THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: George D. Henderson of the Puddle

Reprinted from http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/absoluteelsewhere/3832/the-famous-elsewhere-questionnaire-george-d-henderson-of-the-puddle/

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: George D. Henderson of the Puddle

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: George D. Henderson of the PuddleGeorge D. Henderson founded Dunedin’s psych-pop band the Puddle in 1983/84 and over the following decade the group recorded an EP, an album and a single for Flying Nun, all of which are curently out of print.

However “a Lazarus-like comeback over the past five years” (as the press release says) has seen three new albums in the past few years, their ’09 The Shakespeare Monkey being hailed as one of the best of the year at Elsewhere. (see here).

The latest album Playboys in the Bush (out now CD and vinyl LP) was equally well received here.

The current touring line up of The Puddle (see dates below) features long-time fan Gavin Shaw on bass, multi-instrumentalist Allan Starrett on keyboards and viola, and George’s brother (and occasional 1984/85 Puddle drummer) Ian on drums. The addition of the ubiquitous Mr Starrett (who collaborated with George in Mink and The Puddle’s Songs for Emily Valentine album in the Nineties, and has also played with the Pop Art Toasters, the Bats and David Kilgour) brings back that essential keyboard element missing since the early Nineties.

We quote the amusing press release again: “Puddle’s catholic mix of pop, blues, psychedelia, jazz, minimalism, rock’n’roll and god-knows-what-else appeals to humans of all ages who are not too proud to dance and the lyrics of love, sex, drugs, bewilderment and space travel are clearly audible at all times. Their live performances are legendary, walking the fine line between epiphany and cacophony with unexpected musical and lyrical rabbits pulled from invisible hats.”

Henderson here, with admirable candour, answers the fast 15 questions . . .

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Ride of The Valkerie by Richard Wagner, in my parent’s 7” pile

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Marc Bolan, the Beatles, Watchdog (Invercargill glam-metal-prog band 1973-75)

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

Lennon played instruments and wrote better, but Jagger stuck up for the male sex while Lennon folded. Nirvana annoyed me, Ramones bored me, so Nirvana. No opinion on the ladies. Not familiar with Jay-Z but Jacko was a genius and would be hard to beat at his game.

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Best-selling quack doctor

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Beings Rest Finally by Beat Rhythm Fashion, Song for Insane Times by Kevin Ayers, This Liberal Love by Microdisney

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

A copy of the Nux Vomica 7” My Life To Live b/w TV Producer

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Renegade (by Mark E. Smith), Positively George Street (by Matthew Bannister), Songs They Don’t Play on the Radio (by Nico’s former keyboard player). They all remind me of aspects of my own career. Have You Checked the Children (by George Churton) which actually discusses it in depth.

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

I’d love to sing one my songs with the Clientele. Naked would do.

The three films you’d insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Autofocus. Punch Drunk Love. Dark of the Sun.

Buttons_cover_picThe last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Vinyl album: Andy Williams’ Love Andy, his best in my opinion. Best recent download Between the Buttons by The Rolling Stones, their best also in my opinion.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn’t embarrass you in that case would be . . .

No song that did half that well could ever embarrass me.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

Playboys in the Bush or anything by Tanya Hoar

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

I have enough scars already without paying some drongo to tag me.

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that’s all we’ve got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

Just right here doing what I’m doing. I’ve based my life on that premise for the past five years. You don’t understand Playboys in the Bush if you don’t realise that my major anxiety was dying before it was recorded. I dreaded the idea of falling under a bus and no-one hearing the songs. Sometimes I care more about posterity than I do about my own children.

pitb_front_smallAnd finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

For a start, it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever again have this much money or time to spend on an album or this many talented collaborators. The album catches a special point in my life, the point five years ago when I started to live to my full potential; it catches the energy of a new romance, the excitement and terror of new starts, while pillaging my past for unexploited highlights.

So it covers a wider period of creativity than previous work (two and a half decades), yet the exact moment of its creation was especially intense.

It’s the first album I made in a reasonably sober state, and it’s the first album anywhere to have artwork by Tanya Hoar.

The Puddle’s New Zealand tour dates in February are as follows . . .

Friday 4 February, Hamilton, Ward Lane (with Matthew Bannister + Hollow Grinders)
Saturday 5 Feb, Auckland, Dogs Bollix (with Azalia Snail + Sandra Bell)
Wednesday 9 Feb, Gisborne, Kingfisher Bar (with The Opposite Sex)
Thursday 10 Feb, Masterton, Golden Shears (with Dragstrip)
Friday 11 Feb, Palmerston North, Roayl Hotel (with Vorn)
Saturday 12 Feb, Wellington, Happy! (with Vorn)

Added: 31 Jan 2011

The Bill Classics (2010): The Above Ground Railroad

October 2010 finds the dysfunctional Axemen family in myriad modes, each in his own sphere, each with their own worldview, each finding new connections, disconnecting others some halfhearted some heartfelt some hearty beef some harkening some heartlessly hardened, haggling and harrying. don’t ask don’t tell.

