Writers like Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray and Nik Cohn. The Lone Groover, Anton Corbijin, Julie Burchill and Chrissie Hynde. It all informed my musical library and shaped my way of thinking about music and life.
It was a golden period for in your face rock journalism. Rolling Stone and Creem. Lester Bangs and those guys as well in the States.
When punk hit I kind of backed off and went and wrote my own songs – a type of folk/punk but with a sense of the humour and irony of those early rock writers. I soaked up a lot of Dylan and the Incredible String Band.
I moved to Wellington in 1980 as the writing half of Negative Theatre and there were suddenly all these local writers and post-punk had struck.
In 1981 I formed the Spines.
Rip It Up in Auckland and In Touch in my new home town – they took New Zealand music seriously and wrote about the characters in the music scene here like we mattered.
Gary Steel, Steve Braunias, Redmer Yska, David Cohen, Helen Collette and McLennon and the like in Wellington and Cammick, Everton, Russell Brown in Auckland .
I have always been attracted to writers – all my girlfriends have been writers of one sort or another. There is something about that sort of sensibility.
Gary Steel once gave me the opportunity to be a rock critic and Andrew Fagan still won’t talk to me – even though we were mates before that. It is not something I can do – or want to do.
When the Spines re-emerged in the early 90’s Mike Houlahan gave us a great live review that has meant that I still continue to this day. It is that powerful.
Nowadays it’s Simon Sweetman and his new school that I thank him for. I’ve seen the sort of idiocy he has to put up with – I am so glad not to be a critic but I am so grateful to all those that dare.
Most of the gonzos mentioned above are now my friends on Facebook and this is a big thank you to all of them.