Nice to see Mr Terence Hogan (graphic designer par excellence) leaning at the back there, by the Zappa heads…
Yeah Terry and Frank was a rather perfect coincidence. Also in the shot is my then flatmate David Herkt, my then girlfriend Yvette Parsons, future Oscar winner Kim Sinclair, RipItUp's Anne Louise Martin, and another flatmate, Jay Tidball, who took a lot of shots of the Auckland live scene around the time and is brother of Andrew.
Simon, would love to hear more about your night on the town with Mr Osterberg – perhaps an Audio Culture post beckons?!
Funny thing is Mike, is that various sources place the trip as July and given that it was the mid-winter ball I think that's right.
And, I talk about it here (where I say 1980 but that's wrong).
But - expanding on that (and I didn't work this out until last year), the Ig had convinced EMI it was his birthday (which I now know is April 21, not mid-July) and so they gave him a cake and made a bit of a deal about it. We all went back to the Intercontinental to have the cake and then went to dinner. I can't remember exactly where we went but Auckland was sparse in those days so who knows. Then Iggy wanted to go out so a few of us (me and a couple of EMI folk) took him to the party.
As I recall it all got a little drunken and have no real memory of when Iggy left or how?
This pic, which has done the rounds in the last couple of years, was was taken by Chris Slane earlier in the day at Taste Records (me on the left).
Gah! Yes. I meant 1988, brilliant year that it was for me.
Same – brilliant, challenging, innovative and rather extraordinary 10 years that gets a bad rap from those that were not listening.
I've exchanged a few e-mails now and again with a bloke called David MacLennan who was a scenester on the Wellington punk / post punk scene and he was there, so I'll see if he can elaborate on this.
The next night a couple of us took Iggy to the Cook Street Markets' mid winter Xmas party at the Mandalay but that's another whole story.
Thank goodness you popped those two serene pictures in at the end! Sure creates a feel of density/intensity!
Hi Nora, those last two are inside the Red Fort, one of many glorious buildings in this old Mughal imperial palace; and Gandhi’s last steps – he was assassinated where the stone plinth stands at the end. A very moving sanctuary in the government district of the city.
What’s the big round food thing with the tomatoes? I think I want to eat it.
It's a chickpea mountain - kind of a snack food as far as I could see. Extremely popular.
Just clarifying a little – by “mostly he didn’t” I mean that it didn’t encourage others to get in a van and trek around the country – it took a special kind of drive that Mi-Sex certainly had to do that at the time.
surely his pioneering work in taking it to the provinces showed the financially astute that there was a buck to be turned out there.
Mostly he didn’t. Mi-Sex made their name in Australia after a brief live spell more or less in Auckland and Wellington, with brief (successful) forays into the provinces, returning as hit-making heroes to large venues. The earlier proggy incarnations, Fragments of Time and Father Thyme, played the provinces but there was no established national touring circuit at the time. They did residencies at places like the Cabana, an important venue but one that was mostly residencies until the end of the 70s. Their pic is at the link.
I think we give the Mi-sex their due but their importance was not as a provincial touring act when they appeared. I’m not saying they and other bands didn’r head out and do well, but they were not the beneficiaries of an established circuit as others later were.
Or a case of the tail pretending it wagged the dog back then. Surely it’s a story that could have been told without needlessly aggrandising an often self-serving system that arguably took as least as much as it gave back.
It was a business Joe and it made money. I’m not sure that’s a problem or a crime, but from memory the agency never made a lot of money – certainly not the sort of money the old school agencies were making in the 60s. The regional scenes that grew up in the wake of the new touring circuit were immensely important too and may not have existed without it – at least in the same way. The Skeptics openly admitted they were inspired by the touring Newmatics, The F-Star scene in Gisborne and the New Plymouth scene that gave us the likes of Nocturnal Projections are all quite open about the importance of the new touring acts.
Not only that, but it made a lot of acts fiscally viable. The early 1980s was the decade in in which the music industry as we know know it took root – both mainstream and to the left of that – and what was created by this small group of businessmen was central to that. You can thank NMM for the Dobbyn and Exponents national phenomena (they were far and away the most popular acts in NZ between 1981 and 1985) and The Mockers (same in the mid-decade).
It’s really hard to deny the historic importance of what Corless, with regional partners (Nesbitt, Wilson, Young etc) did for our fledging industry. In 1977 the live scene was almost dead – in 1983 it was vibrant and as much as we would like to think it was the rise of the indies and post-punk etc, it was primarily because this lot gave people somewhere to play.
A real pity to see Audio Culture hosting that kind of puff piece.
Given the historic importance of the subject (the agency and the driving force behind it) , I don’t see it’s a puff piece at all and I suspect the countless bands who benefited immensely from that solid touring circuit and the many, many people who got to see the literally dozens of acts that were able to get out and play nationwide to audiences that would not have had chance to see them may also disagree. That list of acts includes almost every live rock and roll act in New Zealand at time who made a decision to play beyond their home base. It changed things – and rather radically.
Did stuff go down? I have absolutely no idea but I’ve heard those rumours too – and I’ve heard similar about other eras – and as anyone who was active back then would know, they were matched with very vocal denials, so all we are left with is hearsay and chinese whispers. We discussed this before we accepted the story and decided that the undoubted and known historic substance of the changes wrought warranted a piece.
The shares, likes and multiple positive comments on the story across several FB pages perhaps underline that. It seems a lot of those supporting the story were actually there and many had long industry careers and maybe get why this was briefly important. Or maybe it's rose tinted sentimentality - we are all guilty of that I'm sure.
I’m aware Toy Love had a bad experience perhaps, but bad business decisions sadly were something that plagued them and to be fair it wasn’t NMM that selected Michael Browning as a manager and did a deal that was disadvantageous. Most touring bands did rather well from the circuit – the various acts I was working with (Blams, Meemees, Newmatics, Dabs. Mockers, Bongos, Dance Exponents, some of the Flying Nun acts etc) all did.