The Sultan’s Bat Tree 

some haranguing, some balls dangling sanguine like,
making a beeline for anything that smiles.
I see your point it stands out like a dogs bollocks
please can i have a block of your skin for my locket.

ditching a bat with simple bamboo slivers
tickling till the echoes subside
bats have no sense of humour
cave wetas may fear better

The doctor’s on Speed Dial

The doctor’s on Speed Dial

Dr. Martin Cooper
Dr. Martin Cooper, inventor of the cellphone

a song by steve mccabe

the doctors on speed dial
i’m making amends for
all the things i did to you

i may pretend to be all hard nosed but sometimes what can you do

the movies come out
its all comin out
has a persil shine

hungry enzymes and hungry hippos
they’ll both eat you alive

Spaceman coming to earth

spaceman.coming.to.earth
spaceman.coming.to.earth
spaceman.coming.to.earth

a song by steve mccabe

lights on a sycamore tree
lit up like a christmas tree
what will the spaceman see when he comes to land?

a fight with a hand to hand expert
you’re bound to end up in the dirt
but its vile and sick to not give the spaceman a rousing hand

spaceman.coming.to.earth
spaceman.coming.to.earth

not used as yet:

a fine spectacle he made splashing down in the ocean
so much emotion
lollipop guards stand over the crossing like its a hooplah table
not just another drop in the ocean

coincidence is purely accidental
standing guard obviously wants it all

spaceman.breath.in
spaceman.breath.out
its in your best interests, its what its all about

Chritstchurch 2010 dire straits – Columbo Street is Bending

Save the world christchurch

Columbo Street is Bending

columbo street is bending
not that you would know it
theres no depression in it
sheep shagging in far off fields
cashfields, leithfield, anwhere but darfield
whats with the bruises on your calves?
i was just feeling sheepish
i felt a little sheepish actually
watching reruns of kate and ellie
on the telly
with some hookers from the valley
they shoed up with frankie valli

in avalon, xanadu, rainman in cali
what happens in vegas goes on youtube
pardon me boy is that the cat who sat and shat on yer boob tube
and like you didn’t notice for 3 days
is that a record or is that your record being played or made
if i wanted to pull teeth i’d be a dentist
and if i wanted to pull the wool over the sheeps eyes, hell, i’d be a fundamentalist
because its fun for some you cannot be serious
deflate the balloon before he gets delirious
turn on the defibrillator now
don’t have a cow

you. cannot. be. serious.

defibrilating.
i’m still sittin here waiting.
the ambulance is here but they’re not splayin me
i think they got some splayin’ to do, don’y you lucille?

ChCh Quake(s) September 2010ChCh Quake(s) September 2010
ChCh Quake(s) September 2010 - Photos: Elle Williams

The Illustrated Steve McCabe Songbook Entry (0): Too Loose To Trek

TOO LOOSE TO TREK

Don’t let your genie loose in midstream

its horses for courses if you know what i mean

600 lb gorilla in a barr-brady suit

slick hair matted up like superglue

A rough-shod genie caught unawares and aloof in midstream ... "Hark!"
WTF? A rough-shod genie caught unawares and aloof in midstream ... "Hark!"

The critical mass runneth over

like a jehovas witness on gwynneth paltrow

looks like jealous bitchiness has the reins again

because when the rains come it looks like stormy weather again

Platos brain: hmm, perfect forms eh?
Platos brain: hmm, perfect forms eh?
A 600lb Gorilla in a Barr-Brady suit - An Officer and a Gentleman
Google Translate: Aye Carumba! not this shit again!
Google Translate: Aye Carumba! not this shit again!

Too loose to hang on to the reins!

when the rains come you will have mush for brains

if you keep your mind open

there’ll be bad brains rising from these tired remains!

Always counting chickens before they’re hatched

always have to steal my kisses down in the hatch

but your 6 ton ape is wearing falsies and a wig

and thats not real hair in his ear, its an earwig

Miss Peggy Lee
Miss Peggy Lee

Workin class man, no rod, bow or rifle

liable for libel, won’t give you an eyeful

of baubles, bangles and bronzed love beads

Can you tell me how to get to Simian Street?

Simian Street
Simian Street - scimitars ahoist

Janis Joplins Love Beads for sale
Janis Joplins unkempt 60's Love Beads for sale - as used in the original ad
Come with me and Peggy Lee on a slow boat to Harlem,

We’ll take the most rank cab that you got

handsome is as handsome does

this charming man has a hand in his glove

This is charming, man - bloody priceless
Charming... This is charming, man - bloody priceless!!

What he’s doing i couldn’t say

but he sure scared those pigeons away.

ooh yeah, but he sure scared those pigeons away.

hey hey, he scared those pigeons away.

HEARTBREAK HOTEL – TRUTH OR LEGEND?

Courtney Cox and Myley Cyrus tell of all night circus romp!