little rivers

At the folk club on Sunday we had a full house and it was so good to be there and be heard and feel worth something so thank you so much! 

Copper and Steel filled in for a covid hit Sophia Evelyn and they were so funny and cool so I thank them too! 

They Opened with a little river band song, and it made me think about my old heavy metal pal Chris Pope. When we were 13 we use to pool our money and Chris would pay some shifty 16 year old to leave a bottle of Rocket Fuel behind a gravestone. We named this thunder brew The Bean Juice. I have many powerful visions of what that stuff did to us, powerful visions of the powerful visions I had while I was drinking it. Of course it was vomit and tears and fights with friends and strangers and passing out in the darkest and lightest of places all over our flat city. But it was also, lip synching to Deep Purple, gate crashing parties looking for tapes and Nikes to steal and long 3am walks to the Dog House for some Mortal Kombat fatalities. It was of course, like all times, the best and worst of it; but mostly the best. 

Anyways me and Chris loved the Little River Band( if you scroll far enough down this page you might find out how that happened in another longwindednosenseofbrevity story of a post), but we lost him to the great sadness a whole bunch of years ago before I got to tell him that it was the Little River Band who made all them songs we knew but didn’t know who. 

It made me think of this song I got to writing about the old chch, when things were probably wronger but somehow betterer as much as they were worser. I started the song as tribute to one of the wildest to ever do it around town, but eventually other ideas and people and memories showed up… 

Jesse j 

And little kate 

Singing dirty old town 

They were 16 years young 

They were Seven pints down 

The gangs left early 

The old men hung round 

They had Five bucks in common 

They were Seven pints down 

Their lordships their manor 

Their kingdom their crowns 

Now Sold and repackged 

Repurposed unwound 

Singing time time time cruel time 

But you go a’smiling 

and I’ll see you in time 

and you go a smiling 

and I’ll go a singing 

I’ll see you in time 

It was rehabs and wonder 

As the yuppies would chunder 

the boot boys played trumpets 

the beasts they would thunder 

We were lost on the corners 

In the flats in the trees 

But I got you in the toilets 

We went down on our knees 

Cactus and chaos 

Tinnies, db’s, it was blood on our knuckles 

It was wild and painful and desperate and free 

Before craft beer and clean lines 

Soft music, money music, weak music, cheap music and selfies and wellness and sighs 

We wrote slayer in spray-paint 

In the alley in the crescent 

By the main road we were agro 

Stealing bulls’ caps and bikes 

We were climbing over fences 

Over labour party hoardings 

smacked in the head by their dads 

I’m alright 

Still standing ever laughing 

I was psycho going wild 

We were bruised, we were rifles 

I’m still a benefit child 

I’m still a benefit child 

.303, you and me, 

13 we would be 

Ever after, no matter, the pub and the road 

you hitting cunts, pulling them out of their homes 

Rolleston or Rimutaka you won’t die alone 

Anyways it’s a long way from the Little River Band to that but ain’t that just the way this good music should take you, all around and back again through all the good and all the bad and best of times and things and places and people and all of it! 


I’m tapping this out on the ferry right now, back in my sweetest of places, running between shows, not enough sleep and looking forward and back just far enough to see right now! 

I’ll be singing the song above tomorrow in the Hawkes bay and for the weeks after at the shows below and all the shows after that, I’ll have Little River Band on the preshow for Chris Pope and all those other hard doers who used to populate the in-between places of my wonky old home town all of whom would no doubt go and give the LRB a kicking at the first opportunity. For me though its memory and wonder and dreams made and unmade. Whether you want to give me a kicking or share in my strange explorations of it all, I’m just glad to know you’re out there! Hosannas on you all! 


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