Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Right Note Column - Joel Shadbolt

Not every child has a natural talent to do school work - some children seem to have an in-built aversion to it while others take to it like a duck to water.

With our child brainwashing system the way it is, many children with exceptional talents in all kinds of potential job vocations get swept under the carpet, or relegated to the corner of the room so as not to disrupt the majority because their particular talents and strong points are not catered for, or seen as important in the one-size-fits-all system.

I do not mean to say that fundamental skills in Mathematics and English should not be achieved simultaneously, but Instead of wasting young lives sitting through algebra and French lessons, these young budding child prodigies could be honing the skills that they have a natural aptitude for.

Many of these children - who are left with nothing to do but make a nuissance of themselves or bore themselves to death in uninspiring classrooms - have exceptional talents in the field of art or performance, or sports or music.

I have met and worked with several extremely talented musicians who would have fallen into this category, and I have often wondered what levels of virtuosity they would have achieved had they had the opportunity to study and concentrate on these skills rather than sit daydreaming about them during lessons on pythagoras's theorum!

Not that I am suggesting for one moment that the young man I am about to mention had any such aversion to schoolwork, but one thing for sure, from a very young age he certainly showed all the hallmarks of achieving excellence in the field of musical performance.

About 13 years ago now, When Joel Shadbolt was about 4 years old, two local musicians - Jon Michaels and Bruce Rolands - had a residency at The Astrolabe on a Sunday.

Every week Brian and Jocelyn, his parents, would go along to watch, and take Joel, who would stand in front of Bruce for the entire gig, mesmerised by Bruce and his guitar playing, and understandably so, as Bruce is very passionate about music, and his performance, and has always made a striking figure on-stage.

Brian found an old ukelele at the dump, and Joel would take it along to these Sunday gigs, and take up his position in front of Bruce and strum along.

Many years later Bruce is reported to have said “If I knew he was going to turn out this bloody good I would have told him to bugger-off!”

Anyway, the real reason for all this is as many of you may be aware, Joel has been invited to attend the prestigious Los Angeles Academy of Music Summer School programme, and all his musician friends, aquaintances and well-wishers have put together a fundraising concert to help him find a portion of the $12,000 or so dollars it is going to take to get him there and back again.

To many of the hard-working, struggling musicians around these parts if this had just been some bloke looking for a sponsored trip to the states the bill for this event would have been empty, but as it turns out, it is full to the brim, featuring some of the best performers this area and some from out of town who know Joel - has to offer.

My view on this is that people cannot help but see the potential in this young individual, and wish they had had the same opportunity, and as they did not, are more than happy to help somebody they believe has the potential to excell, get there. (so you better come home with some SUGAR boy!)

I invited Joel up to jam with my band at a private function when he was about 12 years old, and if I hadn’t already had a good guitarist, I would have snapped him up then - at that age he was already more than capable.

I, along with my band Brilleaux, and all the amazing artists on the bill this coming Sunday sincerely wish Joel all the very best on the exciting adventure he is about to embark upon.

Tim Cooper, the organiser of this event (man this guy is awesome!) has said that “every single cent” made at this gig will go towards Joels mission, and The Colosseum have donated their time, all the cost of all the advertising, refreshments for the musicians, and who knows what else.

This is going to be a Sell-out concert, so if you don’t want to miss out, I suggest you purchase your ticket BEFORE then. It's going to be a wicked day - I can't wait!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

National Party back in the telephone business again - Oh No!

Oh No! In their attempt to bribe you to vote for them with the money they stole from you in the first place, National intend to talk you round by getting government back into the telephone business again by promising Broadband for all!.
Remember the last time government were in the telephone business! - It took 6 months to get your phone connected!
Anybody that falls for THIS promise has learnt absolutely NOTHING from history and should go back to school (preferably not the same school system that they also run, - they will only offer to teach you what they want you to learn there)
All the major political parties have to offer are identical versions of Nanny State, who will shamelessly steal control of your lives and your property, and just because you are sick of the red team doesn't mean the blue team is the answer to the problem! - It most definitely is NOT so don't be sucked in by a gormless smile - because the lights are on, but theres nobody in the kitchen!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Give me a child till he is 9

A local celebrity is trying to get council to build a museum now by getting children into the debate.

Here is my letter to the paper concerning this.

Give me a child till he is 9 and he will be mine for life.

That was the Jesuit motto, attributed to Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Jesuit Order.

The implication is that the best opportunity to indoctrinate a person in a lifetime of belief and devotion to religion is when they are young.

This is the reason socialist governments place such importance in keeping hold of the government-run education system - to ensure they have a supply of socialists in the future to keep their political viewpoint alive - no matter that it doesn’t work. It is hard to change from something you have been taught to believe is right your entire life.

What has this got to do with a museum?
Bringing children into the museum debate is part of the same old trick.

Try asking them if we should have a FREE lolly shop - they will mostly say YES! What do THEY know of where the money comes from to pay for it, or who has their rights and their property STOLEN from them for them to be given that FREE lolly shop!
Do they realise that when THEY become ratepayers they will be FORCED to pay for it in the FUTURE what the CHILDREN of yesterday DEMANDED!

