The Ques­tion­naire

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

What are you plug­ging right now?

I’m very pleased that MarineVille’s last LP Pen­guins Ate My Chips has been rere­leased on de­li­cious vinyl by Zelle Records. Zelle is a la­bel based in Vi­enna who only re­lease mu­sic by bands with a con­nec­tion to Dunedin. I first met Zelle boss Arno Lo­ef­fler 10 years ago dur­ing one of his many vis­its to NZ. Later, I vis­ited him in Liecht­en­stein, where we sat lis­ten­ing to a Dept of Ed­u­ca­tion cas­sette se­ries on Johnny Devlin and the his­tory of New Zealand rock’n’roll. Three years ago, I toured Europe play­ing gui­tar with Bill Direen and the Bilders, and Arno came along as pho­tog­ra­pher and recorded ev­ery show. Arno prob­a­bly de­serves a medal for ser­vices to NZ mu­sic, or at least a South Is­land pass­port.

Any other cre­ative project you’d like to pro­mote or en­dorse? What is a key song you re­mem­ber from child­hood?

Grow­ing up in Dunedin, my mum had AM ra­dio play­ing all day, ev­ery day. From the back­ground wall­pa­per of 1950s-80s pop, I even­tu­ally learned that many main­stream artists had a di­a­mond in their reper­toire, even if by ac­ci­dent. Kenny Rogers and the First Edi­tion had a few story-songs about small town mis­fits, but the best was Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town. The mu­sic is a kind of muf­fled coun­try-pop, the lyric told from the point of view of a wheel­chair-bound Viet­nam Vet watch­ing his girl get dressed up to go out. The song is pure des­per­a­tion. Af­ter the unan­swered plea of the song’s fi­nal line ‘‘For god’s sake, turn­around’’, we’re left with a lone hi-hat cym­bal and scuffed gui­tar, chug­ging away to fade out. What hap­pened to Ruby? What hap­pened to the Vet? We’ll never know.

What was the first piece of mu­sic you pur­chased with your own money? Can you de­scribe a per­fect Satur­day?

Man­ag­ing to read the pa­per on my phone while the kids sleep in. Break­fast in Mi­ra­mar by the ocean at Choco­late Fish cafe.

Ever stolen any­thing?

Yes, food, when I was un­em­ployed. I have no shame about that.

What is a cur­rent po­lit­i­cal is­sue close to your heart?

I re­ally hate the bash­ing of the un­em­ployed for po­lit­i­cal gain. Kick the weak­est when they’re down and have no plat­form to fight back? Pa­thetic. What about spend­ing all that en­ergy on wealthy cor­po­rate tax eva­sion?

What’s ex­cit­ing you at the mo­ment?

The re­turn of Twin Peaks, and see­ing the fam­ily when I get home tonight.

What’s freak­ing you out?

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