In Negative Theatre we never played any covers – except at weddings. The first was a huge hippie wedding in Rotorua in 1979 and the groom wanted us to sing Forever Young during the ceremony from a balcony. I did the main vocal in a Dylan-y way and Louise made it soar in the choruses – it was actually really good. It was a big affair with a lot of commune people and it all led to very high times afterwards and a gig at the reception.
By the following year we had moved to Wellington and were working at the Arts Centre.
Among the first friends we made were Jonathan and Sarah and they asked us to perform some Negative Theatre at their wedding. We played a song called Bracken Wild I had written about a couple who meet on their respective wedding days and have it off in the bracken before going on to their separate and ill-fated marriages. They were second-cousins.
We got a letter from Wayne asking us to play at his wedding in Napier – his fiancée wanted us to perform Annie’s Song. I was dead set against it from the start but Louise said she’d sing it and I went along. It was the strangest wedding – a big outdoor Catholic event with old-school bridesmaids and didn’t seem like Wayne’s thing at all. We played it at the service and Louise made it sound okay but something went wrong with us on that trip and we parted ways as a couple soon after that.
We continued to play together though and got another invite, to Edgecume this time, to play for Tony and Rose at their wedding. His brother was late so I stepped in as best man in my Negative Theatre outfit. I was on penicillin at the time and couldn’t drink but someone had laced part of the cake and it got pretty crazy afterwards and then I met Jo that night when I stayed at her family home.
Some years later I was asked to perform at Linzy and Alison’s wedding and the Spines of the time played Sex Can Be Sad and On A Daily Basis to the Wellington Chinese community as it was then.
I don’t know how it all got started but none of these marriages survived as far as I know.
The last wedding I played at it was for our Secretary of Justice. I played Frida and then I wound up loaning my guitar to Dave McCartney so that he could play Gutter Black.
They are still together as far as I know.
But I’ve never married.
To read Part One of Vocals click here