There are better and more moral ways to achieve what you want without the use of FORCE.

Mothers for a Museum

I am a father, and I agree with all the things reported in the story “Children should not miss out on museum”


it says that you “wish to take the museum debate OUT of the political arena”


You are IMPLORING the city council to keep a museum in THEIR PLAN.

What you are doing is asking the COUNCIL to USE FORCE UPON RATEPAYERS

You are putting pressure on the council to TAKE MONEY from people BY FORCE

Once the council make the decison to build a museum, all those who pay rates have NO CHOICE but to PAY or be Fined or Criminalised for not doing so!

You are asking the council to be a BULLY on YOUR BEHALF!

Isn’t bullying BAD? Isn’t it WRONG? or do we allow bullying sometimes!

The use of FORCE is BAD, and is NOT a good thing to teach children is it!

Children should be taught to use their MIND, not resort to FORCE to get what they want

Do mothers for a museum think it acceptable to demand council do the dirty work of bullying on their behalf? -

There are many ways to achieve a museum WITHOUT THE USE OF FORCE

For Example

Before COUNCIL took it upon themselves to be everything to everybody, we had beautiful childrens playgrounds, swimming pools, fountains etc.

These were provided by COMMUNITY SPIRITED SERVICE GROUPS like Lions, jaycees, Rotary etc.

THE COMMUNITY would see a need for something, get together and plan, fundraise, and get sponsorship etc then they would all get together on a weekend, and dig holes, build swings and slides, pour concrete, paint and decorate, have a picnic together, and BUILD THEM


What happens now?

People go to the council and DEMAND they provide it (whatever it is) trying to shortcut the process, and in the process have KILLED community Spirit

You cannot FORCE people to be community spirited, (although people do insist on trying to)

As long as you insist on FORCING OTHER PEOPLE to pay for what you want, you are doing your children a disservice, and teaching them that it is OK to use FORCE, and to be a BULLY

Why not try a different, more MORAL approach to achieving the museum you all so desire?

Your children will thank you for THAT

Especially when THEY become ratepayers, and do not have to continue paying for it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Right Note - 6 24/04/08

The Tauranga Jazz Festival

In 1986 I was working as a graphic artist, putting together the programme for the 25th anniversary of the Tauranga Jazz Festival.

For several years I had been working closely with 2 volunteers from the society. One was a musician himself, and the other was just a lover of music. The two gentlemen in question, were Paul Hills, and Brian Norman (both of whom I’m afraid to say are no longer with us) - Two of the nicest and most dedicated gentlemen you could ever hope to meet.

One day the jovial Mr Norman turned up, and he was beside-himself with anger. His curly, fair hair was almost bristling, and he was not a happy camper!

In between words that I will not put into print, I learned that the Council had refused to let the Jazz Society put banners up in town advertising this major milestone in the festivals history.

The festival had been drawing large numbers of people into the town for 25 years, and even back then (we are up to festival number 46 now,) this festival was a huge attraction, and becoming more successful by the year.

In those days the festival was run without major sponsorship, and without recognition, help, or support - financially or otherwise - from the council! In fact, it was almost as if the council were going out of their way to make things difficult for the organisers of this annual event. They weren’t of course, - it was just every-day bureaucracy at work [sic] but that is how it seemed.

These dedicated music enthusiasts of the Jazz Society Committee were busting a boiler to put on a huge event of international proportions and international stars that even in those days entertained thousands from all over the country, and some petty twit with a clipboard wouldn’t let them put up banners!

In these earlier days, the festival was held at the Tauranga Racecourse, and the jazz Society ran and operated the bars and the catering, which amounted to a healthy income, which in turn enabled them to pay for the impressive list of international jazz giants that they have featured, including greats such as George Gola (guitarist) Don Burrows (sax/clarinet), Bud Freeman (sax). Anyway a turn of events put a halt to this source of income, and the society had to find a new way to stay financial.

It was about this time that the society changed the venue from the Racecourse to the Otumoetai Trust Hotel.

One day a chap by the name of Trevor Graeme, who was a correspo ndent for Melody Maker magazine (Australia) turned up at Joyce Colour and Sound (the record shop on Wharf Street I wrote about recently) and asked Marion Proud who was working there, what the Jazz scene was like in Tauranga, and she put him on to Dave of course! Trevor had with him a bunch of records of the Denton Texas Lab band, which was like a university youth jazz band competition in America. Dave thought this was a great concept, and spoke to Jim Langabeer about it, and Jim grabbed the concept with both hands and just ran with it.

Over the 25 years the festival had been in operation, the committee and society members reconised that the players were getting older and older, and they needed some new blood. Some of the musos were a little posessive about their music, and about getting all these kids involved, but they were not so stupid as to not realise they needed a new injection of numbers. Little did they realise they had created a monster! - an amazing monster that at one time had over 200 new people playing jazz and bringing with them their families, supporters, teachers and old Tom Cobley and all! and anybody who has seen this youth jazz competition will tell you what a joy it is to hear, not to mention the outstanding talents it has produced. The Tauranga Jazz Festival Youth Competition is something schools all round the country now strive to attend and win.

