There was a boy at Kelburn School called Kyle Murphy. He rode a skateboard, was buck toothed and lived with his father on one of those roads in Kelburn with views of the harbour that make you feel like life is wonderful. Kyle’s father was a neat guy. He was really nice with Kyle and had plenty of time for me as well. I never knew what his father did during the day but some evenings he worked as a security guard and thus Kyle and I were not strangers to being backstage at some great concerts in Wellington.
Apart from seeing DD Smash and Peking Man up close the show I remember best was the one named for Mick Hucknell’s hair. We also saw UB 40 but I remember Simply Red fonder. We met the band afterwards and I got a piece of paper signed on by them all. Way to feel six feet tall when you’re only five.
At concerts I am a real ‘party on the inside’ guy with the following exceptions: Bon Jovi with my Irish mate Rob at Emirates Palace 2008. I was wriggly during a Basment Jaxx show at the Atlantis Beach last year because every flaming person who walked past handled me as if we were on a Colombo bus together and I was a tourist and they were collectively that pickpocket I slapped back in 2005.
In my parent’s lounge we grew up with a built in record player. There, where the bookshelf now is, was a fixed chest with a liftable lid. Beneath was a small turntable positioned next to a footwide slot for storing records including my beloved copy of Run DMC’s Raising Hell. Scott Fordham stole this record from me in the fourth form. He was and probably still is a bastard who somehow had a gang of people around him for a few years while he stole, bullied, harassed and generally tormented. If there is any justice he’ll either be in prison now or at least very lonely.
My dear mother stood by me once as I fondled my record. Mum spoke in love, “Be careful”. I assumed that she was referring to the word ‘hell’ in the title but on reflection it is more likely that she appreciated how brilliant the beats in my hand were and didn’t want me to drop it and get fluff from the carpet in the grooves. Yeah, that’s it.
Jonah and Ben played a concert for me in the lounge this evening. Jonah was on drums/pots and Ben on the keyboard. They jammed and it worked. Jonah had what we call a ‘concentrating face’ on and Ben moved through chords like they’re going out of fashion.
These moments will be memories terribly soon.