E@rworm were a ‘concept’ band formed during Stevie McCabe’s 1 week stay in Columbus Ohio in July 2016.
They vowed to form the band, write and record a bunch of songs, do a gig and split citing musical differences in one week, all of which they achieved
E@rworm are *:
The Great Richini
* NB Matt Horseshit also supplemented their number at their only live gig with the absence of Frick
Who in their right mind would have predicted this?
In the midst of a build-up of 70’s, 80’s , 90’s and today’s collective angst, just a few individuals feel brazen enough to stand up and spit themselves out at society and stomp on the balls it represents.
Just a few is enough.
As per Facebook ‘chatter’
————————— rock. in a forest. in the red zone.
christchurch. reborn after takeoff and crash.
cathedral crisis. portaloos everywhere,
people livin’ like they just don’t care.
Grade school grades are goin’ down like the ages
Take-off pill sales are simply outrageous
nobody does nought for fear of the aegis
sons of the silent age live in cages,
wear brass monkey caps and play rock of ages
This May 2015AXEMEN make an unseasonable sortie to the South Island of Aotearoa-wiki to bring you the HIT THE SOUTH! mini-est of Mini-Tours, a flying, flashing, heat-seeking TWO-STOP WHISTLE TEST visit to their spiritual homelands; the icy oasis of DUNEDIN on Friday 22 and the quaint rubble garden city of CHRISTCHURCH on Saturday 23!
So what can Quakin’ Oat-Eaters expect of the lads this time around? You’ll be GLAD YOU ASKED!
DUNEDIN – The evening of MAY 22 kicks off at the CROWN HOTEL with the cosmically hypnotic COMET WATCH at 9PM SHARP (RNR Standard Time) so don’t be late – they only come round once every 76 years!
10PM brings The AXEMEN in their current formation of McCabe, Kawowski, Stojanovic and Daymond.
The AXEMEN intend to play hits old and new, including tracks from their 2014 album ‘SAC TAP NUT JAM’, some old favourites, some as yet unrecorded tracks, maybe even a cover or two… so MEET THE GANG cos the BOYS ARE HERE!
Rounding off the evening at the witching hour of 11PM are those erstwhile saints of swing OPPOSITE SEX…
So what about CHRISTCHURCH? What have the lads most likely to got lined up for the city that rocks? Well you may ask! Thanks to the CHRISTCHURCH ART GALLERY the most Northerly Southern show at the DARKROOM is going to be absolutely FREE for Starters, that’s what!
Add into the mix DARK MATTER with their rambunctious melodic stylings and the ever-eclectic JOE SAMPSON and we’re starting to have a show on our hands! And there’ll be plenty of RARE MERCHANDISE to lay your hands on so make sure you come early – its THAT RARE and VOLATILE it has a half-life of just THREE HOURS so get your skinny asses down there!
The AXEMEN wish to thank our kind and generous SPONSORS for this tour:
Once upon a time the Axemen began life as a seething mass of algae in a cess-pool located at the back of a disused factory somewhere in North Dunedin, New Zealand.The exact location of the cess-pool has unfortunately been lost to the ravages of time, but the factory still stands – a disused, vacant shell with little hope of being restored to its former majesty. Following a sudden meteor storm in 1983, the Axemen rapidly evolved, developed fully functional hands and ears (where before there had only been useless stumps) and metamorphosed rapidly into one of the most radical, chaotic and inspired rock bands of all time.” & so on.
They were one of the World most killingly funny bands but no one knew about it before the internet age. Beside many own released cassettes they has released three albums by the legendary Flying Nun Records. Prices of these items are extremely high nowadays. (For example the Peter Wang Pud used CD is 25-80 Euros, the vinyl are between 35-100 Euros.)
Suitable phrases for their music: radically independent do-it-yourself lo-fi garage art punk. But “I hung out with the Hare Krishnas in Christchurch for a little bit. They used to have free vegetarian dinners on Sunday nights. The music was pretty cool. There was sort of a Beatles connection with Hare Krishna. Stu was really into John Lennon. We were all Beatles fans.” Moreover their last cassette was a tribute album to Elton John in 1992. It’s so frightening, is not it? When I first met with them in 2011 I cried out “Oh my God! What is it?”
