Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Arthur Crud

Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Arthur Crud » 06 May 2012, 06:50

Hello. Like a few of my predecessors on this thread I've been wrestling with how to present my choices - should it be a bunch of tunes that I'm currently obsessing over? Should it be a bunch of tunes from one period of my life? Should it be a selection of faves from throughout my life? Well kids I've opted for the latter - when I think about it, I can just about almost nearly summarise what it is that continues to draw me in, from the selections below.

So here it is - key moments in my musical life that I’d take to a desert island with a tip of the hat to other nearly-rans.

Are we meant to go into family stuff here? Born and raised in the East Auckland suburb of Panmure with 2 much older sisters and a loving Ma and Pa there wasn't a huge amount of music in the house but the radio was always on and I became hooked early. Dad worked for one of the (only two in those days) breweries in New Zealand for 44 years. He had worked for DB before he got called up for WW2 and he went straight back there afterwards. He’d done 3 ½ years as a POW in Italy and Germany and he’d had plenty of time to think……if he gets out alive, marry the office girl and raise a family giving them every opportunity he could – you did well Dad, you did well.

Anyway…my uncle was an amateur (but very good) musical theatrisist - 'Oklahoma' , ‘South Pacific’and that kind of thing - my Dad had a small but enthused over LP collection - Sinatra, Crosby, SD Junior, Herb Alpert etc - but it was via my sisters that I got my tiny little hands on 45s by The Beatles, Kinks, Beach Boys, Donovan. A thinking woman's selection....no Who, no Stones, no Small Faces.

OK I'm getting ahead of myself already...without doubt the first tunes that grabbed my infantile ear were of the novelty variety and heard on the radio....this first choice could just as easily have been 'Come Outside' my Mike Sarne; or 'Goodness Gracious Me' by Sellers and Loren; or 'Witchdoctor' by David Seville....but I think my opener has just the right amount of kookiness to it and I certainly remember it grabbing my attention.

To set the scene it should be remembered that at the time, almost to the day, I looked like this

Image

Geddit? Listening to this today I can see clearly how its influences were far reaching for me...clowns, lost love, a hint of ska...



And so on I went - blissfully happy in my childhood apart from constant attacks of hives and a period when I was about 7 when I came down with measles, mumps, bronchitis and chicken pox one after the other and was bed-ridden for weeks. The sun was always shining, my uncles and nephews all lived a few streets over and I had pals with whom I'd gambol all day.

My fascination with music - especially the 45 - grew and grew until at about aged 10 I bought my first single - probably at Beggs-Wisemans in Panmure, one of those wonderful stores that combined shooting, fishing and sports supplies with the latest in music. I seriously thought about including 'Hang On Sloopy' by the McCoys from a few years earlier at this point because it was the first record I played and played and played, you know, 30 times in succession while my sister was out and until Mum asked me to stop.

But no - I decided to go with my first purchase. Quite a sophisticated choice I feel - for a skinny, freckle-faced, bay-rum-soaked-short-back-and-sides little pillock..and back then how could anyone have ever imagined access to such great footage!



Cut now to 3-4 years later. Through a period of continued 45 buying (ok 2 a year tops) which included (all obsessed over) "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman; "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry; "Question" by the Moodies; "Question 67 and 68" by Chicago Transit Authority (hey! What's with all the questions?) and even "Belladonna Moonshine" by Audience, I had become a confirmed transistor-head. Welded to my ear every night when all were asleep I can distinctly remember leaping up and down on my bed to the Small Faces, Yardbirds, Stones etc as played on our very own pirate radio ship the Tiri, courtesy of Radio Hauraki ("top of the dial - baaaa-waaaa"). In fact if I go back a few years I can also remember hearing Brian Matthews' and Alexis Korners' shows on the radio. Their voices sounded far off and mysterious and even a little scary, but extremely compelling even to a grubby little twerp like me.......I was becoming an Anglophile!

But now if you will, imagine a sunny afternoon classroom at De La Salle College, Mangere East, Auckland in 1970, during the 'Liberal Studies' period one enterprising teacher allowed us to bring in our favourite record to play to the class.

Mine was the coolest of course...and it has lost not one jot of grooviness in all this time...



So now the complicated years begin - you know: adolescence, pimples, descending gonads - but these days looking back I reckon I had a few other things on my mind and causing complications. In 1967/ 8 we moved suburbs to Papatoetoe in South Auckland and within 18 months both my sisters had married and left home, I had to abandon all my old pals from Panmure and perhaps worst of all I moved from a school with a solid 50/50 boy girl ratio to one year at a school with a 90/10 boy girl ratio to 6 years at a school with a 100/0 boy girl ratio. Today myself and both my sisters regret leaving Panmure - but who could blame Dad? He built us a brand new home in a classier suburb.

There was a half-year when I had to bus across town to finish a school term in Panmure. I had to swap busses at a junction called 'The Harp of Erin' and there was a record shop there. I remember holding in my sweaty palms a couple of 'Quo singles ("Ice in the Sun" and "Matchstick Men" of course) but I'm going to leave my tale there for now.