Anyway, pushing s_ _t uphill with a sharp stick becomes tedious work even for such dedicated battlers, and from the position of my involvement, I felt the momentum of the festival falter for a few years, as some of these committee stalwarts passed away, and the committees changed, and the new recruits struggle to get to grips with the increasing demands this extremely popular and growing festival demanded.

Then, right out of the blue, two most unsuspecting youngsters by the names of Derek Jacombs and Demian Forlong (who were at least half the age of the previous organisers) got themselves elected onto the committee and in a manouevre that was not unanimously popular at the time, took hold of the festival by the scruff of the neck and radically changed the format by dragging it to the downtown bars and cafes, and in a brilliant turnaround of events even managed to get each of the venues to pay for the bands.

After a tentative first festival, the bands and public alike embraced this new concept, and that was the beginnings of the vibrant, hugely successful internationally recognised street festival we have today.

After years of hard-work and success against the odds by a gallant few, mayor Jan Beange came to the conclusion that as this festival was not going to go away, it could actually be a worthwhile event to support, and provided some council funding (yeuch - I hate that word!), and offered the councils co-operation in closing off the streets etc.

The next thing I read was the mayors introduction in the festival programme welcoming visitors to OUR JAZZ FESTIVAL!

I took exception to the council claiming the product of decades of blood, sweat and tears of “real” hero’s as “their festival,” and several interesting and passionate letters were exchanged in the BOP Times debating the subject.

Anyway, that is all water under the bridge, and the Tauranga Jazz Festival is now a destination event for musicians and music lovers from around the world.

A standing ovation is the standard response to an outstanding performance in our business, and to those early pioneers, originators and organisers of the Tauranga Jazz festival such as Dave Proud, Ken Hayman, Stan Day, Del Peterson, Ken White and all the committee members too numerous to mention, this is no less than they deserve.

On behalf of musicians and music lovers everywhere - Thank you.

On a final note, I must reinforce that I am not associated with the Jazz society in any way, and this column voices my own views and opinions, and not those of anybody else.

Today the festival is made possible by a team of mostly volunteers and passionate music lovers who make up the Jazz Society, and who are responsible for attracting millions of dollars worth of trade to the bars, cafes and businesses of downtown Tauranga over the easter period. If these businesses fail to recognise, reward or assist this goose that annually provides them each with a golden egg, instead of taking it for granted and taking all they can get while the going’s good - then they may find the festival choses to re-invent itself once again so as to benefit directly from the millions of dollars that it attracts, in order to become more financial and sustain the world-class event we have all come to look forward to every Easter.

The Right Note Column - 5 NAMBASSA

Mike and Geoff Chunn of Citizen Band
Gary McCormick on his own portable stage
Grant Bedford, leader of the New Zealand Marijuana party outside the Police HQ
Queues of cars and a couple of guys making their way to the entrance.
The BOP Times front page, where some of my pics appeared

Nambassa Festival

One hot, dry weekend during mid-summer 1979, thousands of cars, buses, and house-trucks descended on the tiny town of Waihi. Their destination was a green and rolling farm on a cliff top overlooking the sparkling Pacific Ocean – site of Nambassa, a unique music, craft and alternative lifestyle festival featuring workshops and displays of alternative medicine, natural foods and all the associated, groovy, hippie kinda stuff.

My parents didn’t have a snowflakes chance in hell from stopping me attending this festival (unlike the Ngaruawahia festival a few years earlier!) I had left home and taken the first steps of being responsible for my own life now, and had started my apprenteship at the Bay of Plenty Times.

Nambassa was a series of 3 hippie festivals held between 1976 and 1981 on a farm in Waihi.

New Zealand in the 1970’s was about 10-15 years behind the rest of the world in just about everything, which was a drag in some respects - especially when it came to obtaining new technology like TVs and Stereos etc or watching Coronation Street (if that was your thing!), but in other respects it was kinda cool because we got to have a go at experiencing our own Woodstock 10 years after the fact!

I found out about Nambassa because I spent a lot of time in a shop called Calico Mill. Now, of all the shops in downtown Tauranga, and I’m talking about the days when downtown was the place to go shopping - when EVERYBODY went downtown on a Friday night just to walk around and around, or sit on the metal railing on the corner of the Red Square outside the Star Hotel - there was only ONE cool shop.

It was situated at the bottom of Devonport Road, just before you went round the corner into what is now the Red Square.
Janice Mathews was the owner, and it was a revolution to the young people of Tauranga. The shop sold Batik skirts and bedspreads, insence, herbal cigarettes and all kinds of groovy, ethnic stuff that we had never seen the likes of before. Before Calico Mill arrived, if you wanted jewellery, you had to go to a jewellers. Not now! Calico Mill introduced the funkiest ethnic silver rings and bangles at affordable prices, and when you were only earning $28 a week this was awesome.

Whilst waiting for my girlfriend on one of her shopping marathons, (she must have purchased one of EVERYTHING from there at one stage or another!) I picked up a booklet with some freaky artwork on the front cover and started reading.

