Saturday, October 14, 2017

I've got everything, like a moving ground, an open road, and everything (Deep Purple)

Holidays mean time for reading (usually while waiting for SWMBO in the car around Whangarei).

It's the start of week 38/52 for my reading goal. Book number 39 was a DC Comics collection called America At War

I picked it up from The Piggery after waiting a few months for it to reach a half price special. I'm not normally that patient but $44 seemed steep for a second hand comic book.

The main draw card for me was the inclusion of a few of my favourites - pre-eminently, Sgt. Rock!  

While browsing at Real Groovy I found book 40 - Ian Gillan's autobiography - Highway Star. Gillan being the lead singer for Deep Purple off and on since the early seventies. 

It's okay and kept me interested for the most part but he often pulls his punches in an annoying way - especially on his bandmates in Purple. So it's a little superficial at times and becomes focused too much on his 'solo' activities with the Ian Gillan Band and Gillan for my liking.

Current book (41) is a thriller of sorts - Chris Bohjalian's The Guest Room. Early days - page 22 but I'm already absorbed and impressed by his style.

Love and peace - Wozza

Monday, October 9, 2017

Met my friends all in the material world (George Harrison)

A Facebook message from Noel Forth,  an old mate (old as in I've known him for yonks), reminded me of my mid seventies silk screening activities.

I began via mucking around in art classes at MAGS during my second year fifth year (1973 for those keeping score); someone was impressed and asked me to screen print shirts for the rowing squad.

Hmm, I thought (to myself) - I could do this at home!

So I made my own silk screens and drew stencils to create some fan art.

Some designs for stencils

Noel in Adelaide had been a pen pal for a while and so, in a quid pro quo deal, he sent records and I sent bespoke screened T shirts. 

Which he wore!!!!

Collection of my fan art from 40 years ago

Some of the screens were really huge - the Lennon print is a mitre square!

Anyway, at the time I printed a copy of each shirt design onto a piece of material and squirreled them away into my keepsake suitcase.

And here they are...

And here's Noel modelling them (in legendary aussie bands Tortis and Vertical Hold) with Mick and Jim...

I know, only a glimpse, but clear proof. The last one is my Paul and Linda McCartney shirt - here's one of my prelim sketches for that stencil... 

And to finish, only Noel will appreciate this, but what the hey - I came across this in my treasure trove with the stencils: not sure why I did this - Noel may have the answer:

Love and peace - Warren Ono Purdy

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Yes, it is, it's true (The Beatles)

The happiest man is he who can connect the evening of his life with the beginning - so says Dante!

Okay - don't want to get too dramatic here. I've only turned 60 years old. No big deal. But...

I have found myself reconnecting with aspects of my youth all my life: my vinyl obsessions, and often a return to albums from the sixties and especially the seventies - my period; Look and Learn magazines; books/TV shows/movies that I've loved before, are some examples.

And I think I know why.
Far beyond childhood, when one recalls being read to or told a story, there is a renewal of the sense of being cared for. That positive emotional state can resurface throughout one’s life when narratives are heard. 
In addition, hearing the same book repeatedly allows the brain to seek its own intrinsic rewards. The brain’s response to making a choice or prediction that turns out to be correct is a release of dopamine, triggering a feeling of deep satisfaction and pleasure.
This extract is from an Edutopia article - The Neuroscience of Narrative and Memory.

It's a good thing. Yes, it is, it's true.

Love and peace - Wozza

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I am the blank page before you, I am the fine idea you crave (London Grammar)

Book 39
The latest Mojo Magazine tells me that Steve Winwood got his first guitar in 1957 and Jamaica's first vinyl pressing plant was established in Kingston in that year as well.

They say it's your birthday, well it's my birthday too yeah!

Yes, something huge happened 59+1 years ago in Auckland Nu Zild. Dulcie Mary Purdy went into labour and produced her first son. I emerged right on tea time on October 1.

Ta daar!!

But enough of that, here's another episode in the Wozza Culture Breakdown y'all. Starting with a gift from my staff at school - the Dr Seuss book was great!!

It's been a while since the last catch up. So, grab a coffee and settle in.

Books: Amazingly, it's week 35 and here are books 35 through 39.

35 - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood being Eric Burden's autobiography (J Marshall Craig helped him with the words). 

What a (loveable) dick he is! Ripped off and forever chasing non-binding relationships, Eric comes across as a rambling man who never feels like he belongs anywhere for long. Sad in a way.

There's nothing much about his talent on offer in the narrative (whaaat??). Basically, he's a Geordie who can't hold down a steady crew. The only constant being his glorious voice but he's very silent about the effect his voice has on the various bands he's fronted. Curious.

He loves Hendrix, hates Alan Price, loves Chas Chandler, hates Mike Jeffery and every other manager he's (willingly) signed his soul to. Oh, and he loves a long line of bad girls!

I got the book from the Piggery. At the same time, picked up one of Frank Richards' Billy Bunter adventure, Billy Bunter and the Crooked Captain (book 36).