The first video is a rare and baffling TV performance in a Saturday morning kid show in 1991. The song (Hey Alice!) turns into a promo for their just released CD. I’m sure, many New Zealander children cried for Axemen CD after the show.
In a stunning David and Goliath legal challenge backdown, the Axemen came out with pea-shooters and slingshots blazing to bring the heavy handed but hamfisted WARNER BROTHERS franchise to its knees after its bullying challenge to the bands right to post their own material online.
The bizarre set of events began when Warner Bros, with their hordes of copyright lawyers and the huge stick of the publishing industry behind their back simply GOT IT WRONG, accusing the Axemen of infringing copyright which it claimed on the bands own material. A simple copyright search on APRA/AMCOS records would have shown the rush-to-judgment giants that all Axemen material published and released on Flying Nun, Sleek Bott, Silt Breeze, Negative Guest List, etc. is the sole property of Sleek Bott Publishing, with royalties being divided amongst the songwriters as appropriate.
The arrogance of Warner’s in assuming because they are the top feeders, swallowing up Flying Nun from the stomach of Mushroom records as almost a burp but finding some remnants of possible income in the bowels and seeing an opportunity to squeeze out a couple bucks from the ruminant remains, is astounding and simply serves to expose their greed and arrogance and highlight some of the injustices and the inherent unfairness of the existing copyright system.
A timely reminder to register your songs and protect your rights inasmuch as they can be protected, but at least avoid the ridiculous situation where a corporate can legally force you to remove your own material from display….
You can see the allegedly offending video at the link below in the backdown email from YouTube/WMG (Warner’s Music Group).
Never let it be said the Axemen take shit from the man!
From: YouTube <email@example.com>
Date: 29 July 2012 3:21:37 AM NZST
To: N0ISYLAND <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Information about your video ""Mourning of Youth" (1987) by AXEMEN"
WMG has reviewed your dispute and released its copyright claim on your video,
""Mourning of Youth" (1987) by AXEMEN".
For more information, please visit your Copyright Notice page
- The YouTube Team
With an episode with the knife-edge cliffhanger to rival the ‘Who Shot JR?’ Dallas episode, the RICHY27ABLE channel’s first season drew to a close on Tuesday 15 June with the much awaited SEASON FINALE.
Playing to tens of viewers stateside and countless on the Worldwide Web the series was universally acclaimed by critics and the across the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse.
The New York Times described the final episode as ‘Fellini-esque and quite superb’ while Egyptian dissident Hamand X tweeted “for 3 and a half minutes, the revolution stopped 🙂 for 200 seconds there was no conflict :O”, as he shared his iPod screen with soldiers who minutes ago had been sniping at them but laid down their arms to join the rebels in another kind of revolution, the YouTube.
Adding to the speculation is the question mark over Bens participation in the next series following the runaway success on the independent circuit of his ‘Fusil de Chasse’ following its last minute inclusion as a short at Sundance this year. Whist Ben dismisses such rumors as speculation it was widely reported he was seen in long discussions with Redford following the screening.
FINALLY! After a couple of years in the RE-making, the Axemen’s legendary dbl lp ‘3 Virgins, 3 Virgins, 3 Visions’ (hereafter known simply as 3V’s) is available for order. Originally seeing the light of day on the Flying Nun label in 1985, 3V’s is a broad canvas of sound, seemingly channeling other likeminded cornerstones of fringe rumble such as ‘Trout Mask Replica’, ‘Exile On Main Stree’t & ‘Tago Mago’. Just like last time (remember?) this is a limited edition run of 600 & housed is a stunning full color gatefold sleeve. Prices are as follows;
*LIMITED TIME OFFER*
Add to your order both previous Axemen titles; ‘Big Cheap Motel’ lp + Scary,Part III double lp for only 15$ more! No extra shipping cost either!That’s 3 more lp’s! What a bargain!
(Just make sure to mention when ordering).
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
i am thinking of going for pain and suffering grounds for this too – every time i hear it my blood pressure goes up 10 pts.
how is shar? what is the situation there now? not sure as to best approach if you got any ideas….
The Axemen – Be My Slave, written 1995 and played extensively on US Tour November, and archived at FMA
CNN’s current World Sports Theme (initially used for FIFA World Cup 2010)
“Nutsack” was written in Los Angeles by Dragan Stojanovic & Bob Brannigan October 2009, inspired by Ice Cube rapping about his nutsack and busting a nut
blasting out of our KIA sound system on the LA freeways, oh and seeing squirrels in the parks all over USA, and the fact we lived out of nutsacks from Wholefoods for 5 weeks on our 7,000 mile tour.
