Monday, June 16, 2008

Petrol prices only $1.25 Litre (the rest is Government tax)

What a bloody joke!

How stupid do they think we are?

“Very stupid” it seems!

The government are appointing a “fuel commissioner” (there goes more taxpayers cash down the drain) to monitor fuel prices.

Have you considered the following?

Oil companies would be willing to sell petrol to you at $1.25 a litre!

The rest of the cost is made up of “government tax!”

For their $1.25, fuel companies prospect for crude oil, mine it, refine it, market it, and deliver it around the world! A very fair price I reckon for the standar of living that refined oil allows us to benefit from!

So what does government do to justify doubling that figure?
I would like to see petrol stations advertising their fuel as $1.25 “plus government tax”
All government are doing is frantically looking for somebody else to pin the blame on for high fuel costs!

They are searching high and low for a “smoking gun” when they are squeezing the trigger with their own thieving fingers.

I suggest commerce minister Lianne Dalzeil look in the mirror, where she will get an eye-witness look at the offender - I suggest she handcuff the culprit immediately - give herself a good talking to - maybe even rough-herself up a little - try and knock some sense into herself or is there a law against beating yourself!

The real dope on the dopes

A corner dairy in Matua that was manned by the families young son was recently held up by thugs who jumped the counter and stole cigarettes

Here is my letter to the editor concerning this all too frequent occurence.


It’s sad isn’t it?

Yet another dairy held up - another innocent family traumatised, as thieves hold them up for cigarettes!

You know what the really sad thing is?

It’s your fault!


Because you keep voting for governments who do not promote personal responsibility. (The National party’s constitution incorrectly states that they “do,” but it’s just another of their flip-flops!)
Because smokers are a drain on the sick system (I mean health system) they must make cigarettes artificially expensive, to pay for those demands.

But if we were not deterred from being responsible for our own health by being forced to pay for the failing health system, smokers could afford to have private health care, consequently making cigaretttes a fraction of the price!

Cigarettes are so expensive that those who want them have to resort to the armed robbery of innocent people to get them. Cigarette smokers would be more than happy to sit at home with a cup of tea and have a cigarette, rather than have to go on an armed robbery to get the smokes first!

Just like most people who do drugs would rather sit at home and quietly get smashed rather than have to go out and commit armed robbery to get the cash to purchase the drugs first!
The lives of “Innocent” kiwi’s are being put at risk in direct relation to laws made by governments-elected by you - to save us from ourselves!

Smokers choose to do harm to themselves. Shopkeepers don’t choose to be the victims of robbery - the government has done that for them!

People commit crimes because they “want” drugs, not because they are “on” drugs.
Government are trying to save the lives of one group of people (who know the risks they take), whilst putting everybody else in danger! - Its bloody stupid!

If you are looking for somebody to blame, look no further than those who tick boxes before considering the “real” facts when they vote!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ritchie Pickett - The Right Note Column

I Wish I Wrote That
(Every week I include an excerpt of some of my favourite lyrics )

Nickis' Song
Ritchie Pickett - From the Album "All Strung Out In A Bunch"

Over the anvil of mistakes
The beatings I have taken
In the name of love
And some of the places I've found hate
where warmth once used to flow
It can chill you to the bone
If not for you
I dont know what I'd do
You pick me up each time I slip behind - I never thought I'd find
A woman who would listen, who would think
when all she'd hear was drink
As the devil took my tongue
And If I had to pay you back in kind
I would disappear and you would find
You're too good to be true . . .

In 1983 what is regarded by some as the best country album ever produced in New Zealand was recorded at Stebbings recording studio in Auckland, featuring two of Tauranga’s most respected musicians - Ritchie Pickett, who although originally from Morrinsville, was living here at the time, and Kevin Coleman.

The album is entitled “Gone For Water,” and in 2008 is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its release.

This album is an interesting milestone in local and national regard for several reasons apart from the staggering playing and songwriting talents therein.

The band comprised of Ritchie Pickett on Piano and vocals (and guitar on one track), Noel Lamberton on drums. Kevin Coleman on Guitar, Dave maybee on Guitar, and Jimmie Wallace Jnr on Bass.

Ritchie of course needs no introduction to anybody that has spent any time in any of the watering holes around New Zealand, or sitting in front of the TV during the 1980’s, as he was a regular performer and breath of fresh air on the popular TV show “That’s Country.”

Kevin Coleman is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist and although he has not played for about 10 years is even today highly sought-after and pestered by local bands and musicians (myself included) who would be only too happy for him to play almost “any instrument” in their band from bass, lead or rhythm guitar, or piano!

Anyway. The other reasons this album is remarkable is that it was produced by Ray Columbus (not that Ray did a remarkable “job” of the production!)

