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July 2015

Fantastic to have completed the CD, a true labour of love. Now to try and let the world know….feels a bit like trying to start an old lawnmower – petrol, new spark plugs, and keep pulling.

Big thanks to all the Whanau who helped in ways they might not even have been aware of, and especially Loribelle for her amazing painting. Quite confronting to see all the lines and capillaries recreated in glorious technicolour, but she saw it as “beautiful and striking”, and she’s the artist…

I’m lucky to have friends who are musicians and whose help played a big part in the production, lifting the final mixed CD out of the one dimensional world it is easy to inhabit when doing everything. That includes Tim ‘TimEbandit’ Powles, currently touring the world with The Church, who I managed to pin down for drums and production help, and Phil Hall, whose bass-playing lifted quite a few tracks.

Now to try and get some shows happening.

back cover maybe copy

Tarago Tales

(What happens in the Tarago stays in the Tarago, but not this time sorry guys…)

Tale no 1

Flew in to Dunedin to play at a football match with a pretty well-known band. Checked in at the hotel, played the show, got up the next morning to have some breakfast, and was surprised to find they were cleaning the carpets, all a bit dank and smelly.

Came back to be told our singer had apparently started to run a bath and fallen asleep with the tap on, which flooded the corridor, causing the ceiling to collapse on the floor below. Even heard rumours there was a ‘lady of the night’ in the room, but a bit hard to believe, wouldn’t she have turned off the tap?

Tale no 2.

This isn’t really a Tarago tale, but it’s my favourite OZ rock story, as told to me by the sadly late Ross “Bullbar” Hunter, lighting man for Dragon (and youngest, biggest Hunter brother I believe, never any trouble when he was around, even though he was a gentle giant).

A truck full of PA and band gear is driving up the highway in Queensland, through the cane fields. 3 crew in the front, doing an overnighter. The driver falls asleep, the truck careers off the highway, smashes it’s way through the cane , and eventually stops.

The cane, being flexible, stands up again, so that the roadies can’t see where they are.

In the end one of them has a bright idea and climbs on the roof of the truck to find the road.

If anyone wants an opening scene for a movie about the Ozrock boom, I think that’s it. And maybe call the movie  Roadie Island…. the land of gaffa tape, black Lee stovepipes, double four ways, smoking, partying crew guys who  always seemed to work twice as hard as the band, and have twice as much fun.Or probably  just me having half as much fun……

Tale no 3

Doing a gig in Batemans Bay with a fairly famous band. The singer has had a bit much to drink, and twice falls backwards into my monitors, spilling my wine (!) and almost wiping me out. Luckily I leapt backwards .

After the second occurrence I turn to the monitor guy an I have a little less “(unnamed singer)” in my wedge?

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Mike Caen Releases Solo Album

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It’s about time! Mike Caen has finally recorded his eponymous solo album.

Having spent many years being the consummate sideman/session player/theme composer/vegetarian Mike has come up with an album that surprises with diversity but does not surprise with its level of accomplishment. The songs are sincere and beautifully put together.

He has said that it was assembled in various motel rooms, tour vans and his home studio. I can vouch for that. I worked with Mike for many years and he would often emerge from his room before going to a gig, be it in Singapore, Port Moresby, London, Ooodnadatta with bags under his eyes and his normally immaculate hair bearing the scars of hours of headphone use. “What’s he doing in there?” colleagues would ask. It turned out the mad zany professor look we thought he was deliberately cultivating was actually a byproduct of writing and recording in transit. It was worth it.

It’s unnecessary to list Mike’s accomplishments over his career, I’ll leave that to him *.
Suffice to say that they are many and varied. Between innumerable recording sessions for people who don’t know anything about how to make music or for people who actually know how to make music but don’t actually know how to communicate what they want, Mike always came through. Add to that the endless tedious K’s he’s done touring with various people I think he’s done it all. No, now with this album he really has done it all.

– Dave Barraclough