I used to read these voraciously when I was younger. Reading it again is still a treat!

Richards is a master plotter if you know what I mean.

Book 37 This Is Where I Leave You (Jonathan Tropper).

It's been made into a movie and I'll catch it on Netflix at some stage. It reads a little like the Steve Carell movie Dan In Real Life in parts. 
The main character, Judd, is like Michael from Thirtysomething.  

Which means I liked it!

Seth Godin is the man! I get his daily blog (which feels like chips off a bigger block). Some of those blocks of wisdom are compiled into Tribes (book 38).

Netfix series: we are currently battling Grounders, Mountainmen and Reapers on Season 2 of The 100. It's pretty graphic - flesh eating zombies, everything is a threat, violence is a way of life - that sort of thing.

Sport: I've watched a few NFL and Arsenal games. However, in the lead up to the end of the term, that has been a sporadic endeavour. 

I'm part of the Gooner tribe so it's been a roller coaster ride this season thus far. I am also of the Steeler tribe - have yet to watch one of their games though.

Music: With my birthday came a mammoth visit to Real Groovy in Auckland, Being in Queen Street it has also taken in JB HiFi (poor selection there now) and Marbecks Records in the Queen's Arcade.

One of my many purchases was a new copy of West Bruce and Laing's second studio album from 1973 - Whatever Turns You On. My original copy was pressed really badly in NZ and was almost unlistenable.

The latest copy from RG is an American version with a better cover and pristine sound. It's like listening to a new record. Jack Bruce and Leslie West and Corky Laing emerge clear as a bell from the murk of my memory. 

It has only taken me 44 years to find a better version and it only cost me $4.95.

Best birthday present ever!!

Love and peace - Wozza

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Everyone of them knew that as time went by they'd get a little bit older and a litter slower (The Beatles)

Photo by Ruth Caron on Unsplash
To paraphrase Paul McCartney, New Zealand, you are tremendous and no one knows like me (sarcasm).

What a joke. What a bunch of dithering turkeys we are.

Thanks to our inability to support either of the main political parties we are left with the smug narcissism of Winston Peters in government for the foreseeable future.

In case you haven't been keeping up in the back, we voted on Saturday and came up result. 

Neither the stodgy Bill English or the probably too youthful Jacinda Ardern could get enough seats for their respective parties to govern alone.

Which leaves the only certainty of NZ First leader Winston Peters in a government. OMG.

What an irony - we northlanders voted him out of his constituent seat! But we're stuck with him.

The only bright spot - his perculating botched old boy allegiance with National (my prediction) will clear the way for some dynamism with Jacinda Ardern getting a clear majority in the next election. 

Coming soon to a theatre near you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jerry, I just don't know sometimes...(Marlene)

Jerry meets Beetle (Grace was playing hard to get) while Tango rides shotgun
Roch-dene is slowing filling up with animals. As I knew it would.

At the moment it's a bit of an ark - two horses, two wild turkeys, and two dogs (the six canaries kind of ruin the effect but what the hey).

Tango, Jerry and Wozza's
world famous legs.
Yes, Jerry has arrived. Jerry is a wee pedigree Border Collie puppy and cute as a button. 

In addition, we have Tango lodging with us to help socialise Jerry and for us to look after while William and Jade holiday in Bali.

This last weekend felt like we had a new toddler on the property - door barrier, chewy toys, fencing the back yard and fencing the front yard!

All to no avail because Jerry is also a Harry Houdini who just wanted to be with me or SWMBO.

Let the fun begin!

Love and peace - Wozza

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Old friends, memory brushes the same years (Simon and Garfunkel)

Photo by on Unsplash
Pals, buddies, mates, chums. 

Friendship. That's what this post is about. 

Hooked? Well - lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries 'hold!'

I love Jerry Seinfeld's riff on friendship: 
When you're in your thirties it's very hard to make a new friend. Whatever the group is that you've got now that's who you're going with, you're not interviewing, you're not looking at any new people, you're not interested in seeing any applications.  
As for someone like me in my late fifties (for a few more days people, for a few more days), I largely stopped hiring decades ago.

My whanau list below has a number of people on it who I love but many I never hear from anymore. Yet, I know, for a large number of them, as soon as we reestablish contact...bam. Instant connection.

A connection forged from shared history.

My oldest chums that I pal around with via Facebook and email are few in number but incredibly important to me. Frinstance, GK (a.k.a. Billy Wallace) and I have been mates since 1974.

Recently, he reminded me of a time we collapsed into hilarity over a story in Craccum - Auckland University's student newspaper. 

Collapsing into laughter (with Kevin Simms usually on board as well) was an occupational hazard in those days.

Recently, I was in Real Groovy wading through the vinyl sale bins when three young male hipsters walked in loudly. For the next half hour they laughed their private jokes, kidded each other about certain albums, and engaged in a wide variety of banter. All pretty loud and obnoxious.

I was immediately presented with a picture of how Greg, Kevy and I must have looked as we visited Real Groovy back in the day.

Good times, Billy. Good times.

Love and peace - Wozza