The Winner

Christchurch industries fair, 1982
Adam McGrath wins a trumpet for dancing like Elvis Presley in a children’s talent quest, starting an addiction to trumpets and a desperate need for approval followed by a desperate sense of embarrassment.
Breens Intermediate, 1989
Adam McGrath and his friend Jason Walker win a nationwide rap competition by composing extra verses to the ‘kick it in the butt’ smoke free ad campaign.
They both win White ghetto blasters with dynamic bass boost and x3 graphic equalizers.
They also rip off the first vs of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ but no one seems to notice, regardless they feel it is their dual beatboxing that wins the day.
Marist Western Suburbs Rugby League Club Rooms, 1990-1995
Adam Wins Player of the year, sportsman of the year and team man over this period.
He trades on this for the rest of his life.
Here inexplicably the winning stops…
Last Thursday,
When he wins Folk Artist of the Year at the AMA’s.
How about that his friend Joe Kelly says,
How about that indeed.
And thus, his writing in the third person ceases to be interesting so I stop it and I say
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou
And I am humbled and grateful and also sad that the three-hour speech I prepared in case I won was all forgotten in the interests of brevity.
But if you’ve been in my corner for any of these long-gone times, present moments or are waiting for me up the way then I can’t tell you how much you mean to me.
I’m sorry when I fuck up and stumble and am late or behind and I’m so full of thanks for you for sticking around!
I’ve written the names of Lindon Puffin and The Eastern and more on the award, in sharpie and biro and Ive made it look less an award than a high school project but what it really is now is some sort of spirit rod and incantation to remind me of all the people who have been on my side.
Tom Lark and the Terrible Sons were worthy nominees and I’m grateful to share the spirit with them too.
I’m grateful to the folk community and the festivals that have always taken a chance on me and my roundabout ways.
Especially to the Dunedin and Canterbury Folk Clubs for letting me and the Eastern through the door.
The Madills and Madill Guitars and Peter Stephens and Martin Guitars for the tools and not shaking their heads to much.
This award is everybody’s it’s just my name on it till next year I guess, but If I could I’d throw it up into the air, past the moon and up and up and up and into the way beyond to the great record store in the sky for my friend Paul Huggins for always believing in spite of all evidence to the contrary.
The Folk Singing continues ever onwards, this weekend in Picton
Then okarito, then Hokitika, then wellington, then Auckland, then nelson, then everywhere else you can get the tickets at
Can’t sleep now drive on drive on drive on
Thankyou thankyou thankyou

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