Kawowski videoed the event and pounded the skins while McCabe added his two-bit guitar part, as WFMU’s Brian Turner, Jason Sigal and Alex Yockey provided the lads with a fantastic opportunity to record a snapshot of a typical set from their recent US tour while they were in New York in November 2009. An inspiration to lovers everywhere.
AXEMEN, HAIRDOS, NOBBQ – WHAMMY BAR, AUCKLAND NZ, NOVEMBER 16 2009
The AXEMEN, or in keeping with their ‘Fair Trade’ and Consumer Guarantees Act commitments more correctly adopting the AXEMIN moniker due to the last minute substitution of teen heartthrob Liz Hairdo on drums in Stu’s place for these gigs while Stu down in the South Island hustling his film and other projects.
For the two-nite Auckland stand featuring two of their stalwart Silt Breeze sidekicks on different nites – xNOBBQx from Brisbane on Wednesday nite at the Whammy bar to a tiny but enthusiastic crowd (think next time they should bring the BBQ – their attempts to show their disdain for the grill so loved by kiwis and aussies alike did nothing to endear them to those in the crowd hungry for prawns, shrimp, hot-dogs, tofu burgers and rock’n’roll).
“Even a sausage sizzle would have been nice” one veteran punter (who looked as if he’d seen more than a few sausage sizzles up close and personally in his time) lamented later.
Fortunately for Auckland, the erstwhile and awesome HAIRDOS and ageing (but still with all their faculties since getting their fillings removed and not using aluminium cooking pots) Axemin emerged as crowd favourites to redeem the evening – It should be noted since playing gigs with the Hairdos in recent times, the Axemin have appeared to be getting noticeably and palpably younger at each gig, following the infusion of post-teen spirit exuded by that band and their followers, in an alarmingly, almost Dorian Gray kind of way.
Sandwiched around xNOBBQx like so much white on rye, the Hairdos played first. Switching their Stranglers / B52s sound mix across to ‘more Stranglers’ setting for the evening (fuzzier and dirtier) the Hairdos played a punchy, poppy, plucky set in their inimitable enthusiastic style, going almost the entire set without a fight – I think that is a record, I know people who go to Hairdos gigs just for the fights, and occasionally run a book on them.
Energetic and snappy as always, the Hairdos style contrasted vividly with xNOBBQx‘s ethereal meandering soundscapes. Conjuring images of aborigines standing on one foot on the outback, tossing a boomerang, blowing a digeridoo and watching re-runs of Evonne Goolagong at the French Open in 1971, these straight-edge ‘stralians evoked images of an eery gum-tree-lined outback road, a camel your only friend.
Next the Axemin. Fresh from being on the door in the early part of the evening Steve and Bob virtually bounded to the stage. the role of Stu for the evening was taken by the gal Auckland society is calling ‘the New Stu’, the Hairdos own Liz Hairdo. After just one practice ‘Stu-do’ and the lads went out and effortlessly knocked it to the pint-sized crowd, and Liz H did perhaps the best impression of Stu I’ve seen since I copped an eyeful of him practicing under his fisheye ceiling mirror (the “objects may be larger than they appear” sticker remaining proudly intact).
AXEMEN, PUMICE, PINK REASON – THE HIGH SEAS, AUCKLAND, NZ NOVEMBER 19 2009
The Axemen feat ‘The New Stu’ (Liz Hairdo):
filling in for Stu Kawowski for 2 Auckland engagements:
This Video from THE HIGH SEAS, Beresford Street, Auckland, 19 Sept 2009
The AXEMEN, chafing at the bit to meet up with and play for their Silt Breeze stablemates The Pink Reason sidled up first for the High Seas gig in Beresford Streed, Newton Auckland. Just a stones throw from the infamous toilets and a brisk walk to K Rd, the surroundings as well as the gig really gave those cornfed Colombus boys something to write home about. Bristling from their successful (artistically if not commercially) Wednesday nite gig Bob and Stu once again gave it their all and Liz NewStu literally never missed a beat.
