After the Spines had recorded our album, the Moon, we went about playing the songs live. That line up with Ross Burge, Wendy Calder, Neill Duncan and me became very forceful and rhythmic and could play to big crowds. We got some great support slots – Hunters and Collectors, the Go-Betweens, The Violent Femmes and we were asked to go to Christchurch to play with the Hoodoo Gurus and the Sneaky Feelings at the Gladstone.
When we got there we were met by Paul Kean who was doing our sound. He said the Sneakys had already nabbed the accommodation and the Gurus were in a flash hotel but we could stay with him – we were sorted but that’s the sort of guy he is.
It was just Ross, Wendy and me that gig – Neill often had other commitments. The place was packed to the rafters and pumping and we gave it heaps.
Something was wrong with my left hand; I was getting cramps between the thumb and index finger which made barre chords excruciating. Wendy called and launched into a song – Gillian which is all barre chords, about a million of them. I somehow flummoxed all over the fret board unable to apply any pressure, yelping out the vocals, and got through to the solo when the rest of my fingers locked up. There always seemed to be a group of guys at the Gladstone, up the front watching the guitarist – don’t know what they made of that. But it was OK, we even got an encore – I’m Losing Colour.
I get off stage in agony, my hand all gnarled up and someone called Rolle gives me a pill for the pain. Next thing I know, the guitarist in the Hoodoo Gurus likes the look of my Gretsch and wants to use it as his back up guitar….
I don’t care who you are – no one plays my Gretsch
They were great. That’s all I remember but apparently I made a dick of myself at the after party at their flash hotel….
We played at the Gladstone quite a bit after that, always good crowds.
One odd gig there we were playing Act Your Age and Neil was sitting it out, there was no sax part, I hear a sax, look around and there’s some strange dude playing sax into Neill’s mic. We all look at each other – WTF? I can see Neill peering out from backstage with a look of panic on his face, clinging on to his tenor. We finish the song and this guy just disappears into the audience….
A couple of weeks later back in Wellington. We are playing at the Clyde Quay Tavern and the same guy gets up in the same song and does exactly the same thing…