Leave it there and whisk through the LP years (Bowie, Queen, Guess Who, Beatles, Stones, gawd, even Clifford T Ward's "Mantlepieces") to the time when I was going to my first 'concerts'. Skyhooks supporting Status Quo at Carlaw Park was an early one but the one that sticks in my head is the Split Enz (only recently changed from Split Ends I might add) Buckahead (One dollar entrance fee per person ;-)) at the late His Majesty's Theatre in 1974. Now, back in my 'Mr Bloe' days there was an eccentric boy at our school who soon left for other pastures. He just happened to - at one stage - have had two brothers in Split Enz (Mike and Geoff) and the groovier inner circle (of which I was certainly not one but I knew how to coat-tail) kept in touch with him and we all pitched up to this gig.

It may seem sqeamishly obvious to you that a kiwi would have a Split Enz track or two in his selection but can I re-assure you nothing turns my stomach more than this country's ability to strangle all the interesting bits out of anything 'home-grown' within a few months of success. I'm not by any stretch the most ardent SE fan in general but these two tracks are head and shoulders above so much music at the time and to see this band as an early live experience was astonishing and bum-fluff peppered jaw dropping. I love these tunes - Wally bloody Wilkinson still in the band! The rollicking barrelhouse piano of Eddie Rayner! Phil Judd! What kind of chord is it that finishes 'Bother'? Astonishing songs. This is a twofer by the way - I'm only counting it as one track and the quality varies.....but Jeeez just look at these guys! There’s even a hint of ska…



And so the live experience flourished and pretty soon punk was upon us. Oh how I misspent my nights at the Windsor, Globe, Zwines, Exchange and Gluepot. Keen to be in on the scene but always in the background I saw incredible 'local' acts The Terrorways, Proud Scum, Toy Love, Primmers, Spelling Mistakes, even not so cool in those days bands like Dragon, Streettalk, Th'Dudes, Sheerlux....I could go on. As it turns out a very close pal of mine today was thrashing the skins in a couple of bands at this time - The Phantoms and Youth for a Price and on more than one occasion depping for scene-stealers Suburban Reptiles. 'spect bro!

But I'm going to cut to London now. The UK in general but London in particular. I was busting my balls to get over there and despite a major setback early on, like my Dad dying in NZ while I was in a van in the middle of Portugal, I was soon back and hungry for music action. I'd caught a song or two on kiwi 'alternative' radio by this lot just before my return to the UK and I made a point of picking up their album and seeing them live. At this time I was hooked on the basslines of the Teardrop's "Bouncing Babies" and KJ's "Psycche" and I'd even taped a song off Peely called "Walkie-Talkie Eyes" by some outfit later to claim they'd invented punk. But nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G had prepared me for what was to come as I set off from our Bayswater flat in December 1980 with my mate Dan, over Westbourne Grove to just under the arches off Portobello to a dark, smelly hall which was serving nothing but Special Brew. A skinhead passed me a reefer and pretty soon my idea of what could constitute a great band was turned on it's head, blown out of the water, made a nonsense of....changed me for life. I was pinned to the back wall by the ferocity emanating from what seemed like a rabble of very normal looking people. God I love this band.



Well I may have been a little frightened but I sure didn't want to go 'hoo-ooooom-uh'. Going to gigs and buying records was all I lived for, and ESB or Dog Bolter. I was a big-bottomed, wild-eyed bachelor boy having the time of his life. Worked at a place where I had a company vehicle and got to know London and the Home Counties inside out as I lugged tea-chests full of personal effects in and out of hotels and houses. A pig in shit.

Around this time I saw many memorable gigs - The Jam, Dexys, Dead Kennedys, Frank Zappa!, Spizz, Tenpole Tudor (yes, stop sniggering, they were brilliant), Teardrop Explodes + ACR + Bunnymen + Psychedelic Furs, Josef K, Delta 5, Orange Juice, Pere Ubu, Go4, Undertones, Southern Death Cult, Killing Joke and many many more but it wasn't until sometime in '81 that me and a pal decided to check out this other lot which Peel had been playing. Again, staggeringly different to ANYTHING we'd seen: stage invasions, singer climbing up to the ceiling and throwing things at us, apparently a cowboy on bass (but heeey - what a bass!) and a queue outside 'Artspace' on Tottenham Court Rd which contained every Auckland punker who we hadn't seen for a coupla years. Like The Fall, this was the same, but oh so different...sheesh..