Once again another noteperfect evening of axemen rockola, if anything enhanced by the injection of some new drumming blood, like stem cells called in to mend a hole.
PUMICE next came on playing a bunch of songs on ‘treated’ guitar with white noise, radio frequencies and memorable lines such as ‘half price for half a chicken’, obviously calling on the audience to metaphorically extend their minds and go outside their aural comfort zones, yet coming back full circle, maybe to bite you on the bum, maybe to serenade you. Mesmeric.
PINK REASON played an immaculate spooky and at times delicate set, sounding quite at home in the intimate venue of the High Seas, the venue tonite showcasing its flexibility as a band venue for artistes playing a wide range of different musical styles. These guys represent the cutting edge of indie rock in America at the moment and they are good buddies with our touring partners on our US tour, Times New Viking. Columbus, Ohio has produced some fine musicians, along with the strapping muscular farmboys [with six-pack abs and rivulets of sweat rolling down the bulging veins and following the smooth curve of their oversized triceps before evaporating away to nothing – are we keepng this in?] it is famous for!
A much better turnout on Friday at the High Seas than the Whammy Bar on a rainy Wednesday I must say…
Ironically it was Bob who didn’t show on the very night of his birthday bash but fortunately Celia assumed the role of Bob admirably in the Axemen’s short but brief albeit cutdown and necessarily concise set later into the evening. Two exquisite songs Womin of Love and the trex classic Buick MacKane
But I digress, this was Newtown’s night as the lovebirds plan to head off to the US to seek their fame and fortune and we all of course wish them the best in their pursuit of the dream.
In some ways it was hard to disconnect the incestuous associations from the music in the lineup of bands on this night but this turned out to be a bonus for all involved as there was a general vibe of love and peace in the air uncommon to many a house party.
Newtown played first, followed by the Hissyfits then penultimately the Axelmin (Stu, Celia & Steve) preceding the Hairdos, hosts of the party and friends of all.
More emotional upheaval for me, but thats rock’n’roll… celia and stu played fantastically and i was well satisfied with my guitaring and singing – unfortunately singing a bit quiet on the recording but thats the nature of da bidnis.
Thanks to Liz for the padded wall, I had a little bit of a sore back from being round at davey g’s and working on his dodgy wokstation.
probably contracted the swine flu sitting out in the back yard between sets, but frankly i don’t care – this is what its all about and i miss it and want more, once again.
no sex, no sax, but a great time nonetheless with great pals and a great evening which i wouldn’t trade for the world… thanks 2 all
great but darkly video here of womin of love/buick mccane (t.rex, ladies first)
all i can say is wow these are the good old days
can’t beat the original though- but i think we came close… almost simultaneously – they had better lighting, and vocal amplification, even in the 70’s with no guitar leads or mics….
“Nothing happens till after the rugby” we were told cheerfully by more than one person. We went out for a nibble.
When we got back Angel Dust, playing first so as to maximize available drinking time, had started soundchecking and this eventually evolved into their set.
The ‘Dust played a hard-rocking, suitably shambling set without descending into wallowing to an appreciative and diverse audience.
The congregation consisted of various Wellington radical / fringe factions come to support their favourite local bands and take in some of the out-of-town action on offer (Angel Dust, Hairdos and Axemen), punters left over from the rugby, and a few pandas who kept pretty much to themselves.
Next Panda Battle Battle Panda had started setting up their ironing board and roar-checking the mikes.
Their set was a beat laden layercake of subsonic bass and drum beats overlayed with primitive roars screeches and squeals breaking into sloganised snippets of singing – kinda like the Slits and Crass jamming with Cabaret Voltaire in the jungle…
After ironing out a few technical issues, they pressed on through their set with crowd pleasers like ‘blacken our eyes’ and ‘what is she wearing?’
Auckland’s Hairdos (pronounced Hare – dooz), widely touted as the next big thing in perky kiwi punk-pop, played next.
Their set covered a range of their material and the slightly B-52s reminiscent “Night Creeper” was one of the many highlights of an energetic audience friendly set – lots of dancing
Playing in their eponymous hometown, Newtown were the home team favourites.The 2-piece played their cheerful enthusiastic punky numbers to the delight of their audience contingent and the out of town-ers alike.
Kirsten and Greta (celebrating their second anniversary this very night!) swapped instruments mid-set showing their dexterity and making a nice dynamic change.
