Later that year I was out and about with Jane Bowron and we ran into him after seeing Rabbit Proof Fence at the Rialto. I had met him a couple of times in the Flying Nun years, even crashed at his house once and he loved Jane’s writing. We had some drinks and got on like a house on fire. We showed him a few Wellington bars. Then he remembered he had a gig in a couple of hours at the recently moved Bar Bodega.
We got him there, somehow, to Frazer and left them to it. We had hit the wall. Chris went on and did the show. He later told me it was one of the worst gigs he’d ever done.
We kept up email contact and visited him in Auckland on one of our road trips and had a great afternoon on his back porch listening to our own music, talking comics and writing and art. We made a solemn promise that the next time he came down to Wellington to play Bodega we would remain sober and watch his gig and that he would stay with us in Mt Cook.
He arrived and we looked after him, got him to the gig. It was a great gig. He was magic.
Chris Knox – on the big stage with a drum machine and that Ovation electric – which I always really liked the looks of. He had the crowd eating out of his hand.
I was up at the bar with Janey, still pacing ourselves and I hear Chris say –
“Jon? Are you there? Are you out there? Jon?”
And he’s off – singing with his radio mic, singing the song and crowd surfing. I’m holding down the stage with his four chords and Ovation. I have no idea what the song was but it was bliss.
We had a few people back afterwards – didn’t sleep and got him on the plane next day.