I took one look at all the bands appearing, and purchased my ticket there and then.
I told Ross Brown, Chief Photographer at the BOP Times, that I was going to Nambassa, and he handed me half a dozen rolls of black and white film, a Camera, and a press pass, and shoved me out the door, and said bring back some pictures for me, which I did, and they appeared on the front page of the BOP Times Monday 29th January, 1979.

Apart from the odd international headliner, these festivals were a major opportunity for homegrown talent to play on a big stage to a crowd of music-lovers.
Bands such as Golden harvest, (who had a major hit with a song called “I need your love.”) Progressive Rock band “Living Force.” and Schtung, not to mention Citizen Band and Split Enz, were playing on a level equivalent to that of anywhere in the world

I recall being one of the 5-10 thousand hippies, led by the leader of the Marijuana Party, one Tauranga resident, Mr Grant Bedford, who converged upon the police HQ, threatening to storm it if the arrests for smoking cannabis did not cease (there had been 58 arrests).

For a while the situation was very volatile. The organisers arranged a meeting with the police and advised them that they had made their point.

He told them that if these petty arrests continued then he too, would join the civil disobedience campaign and have the police removed from the festival. A deal was struck and potential disaster avoided.

The huge body of people then withdrew from the police compound, but not before a certain hippie-version of santa-clause - lollie scramble style - threw hundreds of bags of dope out into the sea of waving arms.
Another Tauranga character by the name of Kenny Shaw captured more than his 15 minutes of fame being broadcast on national TV smoking a monumental Marley-sized spliff.

No further arrests were made, and at the post festival de-briefing the police issued a press release congratulating the organisers for the way they managed the festival, and the 75,000 festival patrons for their good behavior.

Socialism is like Herpes - It just wont go away!

The talk in Tauranga at the moment is how the council are about to startcharging for the use of boat ramps, and possibly start, or at least increase user charges at the public library. One councillor - Rick Curack has even had the nerve to suggest closing the Greerton and Mt Library altogether (shock horror!)

This got me to thinking how we came to find ourselves in this predicament! When did people start to EXPECT AS A RIGHT to get given things for NOTHING!
I dont have the answer to that question, but I do know that it is a disease - much like herpes - it just wont go away!

Here is my letter to the editor on the subject
Where, in some peoples life do they get the idea that they have a right to the fruits of anothers labour?
What makes made them believe “I want to do something and somebody ELSE should be FORCED to pay for it?”
Free Libraries and boat ramps etc are a lovely concept, but the FACTS are that to achieve these things somebody somewhere is having THEIR property taken away from them by FORCE to pay for you to enjoy that privilege!
Whatever makes you think that’s OK?
If they weren’t funded by council, it doesn’t mean they would disappear! It means they would become MORE EFFICIENT, and ONLY the people that use them would be paying for the privilege, and not those who DO NOT! Why is THAT a bad thing?
Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, and succeeding at neither, council should remove themselves from these activities, and concentrate on essential services, that they are struggling to provide successfully.
The socialist disease epidemic is doing this by making you believe it’s acceptable to resort to the most uncivilised action that one man can enact upon another - FORCE!
It is NOT OK, MORAL or Civilised, and it’s destined to fail! - take the die-while-you-wait health[sic] system, and the failing education system as examples.
Who are all the top achieving schools? PRIVATE! Where is all the best medical care available? PRIVATE!
You too could benefit from these superior services if you weren’t forced to pay for the underachieving government-run versions

Monday, April 14, 2008

Laissez-faire: a dirty word to the socialists

Here is a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that I found on Karen De Costers blog:

Laissez-faire. It's a policy that made Starbucks vastly successful. But don't try to put that phrase on a customized Starbucks Card.

The cards are supposed be personalized to reflect customers' tastes and uniqueness.
They are available in a range of colors, often given as gifts and used by regular customers who prefer to prepay for their java.

But when my friend Roger Ream, president of the Fund for American Studies, received a Starbucks gift card for Christmas, he found there was a limit to how personalized a card could be.

His card required him to customize it on the company's Web site. So he went to the site and requested that the phrase "Laissez Faire" be printed on his card.

A few days later he was informed that the company couldn't issue such a card because the wording violated company policy.

Starbucks's company policy is this: "We review each Card before printing it to make sure it meets our personalization policy. We accept most personalization requests, but we can't honor every one. Some requests may contain trademarks that we don't have the right to use. Others may contain material that we consider inappropriate (such as threatening remarks, derogatory terms, or overtly political commentary) or wouldn't want to see on Starbucks-branded products."

Is the phrase "laissez-faire" threatening? Only to officious bureaucracy, I would think.
So, it must be that the phrase is considered to be "inappropriate" by corporate Starbucks.

But why should it be considered inappropriate? The phrase itself is an imperative. It's French for "leave us alone," more or less. And it comes to us through history as advice offered to Jean Baptiste Colbert, finance minister under the French King Louis XIV in the 17th century. Colbert is best known for his statement: "The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing." When Colbert asked a group of merchants, "What do you want from us?," the answer was, "laisser nous faire." "Laissez-faire" is, then, an old piece of economic advice with an impeccable French heritage.

