As a young man I lived illegally in a commercial building above a second hand book store called Smiths. Two things that had a profound affect on me.
That building, now flattened by earthquakes was on a Tuam Street corner site in Christchurch with neighbours that included a bike repair man, a tailor, a heroin addled army surplus businessman, a landmark massage parlour and a photographer who had found god ( via drugs ) and was "about to move to New York".
His partner worked at a clothing store called Metropole ( later to become Workshop) and she ended up marrying another friend of mine and moving to Melbourne. The photographers name was Alastair Parker, the street was Manchester Street the year was about 1987 and he also played in a band called Bailter Space.
Every weekend and some week nights me and a few of my neighbours plus the hookers and junkies were serenaded by "the loudest band on earth". In those days inner city Christchurch was a desolate place at night and the music reverberated through the streets.
Bailter Space had recently formed and practised tirelessly from Alastair's studio until very late. I can attest first hand to how loud they were. Legend goes that ( later) when they played with Motorhead they needed 4 extra PA's.
In a previous band and life Alastair had been a member of the Gordons and in 1983 at the age of 16 I had been denied the opportunity to see them play. Now I listened to them free of charge on a weekly basis.
The album Future Shock ( originally self released ) and later on Flying Nun had been a part of my musical awakening.
The artwork later featured on a little brother tee and to me they always epitomised everything I loved about New Zealand music.
The Gordons have won the inaugural Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award, that makes me feel old but its a great accolade and richly deserved.
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