After Louise and I broke up in 1980 I moved to a downstairs flat on Hawker Street. It was the first time I’d flatted on my own and I loved it. It had a couple of small rooms and a good-sized lounge where I set up my bedroom/studio.
I started writing different types of songs there and lots of them.
I’d get occasional visitors from Hamilton passing through wanting to crash and one rainy night there was a knock at the door and there was a German couple standing there. They said a friend from Hamilton had told them it’d be okay to stay with me. I wasn’t happy about it but was raining and they seemed pretty desperate.
They were feral hippie people and quite young, the girl was very beautiful and had no English and the guy did all the talking. They were touring New Zealand trying to flog off these ‘greeting cards’ he had hand drawn – they were really bad. I said they could stay the night and then they’d have to go.
The next morning as I was waiting for them to leave the girl disappeared into the bathroom for what seemed like ages. Her boyfriend kept on at me about how they were going to make a fortune with their greeting cards. She emerged and they left.
It wasn’t till after they’d been gone for a while that I discovered it.
I went to go to the toilet and there was the biggest turd I’ve ever seen lodged in the bottom of it. It filled the whole lower section of the bowl and when I tried to flush it the water just rose up on top of it before slowly draining away down its sides.
It had to be broken up and I didn’t really have anything at hand to do it with – I wasn’t going to use one of my art brushes, tools or any implement from the kitchen.
There was a plastic bottle of tomato sauce in the cupboard and I wound up using that.
It took a while and a lot of gagging and flushing but I finally cleared it and then I threw up.
It was a great place though and I was there on my own for that year. It was a perfect studio with a brilliant view of the city – one of the steepest streets in town to stagger home to and I had a lot of adventures and even rescued damsels in distress.
In 1981 Mark moved in for a while when I hooked up with Bricks Theatre and we wrote plays there.
Then Jeff moved in and things got strange.
But I formed the Spines and my life changed again.
And lots of art.