Maybe Starbucks considers the phrase inappropriate because it's "overtly political commentary"? Certainly my friend regards it as a firm statement of political philosophy.

And so, at my suggestion, my friend went back to the Web site and asked that his card be issued with the phrase "People Not Profits." Bingo! Starbucks had no problem with that phrase, and the card arrived in a few days.

I wondered just what the company's standards were. If "laissez-faire" is unacceptably political, how could the socialist slogan "people not profits" be acceptable?

My assistant and I tried to get the company to explain its policy.
We started by trying to purchase a card with the phrase "Laissez Faire," and were rejected as my friend had been. We then asked a company spokesperson why. He suggested that it might be because "laissez-faire" is a foreign phrase. That seemed possible and a reasonable precaution.

So we tried another foreign phrase – "Si Se Puede," or "Yes we can." It's the United Farm Workers slogan, now adopted by Barack Obama's presidential campaign. That sailed right through. The senator's political campaign slogan was acceptable.

We called again. Several spokespeople at Starbucks and at Arroweye, the company that actually creates personalized cards for Starbucks and other retailers, said that they couldn't be sure, but that the phrase was probably rejected because it is political. They explained that they would not allow a customer to print "McCain for President" or "Support the Democratic Party" on a Starbucks card. And they noted that they had rejected a request for "My coffee is a weapon." But fewer than 1% of card requests are rejected.

They had no explanation as to how "People Not Profits" and "Si Se Puede" could be regarded as less political than "Laissez Faire."

I'm still hoping that it was all a computer glitch, and that some day my latte-drinking, non-tax-hiking friends will be able to get their very own customized Starbucks gift card with "Laissez Faire" emblazoned on it – even if it does risk a sneer from the barista.

Starbucks has prospered mightily in a free economy. For the most recent fiscal year, the company earned $672.6 million on revenue of $9.4 billion, a very healthy profit. And these days, in the wake of a California Superior Court judge's order that the company repay $100 million in back tips that were shared by shift supervisors, Starbucks honchos just might like a little less government intervention in their affairs and a little more laissez-faire.

Starbucks and 'Laissez Faire'
April 7, 2008; Page A12

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Right Note - 4. Joe Lee and John Deacon

Joe Lee

Band Pic: GOOD COMPANY: circa 1975
June Lee, John Deacon, Joe Lee, Jack Claridge .

While attending Otumoetai College, my family and I lived on Windsor Road.

This was the time I was starting to take an interest in bands and pop stars in general. In those days (early 70s) there wasn’t much around in the way of hi-fi stereos. Consequently, my first record player was an old MONO job.

It was one of those suitcase-type models, covered in blue vinyl, with a lift-up lid.

I would put my records on, and turn it up to Volume 10! - It must have sounded terrible! - but modern music had really started to take a hold of me, and I wasn't about to let the quality of the sound get in the way!

I was walking out my gate on my way to school, when another school kid approached me, and said “was that Uriah Heep you were playing just before?” I said yes, and we got to talking and found we had quite a bit in common.

The kids name was John Deacon, and he lived just up the road from me on Bellevue Road.

John came round to my place after school, and I showed him my record collection, and my record player.

He said “that’s only got one speaker!” “I can fix that for you!” So off we went to his place, and he got an old speaker from somewhere (I believe his dad was a bit of an electronics enthusiast), took it back to my place, and wired it all up for me, and just like that I had a STEREO, and I was on cloud nine.

At this time, John was learning the cornet and - following his father - he joined the local brass band, but at the same time, he was learning to play acoustic guitar.

After learning the basics he soon progressed to an electric guitar plugged in to a home made amplifier made by his father and joined a band called “Good Company” with a drummer called Joe Lee, (see photo) and then later in his teens he formed a band called “Orpheus.”

Some years later John left New Zealand, for Austin Texas, where he lives to this day.
Joe Lee and his wife June had arrived in New Zealand in 1970, and had quite an influence on the local music scene spurned by Joes experience and musical influences in and around the fringes of the happening London scene.

In a later column I will talk about how musicians locally can be inspired by passionate performances by their contemporaries, but seeing as Joes “local” was the scene in london in the late 60’s his “local contemporaries” were legendary artists and promoters such as the great Ronnie Scott, and Cliff Richard and the Shadows, who Joe worked with, and later became the Tour manager for.

Joe was what you would describe as “a big fish in a small pond,” and those London “big-time” influences proved to be a significant inspiration to young and old musicians alike. So much so, that Joes name pops up in conversations concerning music on a regular basis even today.

June Lee told me that one day Joes singer - one Merv O’Shea - failed to show up for a gig.

When Joe got home he said “that’s it, June - you are now the new singer for my band!”

That came as quite a shock for the glamorous Mrs Lee, as she had never sung in her life before!

June was submitted to a baptism of fire, and was thrown in at the deep end straight in to live pub and club work around town with already seasoned musicians such as a young and dapper Mr Jack Clarridge, who can still be seen carting those vibes around on the odd occasion, such as at the recent 2008 Tauranga Jazz Festival.

