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?