I had to go up to Auckland for Gorillaz – had to, as in wanted to, because, you see, I had a really good interview with Damon Albarn. So good, that The Guardian tried to pass it off as their own work pretty much. And it went all around the world quoted in various places and spaces and the way it works with freelance writing is I didn’t even receive enough kick-back-wise, to pay for my flight. Didn’t see a penny.
Anyway, I got up to Auckland for it – it was right before Christmas. And it was a helluva show – as I said here. Amazing spectacle, Damon marches De La Soul out on stage for a song, and Little Dragon (both bands did sets as opening acts too). And he pulls Bobby Womack out for a tune – the scope of it, the production, was amazing. And it was the last show of the tour, so Albarn seemed pretty hyped. A farewell to/from Gorillaz. (Here’s the setlist).
The next day I’ve got a flight back to Wellington booked for about 4pm and my mate is off to Christchurch first thing. He says he can take me out to the airport early unless I want to look around Auckland for the day. I’ve got my review of the gig to write and no real agenda besides. So I say “can you get me into Koru?” And he can. And he does.
And I have one of the best days of my life. In Koru. Obviously birth of a child, and wedding day. They’re up there at the top. But a whole day in Koru isn’t much below you know. I had breakfast – arriving about 8.30-ish, then set to work. I wrote my blog on the wi-fi and moved seats half a dozen times just to get a few different feels going. I stopped for morning tea, hit up Facebook pretty hard. Had a shower. And then, waiting until lunchtime of course because otherwise it would have just been rude, I hit the beers. Slow at first. Then I figured fuckit, I was officially on holiday. This was my last “piece of work” and the countdown to Christmas was on bigtime. So I got right in on those beers. I’m aiming to wallop a dozen before I get on the plane – and I’m reading a bit of William S. Burroughs too as I recall. But then I have to leave to line-up for boarding and I’m only at 11 beers. I’m a bit deflated.
I walk out and find there’s a delay.
Suddenly I’m repulsed by this cattle-class I belong to, these plebs (I am no Koru Club member – and never will be, perhaps especially after this story). I turn and head back for the Koru Lounge when I hear the flight has been held up by 40 minutes or so. But just as I get there I realise I’m not really going to be allowed back in. I plough on in – my boarding pass of course doesn’t scan, I have no card, no claim to fame, so I say “oh, I’ve been in here all day, just heading back because I forgot something”. I say it in my best let-me-through-I’m-a-doctor voice. And that’s obviously fairly well backed up by my sloppy jeans and t-shirt with a typewriter on it.
Anyway, it works. I’m walking along half-thinking I’ll be seized. Grabbed behind each elbow and forcibly removed. But no. I get to that beer fridge to claim my 12th beer. I take one more for luck. And there it is – the Baker’s Dozen in Koru. One of my proudest moments in life. Er, yes, that says something right? A little too much no doubt.