Memories in a scrapbook remind me of those yesterdays
Pictures and dreams that come to me won’t let them go away
You know I often wonder how you are
What you’re doing now
Maybe you’re a lawyer, or a doctor
Or a singer in a Band

John Deacon -
When You Cross My Mind
From his album Another Time, Another Place

The Right Note - 3 CLOUD

Individual pics of the Tauranga band CLOUD
circa 1972

From Top to bottom
Dave Watson Vocals, harmonica and Flute. Grant Friars, Bass, Trevor Braunias, Guitar.

Before I got in to playing music, and while I was still at school, weekends were spent with my best mate Stephen Spinks, Chasing girls, and listening to an old transistor radio, tuned in to the BBC programme Top Of The Pops. The reception was terrible, but you could hear the very latest songs months before they made it to New Zealand, so the lack of sound quality was a small price to pay for an exciting preview of what was to follow in the months ahead.

Now, I dont know how we managed it because we didn’t have tickets, but somehow we managed to get in to the Holy Grail of school Socials - the Girls College ball!
I could not have been particularly lucky on this occasion for the simple reason that all I can remember about it was seeing a real live band for the first time.

What was so memorable about it was that I knew the lead singer.

He was a wicked English guy that I played football with, and his name was Steve Bennet.
I even remember one of the songs he sang.

It was called “My Pretty Girl,”
I didn’t know who it was by until recently when I “Googled-it” only to find out it is a song by John Mayall.

I didnt know who he was back then, but it must have had some impression on me to stick in my mind all those years! Steve was one of those guys everybody wanted to be like, - the guy that everybody else hung around - and from the moment I saw him on stage, I knew I wanted to have a go at doing that!

I didn’t see Steve again after that gig, and I later found out that he had left New Zealand to become a roadie for legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, along with his best mate Garry Lee, and who later became their tour manager.

I do have a funny story concerning Steve, because that was not the last time I saw him. 20-odd years later I was sitting on a bench with my grown-up children at the mount, enjoying the summer sun, when a particularly attractive, heavilly made-up, over-dressed young lady came walking past. As I was unashamedly, checking her out, the guy she was with - who was her father - walked straight up to me.

I didn’t think I had been that obvious, but it looked like he was going to have a piece of me, when he said in a broad Cockney accent “ere! are you Graham Clark?” I’m Steve Bennet and I used to play football with you!
He was on a round-the-world cruise with his family, and they had a stop-over at the Mount.

After I got over the shock, (not to mention the relief) we had a good catch up, and then he took off again, never to be seen since.

Anyway, it must have been about 1972, I remember watching another local band, this time at an Otumoetai College social.

The band was called “Cloud,” who consisted of an amazing young guitarist by the name of Trevor Braunius, Grant Friars on Bass, Denny Price on drums, and a very charismatic front man who had black hair like ravens flowing over his shoulders(!), who also played flute and harmonica by the name of Dave Watson, who I just found out is the big brother of Carol Storey of Torch Songs.

I have it on good authority that at that time, Otumoetai college refused to allow rock bands play at their socials until a teacher by the name of Bob Addison - who was particularly passionate about music and the arts - talked the headmaster into letting the students have something a bit more modern.
Perhaps he hadn’t heard that Cloud had recently played at the Matamata high school social, and were shut down by the headmaster because the music was “too way out!” This action of course incited the kids to riot (fancy that!)

Cloud were playing Hendrix, Cream and Santana covers at the time.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Not ALL spam is bad!
This hasn't got a lot to do with either Freedom, or more to the fact those who would take it away from you, but I thought this was an awesome piece of Junk-mail I received this morning. Instead of spamming you all, I thought I would post it up here instead. WD-40 Well, Who Knew...? I had a neighbour who had bought a new pickup. I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason). I went over, woke him up, and told him the bad news. He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open. Another neighbour came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off. It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job that was on the truck. I'm impressed! WD-40 who knew? Water Displacement #40. The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you. When you read the "shower door" part, try it. It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass. It's a miracle! Then try it on your stovetop... Voila! It's now shinier than it's ever been. You'll be amazed. Here are some of the uses: 1) Protects silver from tarnishing. 2) Removes road tar and grime from cars. 3) Cleans and lubricates guitar strings. 4) Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery. 5) Keeps flies off cows. 6) Restores and cleans chalkboards. 7) Removes lipstick stains. 8) Loosens stubborn zippers. 9) Untangles jewellery chains. 10) Removes stains from stainless steel sinks. 11) Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill. 12) Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing. 13) Removes tomato stains from clothing. 14) Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots. 15) Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors. 16) Keeps scissors working smoothly. 17) Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes 18) It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks. 19) Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40! 20) Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide. 21) Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers. 22) Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises. 23) Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open. 24) Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close. 25) Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers. 26) Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles. 27) Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans. 28) Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling. 29) Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly. 30) Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools. 31) Removes splattered grease on stove. 32) Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging. 33) Lubricates prosthetic limbs. 34) Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell). 35) Removes all traces of duct tape. 36) Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain. 37) Florida's favourite use is: "cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers." 38) The favourite use in the state of New York WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements. 39) WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states. 40) Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch. 41) WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag. 42) Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and re-wash. Presto! Lipstick is gone! 43) If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start. P. S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I too have seen the error of my ways

I too have seen the error of my ways and irrational thoughts (see PCs list below my letter to the editor)

Letter to the Editor, April 1

I would like to apologise for criticising the views of all my previous opponents, and say that they were correct.