The Axemen were next on the agenda. Not having played in the capitol city for years, they were joined by their resident capitol city guitarist, Dragan Stojanovic to complete the classic 4-piece Derry Legend album line-up.
In keeping with the dairy theme promoting the recent ‘Big Cheap Motel’ re-release, they screened ‘Milk’, the new Sean Penn movie on the sports screen at the far end of the bar.
Time-travelling through a range of material spanning the last 2.5 decades, they finished of with an epic version of the highly suitable and relevant ‘Ernie Abbott‘, a chilling song about the caretaker killed in the trades hall bombing in Wellington in 1984.
On 29 Jan 2009, the Axemen fulfilled one of their lifelong dreams, meeting and playing as humble support to legendary musicologist, Shockabilly geezer, generally dexterous solo artist and fellow mayhem cohort Dr Eugene Chadbourne. The Axemen played a short sharp set as a 3 piece, the first time in 16 years Stu Kawowski, Bob Brannigan and Steve McCabe had publicly aired their particular brand of rock’n’roll as a cohesive unit, and sounded as if they had never put down their instruments.
On the verge of the worldwide re-release on new vinyl of their legendary 1984 protest album “Big Cheap Motel”, the lads whisked through a timewarp of tracks covering many crucial aspects of their long, speckled and bespectacled career – the Dunedin years, the Christchurch years, the Frisbee sessions, the Auckland wilderness years – all encapsulated in their electrifying 20 minute set.
After complimenting the boys, (“Wild set guys!”), Dr Chad proceeded to perform a chilling fingerpopping solo banjo set before taking a quick break, during which time McCabe stumbled across the stage to pick up his guitar and inadvertantly stepped on Eugene’s infamous electric rake, inflicting horrifying facial injuries which doctors say will likely scar him forever (“that’s rock’n’roll!” McCabe shrugged to the waiting papparazi).
After playing a blistering set with the Vitamin-S guys on bass, drums/percussion, stratocaster-slide and vibraphone the Chad-meister, obviously fired up and hepped out on steroids, pushed his way across the bar to Bob Brannigan and proceeded to arbitrarily pick a fight with him, deliriously warbling about being the best pummeler in the land of the long white cloud… Brannigan, in a foul mood after missing his evening insulin shot, stepped up to the plate, accepted the challenge and proceeded to take the pounding of his life.
Eat Skull – 9.15.08, Excerpt I, Sneaky Dee’s, Toronto
camera: ayal senior
EAT SKULL ~ SICK TO DEATH
~ lp (siltbreeze) $14.00
eat skull are a quartet hailing from portland, oregon, co-masterminded by rob enbom (former bushwacker in the ranks of hospitals and hole class) and another original hospital, rod meyer (the greatest living genius of punk). previous eat skull efforts include a cassette-only ep and a pair of 7-inches, all of which might be out of print. like their brethren and forebears, eat skull runs a post pattern deep beyond pop and punk. they bring to the game an extrasensory appreciation of new zealand’s south island sound (great unwashed, axemen), cleveland art-damage skronk (modern art studio, x-x), and the wretched excess of forgotten midwest hardcore (stiff legged sheep, chemotherapy). vinyl-only edition of 800 copies.
The Axemen were supposed to play the Neon Picnic, back in ’88.
I was realy looking forward to playing at the legendary Sweet-waters site. I was not lucky enough to have been at any of those fore mentioned events.
The headline act was supposed to be The Big O (Roy Orbison) so you can imagine how much I was Looking forward to seeing him in person and perhaps even meeting him, but alas it was not to be.
I have no idea of how it failed nor do I care. It did fail and these peace loving hippies who clapped at this other peace loving hippy who chased me and beat me up must have thought that it was my fault it failed. All I did was in my hung over state, the following morning, walk in on them peace loving house-truking(mouse-f**king) dirty hippies and asked where the coffie was.
How was I to know they were having a meeting about their miserable failure, I mean they were not even saying anything, they were all just sitting around in silence.
Perhaps if I had ESP I could have figured it out. After the asshole beat me up it cheer up those horrible hippies and they all clapped as if they actualy achieved something. All they achived that morning was my eternal disgust at supposed ” live in harmony hippies?’
