Saturday, December 16, 2017

How it works.

It was at the tail end of the Crowded House job, way back in the '90's, and I'd got a bit sick and tired of chasing Kerry and Bruce up for the money they owed me, and my crew, so I think I'd wrung up that lawyer guy who did the BFM slot and asked him about what I could do. He'd even heard about the video shoot, bein' Auckland is so small, and thought it was all rather funny, if I remember correctly, and that the D12 thing would get things moving for me.

'Cause a D12 is the start of proceedings for bankruptcy against someone who owes you a debt. No piss assing about, no selling the debt to collectors or signing up for small claims, just a good old fashioned quick punch. or actually just the threat of one, to the kidneys to remind folks how it's supposed to be.

I'd even factored in that this video shoot was a total shot in the arm for this fledgling film company and I was somewhat prepared to let them forgo payment for a bit so they could ride whatever opulence came their way but the thing was they'd started rewarding themselves. New stuff, flash stuff, started to appear at the offices they had down town... and that was just plain rude.

And the whole kerfuffle, the whole shebang, me and mine doing the props for pop stars was all built on serendipidity and it ain't a good idea to look that particular gift horse in the mouth.

I'd been with Veer, the mad Indian woman, doing the Pluto cafe thing, which turned out to be a big mistake except it was all kinda fun too. The cafe/gallery was completely in a bad place and shit wasn't movin' at all, and she had high overheads to begin with so that didn't help either with such a risky venture.

But I'd just built a shop down in High St, upmarket suits, shirts and ties for men all super bright colours, Peter Gabriel style, but even a big portion of that dropped into the Pluto hole wasn't enough so Veer told me to get the cafe on TV in the hope that'd swing us into market favour... so I did.

Only Nightline of course but one of the reporters, Peta Mathias's little brother, was one of their reporters and he liked havin' fun and we'd already done a coupla stories for his show revolving around my inner city escapades so I rang him and he agreed to come have a look at the cafe but as TV3 was just over the back of Newton he and his camerman met up with us at the Ground Zero headquarters where I was still kinda based, had my welding gear and shit, and filmed them madmen and me doing a bit of sculpture fabrication right there on Newton Rd... great juxtaposition it was given I managed to borrow a full suit, shirt and tie from the shop I'd built, in fluro colours for the filming down the cafe in Lorne street.

Anyway, the thing was Kerry, who I knew from way back and skating for Edwards, and his men of celluloid had happened to be watching Nightline that night and were in the process of getting the Crowded House shoot and so I was, obviously, the man to build the props for it.'Private universe' was the song... which also kind of fit nicely.

Weirdly, though it isn't, at exactly the same time I'd managed to get the fifteen hundred square feet of warehouse down in Newton, and opposite the Kings Arms, so the deal got done well quick and with three hundred bucks me and just about all the folks from Ground Zero, whom, Felix and Michael, I'd just taught how to weld got stuck in over the weekend to build stuff for the shoot that Monday.

And that was fun, the shoot, as we all got invited down there for the day, even got parts in the video, scored drugs for the band and got stoned with them as well as munched out on all that fine food those types are used to. Paul was my favourite, he was goofy as and lots of fun but the best bit, 'cause despite all the hype film shoots are pretty much to me the absolutely most boring places in the whole of human existence, so after a very long drawn out day the restlessness went a bit frantic and as the sun was setting me, Felix and Scott (maybe Michael and Damian as well, 23 years is a long time ago) grabbed a bunch of broken instruments which included a busted tuba and a saxophone, that's all I can remember, and went out on the driveway, away from all the importance still doing it's thing, and had a weird noise making jam which went on for ages and was really fun and when we finally stopped we heard clapping... so we turned around and there was the band, the world famous trio, applauding us... that was so fucking ironic it was beautiful.

So there I am weeks later, the hubbub had died down and it was business as usual, needing to find cash to fill the holes being presented by silly choices, and these guys were being rude so fuck 'em, I'm doing a D12, I'm lawyering up 'less you fuckers present the cash quick smart... and it worked. Next morning I was down those offices with a cheque for the full amount in my hands but I felt like a cunt... I mean I didn't want to light a fire under their asses but they'd forced me into it so I had water at the ready and felt somewhat obliged to make amends so I looked up, at the ceiling, and had a vision of an artwork so I said I'd build it for them... explain Kerry asked, so I described this contraption which was a big metal circle fabricated from tubing and, totally what later became known as Steampunk, festooned with old tractor headlights... Cool, said Kerry as Bruce hardly even looked up from his plotting.

That particular course set of moments softened I went back to Pluto to let her know disaster was averted for a little and she had me straight back out to my illegally parked ute to shuffle up to Ponsonby to check out a shop, just opened, which I found out later had been built by Virus Mikes builder mate.

I get up there and most probably parked illegally, couldn't help it in those days though it's even harder now to do business in town, and walked into the shop, looked up, and sitting in the ceiling was the exact thing I'd seen in my vision about an hour beforehand and described to Kerry... that's how it works.

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