Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Old Friends

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  • Emma Hart,

    In... 1987, I think, my mother was in a local production of Romeo and Juliet down in Timaru. Kevin Smith was Mercutio (duh). He was huge : even for an actor he had this enormous energy. Yet he was also incredibly sweet and lovely - we used to give him rides home from rehearsals. I'm not a weeper but I cried buckets when he died, because the scale of the loss was somehow bigger than a normal-sized person.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Bloody hell, spooky timing. Just earlier this morning I was thinking about how someone should re-issue the Say Yes To Apes stuff on CD.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Maze,

    Kevin Smith seemed like a great guy, and I remember the moving tribute Russell wrote at the time. It was good to read it again Also sad about Mr Android. they played at Burnside High one lunch time to a handful of students in - perhaps 1982 . I remember how dangerous and rock'n'roll they seemed in the bland suburban school environment especially when the singer announced that one of them had just gotten out of jail!

    Auckland • Since Jul 2007 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I remember how dangerous and rock'n'roll they seemed in the bland suburban school environment especially when the singer announced that one of them had just gotten out of jail!

    Strictly speaking, they probably shouldn't have been allowed on the property ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Higgins,

    The Androidss at the Gladstone is one my abiding memories of early 80s Christchurch. And it was always an Iggy Pop cover - but damned if I can remember whether it was "Lust For Life" or "The Passenger". Or perhaps it was both. A little while ago now - but not long enough to be losing them like this.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Cheese on Toast,

    I regret that I wasnt around for the first time to see The Androidss (living in the UK) but am grateful that I did see their reunion show in October last year.
    http://www.cheeseontoast.co.nz/photos2/20081025ANDROIDSS/

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Mar 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Androidss at the Gladstone is one my abiding memories of early 80s Christchurch. And it was always an Iggy Pop cover - but damned if I can remember whether it was "Lust For Life" or "The Passenger". Or perhaps it was both.

    They definitely did 'The Passenger' -- it was the big sing-along -- and 'Search and Destroy', but I wouldn't be surprised if they also did 'Lust for Life'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    How lovely, Russell. Thanks for that. I loved Kevin Smith - in a "will watch him in anything" kind of way. I enjoyed his aesthetic qualities, and much enjoyed his acting. Lovely, lovely soul.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Wow! I never understood the fuss about Kevin Smith the actor, but this music and his drawings are wicked. Strong New Zealand flavour. I have a new found respect for this man. Thanks Russell.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    How bloody odd that the Androidss video has gone, it was there a few days back. I guess the TVNZ vultures have swooped and in effect insulted a just passed NZ musician..it's the only thing I can think of and I hope I'm wrong.

    The Androidss did the definitive cover of The Passenger, although I don't remember Lust For Life. I do remember how long the version of the Passenger could extend..it rode and it it rode and it rode. People used to say you could walk past The Reverb Room, hear them playing it, go and see another band, come back past and it would still be going.

    A wee bit of an exaggeration to be sure but folks regarded the 'droids with great affection, but most especially Steve who could diffuse any situation in the somewhat edgy bars they often played with that big cheeky smile. I'll miss him.

    As an aside I took Iggy Pop to a party where Th'Dudes were playing The Passenger once.....he just stood there, side of stage, silent. Peter saw him half way through and he too was at a loss for words mid song. It was a moment.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Peter Urlich at a loss for words?!
    OMG!
    :)

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Wow! I never understood the fuss about Kevin Smith the actor, but this music and his drawings are wicked. Strong New Zealand flavour. I have a new found respect for this man. Thanks Russell.

    Delighted to be of service. I like this from 'Toddler Gets Caught in the Rain':

    There are many kinds of watchdog
    And many, many kinds of meat
    Toddler danced the wire, he was the pride
    And joy of his feet

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Simon

    How bloody odd that the Androidss video has gone, it was there a few days back. I guess the TVNZ vultures have swooped and in effect insulted a just passed NZ musician..it's the only thing I can think of and I hope I'm wrong.

    It's possible, but I've never known TVNZ to assert its copyright over something like that before.

    Could it be Warners, thinking they own it because 'Auckland Tonight' is on this compilation you released?

    They have been issuing takedowns across their catalogue as a result of their commercial dispute with YouTube, haven't they?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Maybe it is, but nobody asked me and they certainly don't own it. Then again, I don't think they know what they own. We had the same thing with Warners thinking they owned AK79.

