of hell. He didn’t ask for much and he didn’t even expect to be allowed to have it. OMG he was the saddest guy ever. So locked in the shame of his own imaginings

As you can see from this video that was made by Hayden Booth

“The street is a great place to make a record and thats what I am in the process of doing.”

Don’t worry I have new material it’s just that he requested I do this one for BFM…its on their site now.

Much to tell but there is so little feedback from these blogs…perhaps everyone is on stalkbook all the time these days. Who knows.

Social and media are two things that mix like oil and water. It seems that for media to be successful it has to behave in a way that is antisocial.

What do you think friendly blog reader? Can you buy me a burger and chips? I wanna be happy.

Words to live by

My friend Brazier with his baby.  He can sometimes be found in his bookshop in Dominion Rd.  Graham was a founding member of legendary NZ band Hello Sailor.

Somehow it is no surprise to find the songwriter of “Billy Bold” and many other songs at home with books and words.


The shop abounds with interesting things.



Here is a note Graham’s mum typed out many years ago. There are a few differences but most of this comes from a very famous poem.


It turns out that the original was written by Samuel Ullman. We found a more complete version over here.

Here are a couple of verses from that poem called “Youth”.

“Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.”

My new glass guitar slide

After playing at the Tui Community in Takaka I called into STONE ARROW JEWELLERY which is located on the property and asked the owner Nick Feint if he could make me a slide for my guitar.

He immediately asked me to select a bottle that might work and suggested 42 below Vodka. Great! I don’t drink but the alcohol trade has this very useful spinoff just like the baking trade has plastic cards which can be turned into picks!

First he cuts it with a diamond blade…


Nick making the slide – a few more steps.




Nick finishing off the slide he made me out of a 42 below bottle neck. Besides this slide Nick recycles glass to make jewellery which you can see on his website here


Stone Arrow provides for the income of the Feint family Nick, Sybille, Theo and Marty as well as for several local workers.

We are committed to being a socially and environmentally sustainable business and are a member of the NZ Sustainable Business Network. We aim to minimize our footprint on the world in any way we can.”

Which is re-using a bottle neck to make a guitar slide is good for everyone.