Bloody Hell! What's going on? I've only 2 choices to go and I'm still stuck in 1981! OK then let's zip forward to the mid-late 80's. I'm back home now and collecting every import 12" I can get me mits on. What's this? The NME is whipping up a theory about something they've called C86. Ah yes C86 I hear you (Northern) moan(ing bollocks). But there ain't nobody going to dissuade me from the jagged discord of 12's by Stump, A Witness, Shrubs. The MacKenzies, the mighty Bogshed, the bogshed Mighty Mighty, Big Flame, Nightingales, The Very Things. Bugger. Just when I get home it's all kicking off again in the UK (in my head at least). Apart from Happy Mondays though I was a little 'meh' about Madchester. One group stood out from the C86 pack and have continued to supply me with unbounded joyous listening pleasure ever since. My fantasy is to promote a gig down here in NZ with them and I, Ludicrous. But I hear they don't travel. With a finger on every pulse and a way with a tune that never fails I give you....



And so the wrap up...hopelessly out of time - just like me bass playing - I'm wondering how to finish. Several thoughts run through my mind: how disillusioned I'd become with 'alternative' pop music by the mid-90s (I was never a dancer); what a total avalanche of hitherto, and probably heretoforingly, unheard by me in my lifetime, great music I've been turned onto by BCB and finally the discovery I made in the mid-90s that there were a lot of undiscovered dirty, fuzzy, quirky hidden gems from the period of my childhood which were now coming to light on myriad compilations. Side One Track One of the first (of dozens) of these comps I've collected since sums up these thoughts perfectly...



Luxury? Beer of course. A never ending mixed dozen of IPAs, ESBs, Coopers, Macs, Pilseners, that Mild that looks like Guinness which I shared over music talk with DWD in Ye Cracke....bliss

And book? I'm so shallow. Vernon Joynson's 'Tapestry of Delights' as big and fat and revisited as you like...something to thumb through and evoke memories of my favourite tunes.

Thank you, good night and may you all flourish.

A Crud.

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Thesiger » 06 May 2012, 17:13

A terrific piece of entertainment, Mr Crud. I particularly liked that deft elision from 1981 to the present day. And Vernon Joynson's a great read. I think you might be the first to select beer as your luxury, too! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby der nister » 06 May 2012, 17:25

i love these gracious and brave peeks, these DIDs afford us
exotic, evocative, yet knowable
good stuff, thanks
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Corporate whore » 06 May 2012, 21:38

Fab read Kev,

Excellent.
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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Jeemo » 07 May 2012, 00:26

nice one
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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 07 May 2012, 06:00

Excellent read Kev. I too am a bit obsessed with Mr Bloe's 'Groovin with Mr Bloe' and hopefully, one happy day, will find a good condition copy on 7", rather than just a crappy MP3.

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby kath » 07 May 2012, 22:47

*bump* (now you and qube need to sit still for a lil while. gotdamn board.) (oh, yeah. to be con't)

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Copehead » 07 May 2012, 23:38

What a bloody photograph!

You always know the better sort because they rate C86
And sometimes I ride on bus x82, say what!

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Thesiger » 08 May 2012, 09:07

Copehead wrote:What a bloody photograph!


Not even that crafty fag in his left hand could make that lad look cool. :)
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Arthur Crud

Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Arthur Crud » 09 May 2012, 02:38

Thesiger wrote:crafty fag

See? Even at that age I was predicting the Nightingales ;)

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Minnie the Minx » 09 May 2012, 03:13

What a bloody great read, my dear!
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby kath » 12 May 2012, 04:35

thanks for a blast of a read.

cheers to yer POW dad. i also had older sibs handing me down all manner of 60s singles. "A thinking woman's selection....no Who, no Stones, no Small Faces." <-- brilliant. mwhaha. my older sister most definitely avoided the who, the stones, the small faces. however, in her defense, she's fucquin crazy about the beasties song 'sabotage'.

i loved witchdoctor! (she gets all teary-eyed.) and i loved windy. i love the word gambol. i dunno what a pillock is, but i love that word, too. (is pill like the ole yank slang, pest? which would make a pillock a pest who hangs out on a small hill? never mind.) i was steeped in radio hits. i loved teachers who let ya bring in records. a few of my favorite ones wanted ya to bring in lyrics, too, which probably explains why i still love lyrics to this day. i love mr bloe. i love yer talk about the kiwi and UK gig scenes. i saw the furs in a tiny bar in baton rouge in the early 80s. the main event was a knockdown, dragout fight betwixt the brothers butler. what a show.

but what do i love the most? ... that pic of you as a spawn. ohhhh, it is a thing of beautific spawnly wonder. it lands right smack dab on my **top 5 pics ever posted on BCB** list... (along with sensi, her brah and sandy... minnie's wedding shot with the baron blurred in the background standing under the light fixture... coan and his kitchen sign happy now cunts, and witchypoo dressed for summer, standing in the snow.

p.s. there was a band called spelling mistakes? groooovy. although they shoulda spellt it wrong, if ya ask me.

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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby Moleskin » 22 Jun 2012, 15:56

Could this be moved to the DID archive please?
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Re: Desert Island Discs - Arthur Crud

Postby fange » 03 Aug 2012, 15:49

A great read, cheers Arthur C!
Split Enz really was a very special band in their early years, great call, and as a Melbourne boy i am very fond of the Birthday Party as well. Top choices all round.
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