Ray, through his extensive experience and contacts in the industry managed to swing some finance for the album, and also to get sponsorship from none other than Jim Beam (hence the pic on the back cover of the guys swigging back a glass of the sponsors product, and a half empty bottle on the table)which happens to have been taken by a good friend of mine - also from Tauranga - who sadly died a few years ago now by the name of Roger Jarrett.

This was a major coup by Ray, as they were only the 2nd band in the world to be sponsored by Jim Beam - the other at the time being country music legend Hank Williams Jnr.
Gone for Water was the guinea-pig album for the very first digital studio in New Zealand.

Unfortunately this was not such a good thing, as digital THEN is not what it is NOW, and consequently the sound of this album suffered extensively.
One reviewer was known to have commented that it should be turned up as loud as possible. And then you should walk out of the room, and listen to it from the room next-door!

This unfortunate problem with the production in no way reflects on the staggering passion and delivery of Ritchies songwriting and vocals.

I have an original mint condition LP, and on listening critically to it, must say that I am not of the same opinion, but then again I must admit to a predilection or fondness to the pretty scarce recorded works of Mr Pickett.

I recall at one of Ritchies gigs, some unfortunate out-of-towner, who, unaware of Mr Picketts legendary sharp tongue, started heckling him, and called him a rather vulgar name which I shall not repeat. Ritchie instantly spat back a retort, which was “if you are going to say (the word), then say it like you WANT one, and not like you’ve GOT one!

This attitude perfectly describes Ritchies vocal style! To witness him pound the keys and sing and spit out lyrics with such passion and vehemence gives me goosebumps.

I have been told that the band actually recorded a demo for a follow-up album during the same sessions, and apparently this is even better than Gone For Water! And the good news is that it is believed that Stebbings actually still have the tapes. What a treasure that would be if that ever got released.

One of my favourite albums of all time happens to be an album Ritchie released in about 1996/7 entitled “All strung out in a bunch.”

It was recorded by Zed Brookes at the Zoo studio in Hamilton, and released by Nigel masters at The Boatshed studio in Whakamaramara.

Ritchie was unable to secure a release deal with a label at the time, and approached Nigel, who was in the process of trying to up the profile of his studio at the time, and who willingly obliged.

To my mind, this album has to be one of “the” most undestimated, and un-recognised albums in New Zealand music history!

It is a masterful piece of songwriting and performance, and if there is anybody anywhere in the world that can deliver a lyric better than several examples on this album, then I have yet to hear them, and I say this with the utmost sincerity.

My favourites are the heartbreaking, anti-love song “I wanna Stop,” co-written with Simon Lynch, and which features a sax solo by Walter Bianco (something Walter informs me was recorded in just one take!), and which is so appropriate in tone and emotion, that it makes me shivver every time I hear it;

“Nickis Song” which appears to be of an autobiographical nature concerning some bad behaviour and the regrets he has for hurting somebody who had been pretty special to him, and “3am Hamilton Sunday Morning,” where his lyrics are so descriptive of the scene and the occasion that you almost feel yourself stagger in the drunken stupour of the character, and shiver in the fog and the cold!

The only song not penned by Pickett is entitled "The First Rule of Love," on which Ritchie's vocal delivery is at its most vitriolic, and countered with the clashing Telecaster (I can tell!) of Ian Jefferies, and the Blood-chilling sax solo make this song particularly chilling

If this album had been released by anybody across the Atlantic, they would be living in comfort and rolling in the accolades, but it wasn’t.

This incredible album flew way under the radar, and was picked up by a very lucky few - and more’s the pity!

This album is unfortunately out of stock as only a very limited number was originally released, but if enough interest was shown, I am sure a re-pressing would be on the cards.

Anybody interested in this exceptional locally produced album, please contact me and we’ll see what can be arranged.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Need Beats Greed

It’s an over abundance of those who believe their “needs and wants” are enough to justify the theft of other peoples property that truly gets my back up, and the editor smugly entitling my letter “Greed beats Need” is a prime example of this mentality in operation!

If what I say is so wrong, explain why “taking other peoples money by force (otherwise known as THEFT!!!!) is more moral than a persons property rights!

You wish to attain social benefits through the most immoral action one man can take upon another - the use of FORCE! - Why is this OK?

How is this a MORAL thing to do?

Isn’t stealing BAD?

Why is it different because government or council do it?

Why is trying to PROTECT private property from the grasp of THIEVES called GREED by the editor?

Justifying these actions as “for the benefit of the community” is twisted logic! - The community is but a collection of individuals - Those whose rights you would deny!

The editor appears to define “greed” as somebody trying to keep hold of their personal property!

I define greed as people who are not happy with just their OWN property, but truly believe they have a right to other peoples property also!

PROPERTY RIGHTS RULE! - Ask anybody who doesn’t have them, yet all some do is want to abuse them! - CRAZYNESS