    But I doubt they'd be that on to it. It's one track on an obscure collection out of a country that their legal affairs don't really think about. I'd be surprised but email sent.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Righto. I'll ask at TVNZ.

    I just wish I'd grabbed the clip while I could. I'd just whack it back up there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Kev was great. The first time I saw him was at an improv gig at the Bridgeway, and he had serious x-factor, and I wasn't surprised when he landed the lead in Desperate Remedies.

    I was hoping to get to know him better because he was a friend of my wife's from back in her acting days in Christchurch, but I only met him the the once.

    Russell, that was a great post back in 2002. I listened to the MP3 you linked heaps.

    Wow, seven years !

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Could it be Warners, thinking they own it because 'Auckland Tonight' is on this compilation you released?

    Mike Chunn and Bryan Staff (ripper records) own Auckland tonight if anybody does, or the band if they paid for the recordings.

    you could ask the guy who put up the original file. I can do it if you like. he's got heaps of important kiwi docos up.

    and passenger was the big iggy number the band played.
    They asked him if he wanted to get up and sing one of his songs with the band but he declined and was happy to sit at the side of the stage and watch.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Mike Chunn and Bryan Staff (ripper records) own Auckland tonight if anybody does, or the band if they paid for the recordings.

    I think it was post Chunn era. Roger Shepherd and I kinda look after the Ripper catalogue on Bryan's behalf, but it's a loose arrangement.

    Copyright is more than who paid for it too, whoever commissioned it, or whoever holds the rights by contract is pretty relevant, no? After all most successful bands worldwide paid for their recordings (under recoupment) but the masters are controlled by someone else.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    recoupment

    yick, you said a dirty word. I don't really understand the full implications of it but my understand is if label fronts label keeps and recoups costs out of profits. its not a pretty affair.

    otherwise you're correct, who commissioned (and therefore most likely fronted cash for) and whoever the rights are contracted to, for the time period they're contracted to them for.

    maybe tvnz shot the video? in which case they do own it (the visuals, not the music)
    they did a swag of shitty studio lit for tv videos back then so androidss one may not be, or maybe they just got lucky with a good director.
    it would be sad if tvnz had paid some one to go checking all the vids on you tube. surely they've got better things to spend their money on

    There are still a lot of other clips (RWP etc) up on duncsters page not taken down.
    I've messaged him and asked what's up.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    yick, you said a dirty word. I don't really understand the full implications of it but my understand is if label fronts label keeps and recoups costs out of profits. its not a pretty affair.

    there are a thousand variations on it but generally all recording costs are recovered out of the artists royalty, not profits. A record can be way in profit and the artist is still paying for it and not receiving any return. Its one of the great inequities of the system and a reason why its a little harder to feel sorry for the big labels.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Not heard back from Warners but the below, which is very definitely theirs, ain't down, so I doubt that something as obscure as Steve's big moment is going to be victimized by the nasties at WMG Business Affairs.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I most remember him from countless TheatreSports shows. He was magic. It's an artform where it's easy, if you are brilliant, as he was, to steal the limelight, and cast the other performers into shadow. But that was not his style. He sought always to cast limelight all around him, to build on the efforts of the others and show them in as good a light as possible. The players would love to have him on their team, not because they could slack back and watch him pwn, but because he drew them together and made them do things they didn't think they could. That even went as far as the 'opposition' teams, because he inherently grasped that it was an entertainment much more than it was a competitive sport. Any night Kevin performed, you knew you'd have fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    RB..it's not Warners exercising rights they don't have, although looking at the input on the email conversation from 3rd parties, they seem to issuing blanket takedowns on other stuff.

    All quite odd.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just spoke to Tom Cotter at TVNZ about the Androidss' video mystery.

    He was virtually certain it hadn't disappeared because of a TVNZ notice.

    TVNZ has just started using the YouTube system that lets rights-holders know when their own content is already online, but I think that only kicks in when they start uploading the same content. Tom was very doubtful that they'd have found the clip that way.

    And, in any event, TVNZ's default is to claim the content but leave it up. The YouTube partner scheme lets rights-holders take a slice of ad revenue on pages containing their content, whether they put it there or not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Any night Kevin performed, you knew you'd have fun.

    I'm happy to say that there will be some Say Yes To Apes goodness here this Friday.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

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