Not Fade Away…



I worked for the Tawa Borough Council (back in the day) pulling weeds and hacking at the unruly, in the Vic holidays. Before the soul sucker, where anything you want and most you don’t is 24/7, I found an ad in the paper and for about $20 they put your words in white velcro letters- or Mick and Keith’s- on three black T-shirts and they came to you in 2 or 3 weeks delivered by the blond postie.

My T shirts caught the attention of a cool skinny white guy, who wore big black shades even on the darkest of days. He drove one of the three big yellow council trucks. He looked like Ronnie Wood, but with a smoother George Thoroughgood crop. Anyway I’d never heard of Tom, and he said if I loved the Stones, I would love Tom, so I went to Porirua next payday and bought Damn the Torpedoes, and he wasn’t wrong. I remember he got busted- not Tom- when the ‘Pigs’ did a ‘major’ drug bust in Tawa and Linden; he was growing some garden green. He came to work and said “I’m gonna kill the guy that grassed me up when I find out who the Fecker was”, and for a while there I was worried he thought it was me. A week later he told me it was his next door neighbour, a policeman. Lay in today Sherlock.

You don’t realise, magic words and sounds you play over and over, seep in like red wine or black bourbon- depending on your persuasion, in Oak or maybe Kauri…

Black Sabbath, Abu Dhabi 29 May 2014

Not knowing much about Black Sabbath except for Ozzy Osbourne from the reality TV show I was nt expecting too much from them, except maybe some good loud guitar. I was mightily surprised. They were great. They were more rock than heavy metal. Tony Iommi on lead guitar was up there with the best I’ve seen and Tommy Clufetos on drums was fantastic. If Jesus played in a rock n roll band he would look something like Tommy. Ozzy came to life on stage. He had a real shaman-like presence. He must have been something when they were in their prime. There is no substitute for seeing a band live. No matter how good your speakers are, you are listening to a copy of the original and maybe a copy of a copy of a copy. Something really doctored by sound technicians is even further away from the real music. You only really get the big sound and the power of musicians and their magic when you are in the room (and you can feel the big bass bouncing off your stomach). Rock on!


The Who, Abu Dhabi 23 November 2014

When I was buying the Who’ Greatest Hits in Wellington in the 80s and dreaming of Carnaby Street in the 60s (Way before Austin Powers, Baby!) I never imagined I would be able to see them live. They were one of those iconic crazy assed bands at the forefront of youth rebellion; take over the world or die young trying. They even wrote a great song about it. Fortunately, only one of them did, (died young that is/not took over the world), Drummer Keith Moon, the craziest of them all. Unfortunately, and strangely they didn’t play My Generation last night, their biggest hit and rated as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

It is a bit weird watching concerts in Abu Dhabi sometimes, as unlike other places in the world there are not legions of fans that will die for a ticket, pack a place out and create an electric atmosphere. When you get a older band like the Who, most of the crowd don’t really know the songs and what they are looking at and that can make for a flat atmosphere sometimes, like last night. The November concerts are worse because they are linked to F1 tickets, so you get a lot of F1 fans just going because it is free and they are there on a package. On the plus side you can always get a ticket, often free and you can always easily get near the front. I must be getting spoilt☺

The music was good. Roger Daltrey has still got the voice and lead guitarist Pete Townshend has still got the stuff. Their backing band was definitely in the background so it seemed more like a two man show but they were stars. Big guitar riffs, the signature round flourish on the guitar from Pete and the big voice, blues harmonica and poetical, lyrical cries for freedom from Roger; a world and a lifetime away from today’s shite.

The big screen featured footage from Keith Moon (made Keith Richards look normal) and the other dead founding member John Entwhistle; I have never seen a man play the bass guitar like that, magic.

The Magic Bus of the 60s must seem a lifetime away for Roger and Pete. Once, back in the day they were playing to audiences full of drugs, rebellion, inspiration and possibility. They blinked and yesterday played to a largely older, corporate crowd in bright F1 shirts full of nostalgia and listening politely.

Unfortunately, they did nt finish by smashing their guitars into the speakers or playing that song. Maybe they thought we didn’t deserve it. Maybe they didn’t want to offend the audience………

…I hope I die before I get old….its too late Man. — with Isabella Dennett and 2 others.

Roadhouse Sun – Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses

Discovered this guy the other day in a closing down sale in Hamdan Street….good bye Kings Recordings, my favorite store in Abu Dhabi. I must have been lost in the desert for a good while because he has been around for a long time. This is the first album I have listened to right through for a longtime and have been playing it non-stop since. It seems a bit of a contradiction that we can find kindred souls in pieces of plastic…best 1 Dirham I ever spent.

Roadhouse Sun – Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses