In my fourth form year at Hillcrest High School though I rose to the rank of Deputy Chairperson and got myself the job of organising the School Social.
I had a budget and I roped in my mate Keith who had a car and we went to the local lighting supplier – we hired state of the art coloured oil slide wheels and strobes, ultra violet and sequenced colour lamps all – very Grateful Dead.
My friend Mac had three gorgeous older sisters who had connections to the local band scene. Through them we hooked up a local band who had just won the NZ Battle of the Bands – Judge Hoffmann. They also had some kind of world record at the time for playing the longest gig ever – 72 hours. They were a 7-piece band.
That year (1973) I was in my first real relationship with a girl. Christine seemed so much more mature than me and we and we couldn’t keep our hands off each other – wagging school and learning about love together. It was pretty innocent but quite overt and we got into a bit of trouble with our parents and the school staff, the Deputy Headmaster Mr Ryan in particular. He seemed to have it in for us.
On the night of the Social the band arrived in a van and Keith, Mac and I helped them load their gear into the school hall. Since their big win in the Battle of the Bands and epic gig they had lost four members and were now down to a three-piece. I remember wondering how they were going to pull it off but felt pretty cool lugging their amps and chatting to them.
They managed just fine. The bass player was the singer and they did Status Quo songs like Long Legged Linda –it was a success with the lightshow being a big part of that.
During the proceedings Christine and I thought we’d sneak out and get intimate somewhere. We found a staff resource room that had an inner part to it with a big window over a desk. We lay on the floor in the dark and started to get romantic.
Suddenly someone burst in to the outer room and the light went on. We quickly got up and hid behind the door – most of our clothes around our knees. We could hear footsteps approach and when he got to the desk we could see through the reflection in the glass that it was our old enemy – Mr Ryan.
He reached for the telephone on the desk, picked it up and listened to the dial tone and then he looked up – directly at us seemingly through the angle of the reflection. He was less than a metre away and we could hear him breathe.
After what seemed like an age he simply put down the phone, turned away and left the room shutting off the light.
At the next school assembly he said something about feeling like an Italian Police Officer in his role as chaperone at the social and when I finally left the school at the end of the sixth form he gave me a very strange wink. He left the same year and became a Catholic priest I heard.