Council should build a museum immediately, regardless of the cost, ongoing maintenance and running costs. Ratepayers should stop wingeing and be grateful.

No WAY should we be responsible for our actions.
Bureaucrats and government should be made responsible for everything we do IMMEDIATELY.

Jim Anderton is THE MAN! - Chosing to ignore history is a stroke of genius, because as we all know prohibition is so effective.

Government must take control of every supermarket, Shoe shop, and chip shop ASAP. They’re making such a success of running the education and health system that we cannot afford for them not to be running these things a moment longer.

If people don’t want to work WHY SHOULD THEY.
They have every right to get a wage, paid for by the taxpayers for doing nothing.

I want to be FORCED to pay tax so the government can do the above.
The use of force is such a civilised concept - it should be used more.

There should be NO freedom of speech.
It hurts peoples feelings if somebody says something about them that they don’t like

Castro, Guevara, Hitler, Dillon, Pankhurst, Brooke and all those who want to use force upon others to get what they think is right should be praised and reverred because what they want to force us to do is for our own good, and we should be grateful!

Cannabis is as evil as methamphetamine! All Pot smokersand party-pill takers are criminals and should be thrown in jail.


From NotPC

I recant.

I've taken some time away to rethink things, and I have to say upon close reflection that all my opponents are correct. About everything. I recant completely of all my former heresies, and hereby embrace all the contradictions of my former opponents. This I now believe:

* We are all our brother's keepers -- we must be forced to keep our brothers. Any other notion is immoral, not to say evil.
* It's sexist to say "brothers." It's judgemental to say "evil"!
* It's not my fault -- I was made that way. It's not bad behaviour, it's bad luck. No one is responsible for bad behaviour: We have no free will; society is to blame.
* We can't ever know anything about the past, we know nothing for certain about the present, but we can accurately project the future to three decimal places.
* Wot's reality?
* If the UN says it, then it must be right.
* If it's in Wikipedia, then it has to be right (especially if the subject is controversial).
* If George Bush says it, then it has to be wrong (especially if the subject is controversial).
* Global warming is man-made. We did it. We did it here, we did it on Mars and Venus, we did it in the Medieval period, we did it in the early twentieth century. We are all to blame.
* Al Gore is always right. I love Saint Al, and look forward to helping him save the planet.
* The Greens are always right. I love Jeanette, and look forward to helping her clear her gorse.
* We have plenty of power, and no need to worry. All forms of alternative energy are absolutely reliable, but nuclear energy is not.
* But we are running out of resources, and the price system is incapable of letting us know in time. We are a virus on the planet and should be wiped out. (After you, please. I do believe in courtesy.)
* We have plenty of wealth in New Zealand, and no need to catch up with the rest of the developed world. In fact, no need even to be in the developed world. Industry is so last century.
* Islamist violence will go away if we just ignore it. Can't we just all get along?
* Crime will go away if we just ignore it. Can't we just stop being judgemental (see above under 'Society is to blame anyway.')
* Tax is good, and more tax is better. Except on Tuesdays.
* You didn't earn your money anyway - society let you have it. Be grateful.
* You can't run your own life; you need politicians and planners to run it for you. Be grateful.
* Minimum wage laws raise wages for everybody. We should raise minimum wages to twenty, thirty, forty dollars an hour -- and force all employers to hire extra staff. Be grateful we let you have staff ... or a business.
* The way to lower housing costs is to force house-builders to build low-cost houses. Building inspectors always know what they're doing.
* The way to lower the cost of land is to restrict its supply. Planners always know what they're doing.
* The way to lower the cost of money is to nationalise it. Central bankers always know what they're doing.
* The way to promote business activity is to increase compliance costs.
* The way to protect individual rights is for the government to redefine them.
* The way to protect individual responsibilities is for the government to assume them.
* Businessmen are all thieves. Thank goodness for bureaucrats.
* Politicians are all honest. Thank goodness journalists don't bother them with hard questions.
* Anonymous commenters are absolutely justified in insulting people who aren't themselves anonymous -- and absolutely correct to complain when other bloggers use obvious pseudonyms to protect themselves. Thank goodness we have unrueful people unwilling to put their name to their comments to keep the rest of us honest.
* Thank goodness too that we have sub-standard bloggers who, while unwilling to put their names to their own posts, are nonetheless willing to insist that political advertisers put their names and addresses on their ads.
* People are right to feel aggrieved when speakers at large functions don't personally stroke them. Thank goodness for sleazy con-men who do.
* Voters are right to feel aggrieved when politicians offer real choices. Thank goodness for sleazy con-men who don't.
* It's sexist to say "con-men."
* It's racist to say "one law for all." It's not racist however to say that one race should have special courts, special legal privileges, and special voting rights.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Police Area Commander has got it all wrong

I am outraged at the sensationalist story on the front page classifying cannabis as evil and in the same category as methamphetamine.

