The first gig I ever did was with Louise Loft as Negative Theatre supporting Sam Hunt and Gary McCormick at the Waikato Art Museum in 1978. Sam was on fire that night – Minstrel was there and I swear he drank two jugs of wine during his performance.
We had been nervous but afterwards he was very warm and encouraging. He said he had enjoyed my song Barstool Incident – it was sexy.
The next time I met him was in Wellington in the summer of 1981 when I first formed Spines. It was in the middle of the day in the Scribblers Bar with Mike Fomison and Phil Roundtree – somehow we all hooked up and started drinking. In those days I wasn’t really a drinker due to the epilepsy thing and was well out of my depth.
At one point Tony Fomison arrived and he and Mike had some sort of set to that Sam sorted with words and then all these rounds of shots appeared.
The next thing I remember is crawling up Allenby Steps on all fours in the middle of the day in the hot sun trying to get to the top and my home on the Terrace. Finally at the door and trying to fit the key in the lock still on my knees – a group of punks are going by and laugh and say – “There’s that guy from the Spines”.
In the late 90’s I did a bit of building work for my buddy Les and he got a job rebuilding a boathouse at Bottle Creek – right next door to Sam’s place.
That first morning we worked hard pulling down the old structure in the heat of summer and decided to have a swim at lunchtime.
I dived in, got wet and came up out of the water facing back towards the boat-house next door where Sam was having intercourse in the window.
Later in the day he came out and played some great Dylan bootlegs on his stereo that I’d never heard and we talked about Dylan at length.
I’ve seen him perform his poetry so many times over the years and he always cuts to the quick.
Dreams are easy