This is exactly the kind of statement that leaves the public unable to differentiate between truly destructive drugs and less harmful substances.

Now, before Mike Clement, Police area commander sends the drug squad round to my place, I would like to make it clear that I do not take drugs, but I DO stand for the individuals right to take them if they wish.

I stand up for the rights of cannabis users to legally partake in a joint just as I am legally allowed to have a glass of whisky or a few beers, and those who believe otherwise are hypocrits!

If all this is done in the name of peoples health and wellbeing, then why is alchohol not illegal?

Alchohol can be linked to more deaths and misery than most illegal substances and it is still legal, yet you would make a criminal of a dope smoker or party-pill taker!

Cannabis is no more evil or destructive than indulging in alchohol. Excessive use of either is a different story, and I don’t deny both have their tales of horror.

It’s a fact that cannabis is illegal, but to mislead the public with such outrageous statements as “a crackdown on evil drugs - P and cannabis” is irresponsible and guilty of the reefer madness scaremongering of the 1920’s.

Cannabis offences rose 27% - so much for the war on drugs eh?

Instead of chasing cannabis users around the country, a FACTUAL drug education programme (as opposed to what we have now, which has dope smokers and party pill takers on the same risk level as Methamphetamine!) clearly explaining the REAL dangers of evil, destructive drugs and the less dangerous alternatives would be far more beneficial.

Maybe a scale of 1-10, 1 being the least harmful and 10 being next to fatal for excessive use or addictiveness.

I understand we must not be seen as taking drugs is OK, but this article does more harm by making such fallacious and infactual statements

ie, cocaine is impossible to get hold of, so those determined to get a bigger buzz have no alternative than locally produced, wildly destructive and expensive P!

This is equivalent to why people drink SPIRITS and not METHS?
They are both legal - we have a choice, but make spirits illegal and see what happens!

We chose the LESS DANGEROUS option because we have the choice, but those wishing to partake in drugs don’t have those options. Because drugs are all made artifically expensive by prohibition, people take what they can get, and opt for the most POTENT and therefore dangerous.

If you could chose between something that would kill you instantly, or something that would kill you over a long period of time what would you chose?
Many drug takers do not have this option, and THIS is what I find truly evil.

Mike Clement needs to read Milton Friedmans books on prohibition, but I guarantee he won’t.

His job is to uphold the law, not do what is sensible!

Neanderthal plays April Fools Day Joke on entire population of NZ

April fools day, and what better day to take the piss out of the entire population of New Zealand by fooling hapless government ministers into passing legislation to ban Party Pills.

If this wasnt so serious, it would be the joke of the year, but it's not.

But, it's not a joke, but it is a farce, and yesterdays headlines warning us of a new - legal strain of party pills that are untested, hence more dangerous, just released onto the market just goes to prove what damage can be done by a non-thinking neanderthal such as minister of misery, Jim Neanderton!

I say Jim Anderton himself is a danger to society, and he must be stopped from inflicting more danger upon innocent New Zealanders immediately. Jim says there is no proof that people will be forced to go to the gangs and lowlifes to purchase party pills!

What a load of cobblers!

Just look at the illegal drug trade NOW and see where the dollars are changing hands.

These criminals do not care about the safety of their customers. I predict NOW for there to be a long list of fatalities attributed to party pills because gangs won't be listing a detailed list of ingredients or recommended doseage Thanks Jim.

If Party pills were relatively harmless before, they will now ACTUALLY become DANGEROUS because there is no telling what will go into them, or how strong they are.

Why should 109 people (politicians) dictate what 400,000 (number of party pill users in NZ) can do with their lives?
If you think this kind of mob mob rule is a civilised and moral you need to deal with people in the 21st century then you need to think a little harder about it.

PS: I hear he intends to ban SHERRY next, so be warned! Stand up for the rights of others before he comes to ban something YOU like!
Jim Neandertaon has played a monumental April Fools Day trick, and the entire country fell for it hook line and sinker. We are April Fools alright! - Man have WE been sucked in

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chinese Water Shortage

Goodness gracious me! The Chinese have a water crisis! I wonder why that is?

If you are one of those people adverse to using your own brain, and prefer government bureaucrats to do it for you, then let me answer that for you!

The water system is run by the Government!

Surprise surprise!

They want to fix the water crisis.

How do they propose to fix it?

By opening the monopoly up to private enterprise and investment that is how!

Why is it that everytime a government run enterprise is in crisis they call for the private sector to fix it?

When it is up and running successfully what is the bet that it will be nationalised - confiscated - stolen (shades of Telecom) by the government because it is an essential service!

Who is going to invest (risk) billions of privately earnt dollars in making this project work only for it to be stolen off them when it is successful?

Then when the shares of this company hit rock bottom, hear the screams of outrage, blaming the filthy capitalists.

Seems to me like everything run by governments is in crisis

Will we learn anything from this?

I doubt it! Every time there is another crisis here - education, health, law and order, we keep asking the people who CAUSED the crisis to FIX it!

Doesn't make sense to me - what do you think?