I guess everyone needs a scape-goat. What they needed was a bath and then perhaps people would have taken them seriously and not just hurried them on pretending to say yes just to get them out of sight (and smell). So the Neon Picnic will always be known as the Non Picnic.
Times New Viking is a lo-fiindie rock band from Columbus, Ohio. The line up consists of guitarist Jared Phillips, drummer Adam Elliott, and Beth Murphy on keyboards. Murphy and Elliott share vocal duties. They are currently signed to Matador Records and were formerly signed to Siltbreeze Records. They have released three records: 2005’s Dig Yourself, 2007’s Present the Paisley Reich, and 2008’s Rip It Off, which NME gave an 8/10. Rip it Off reached #17 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
SXSW ‘Siltbreeze’ Showcase 13 Mar 2008
TIMES NEW VIKING outside Sound on Sound Records SXSW ’07
Saturday, 3/17/07. Bleached out, sounds amazing. Penultimate song of the set, “Let Your Hair Grow Long.” We got sunburned.
Sounds like: Breath in: snuff a line speed, a half hour jump on your cheap amplifiers, salad yet once a half hour with you yet cheaper guitar against the wall. Write eleven popliedjes, lay the emphasis on cryptic and forget everything your song teacher you ever learned has. Seek your neighbor girl on and tell her that your musics will make. Lay her emphatically from that she must not try to sing. Stick, now that you it really are, also just your tongue between her lips till you certainly are that they that rather has not. Give her then you eleven popliedjes and (optioneel) a guitar. Question her these eleven popliedjes with you together to not to sing, expect of it surplus. Mess what with the buttons on the amplifier, let the hamster of your neighbor girl also once over the strings run, sign the head of the father of your neighbor girl on the skins of a Bears Smit drumstel, call her feather ten-year-old little brother and lay from that its father him really real hatred. Breath out: and voila, Yourself Summoned. Sounds good? Sounds in it really yet better. Blessed with a delicious dose ADHD-spontaneity and a fine nose for popmelodieën know Tim New Viking on Summoned Yourself a particular charming pot borrow-fi garagepop down to dump. A kind of contemporary version of The Shaggs, but then without the implicit family tie. More a neighbor boy-neighbor girl tie thus.
Your story was not quite accurate — I know this because I initiated it, directed it, shot it, and edited it. Here for the first time, is the whole story which for some reason I just felt inspired to write — maybe it’s because I just found out that one of my favourite people of all time Johnny Cash has just passed away?
In fact I used to see the Skeptics whenever they played — the first time was in 1985 in Christchurch, and it wasn’t long before every Skeptics show started with A.F.F.C.O. — a song which still blows me away and cuts to the bone of NZ culture, ha. Well I was also lucky enough to play a gig with the Skeptics in Palmerston North at Snail Clamps in 1985 with my band The AXEMEN. We had just recorded an album “Derry Legend” at the Skeptics studio Writhe in Wellington with Nick Roughan from the band engineering and co-producing with the Axemen. Later, when it came to paying for the final mixing — we’d run out of money, and I’d just asked the Skeptics if I could make a video for A.F.F.C.O. — which they agreed to. So Don White suggested we just swap the video for the mixing costs. Beautiful!
Meantime I’d moved to Auckland and hooked up with some old buddies up there who agreed to try and sneak into the Westfield Freezing Company to shoot some footage for the vid. We drove out and checked at the office for permission to have a look around, figuring we’d case the joint and comeback later to shoot. Well there was a youg guy working in the office who was excited that we wanted to look around, and took us on a guided tour around the factory. Jesus, I saw guys wading around up to their waists in blood, a six foot stainless steel chainsaw which split a whole cattle beast in two down the middle. a one-armed skin-ripper man whose missing limb was ripped off by a chain wrapped around the cuff of a cattle skin as it accellerated vertically. He got compo, and his job back. Phew! Anyway I decided to film on the sheep floor, more iconically NZ, and easier to get around (less blood and water flowing across the floor where we needed to have electric cables for our lights).
We left and went away to Penrose for lunch — and found it difficult to eat, so my mates (one of whom was a vegetarian) said they’d only go back and do the shoot if I got them pissed on champagne first. This I was informed would help them deal with the mass destruction of innocent animals. So, I agreed, and purchased two bottles of the Australian champenoise, which were summarily swilled, I don’t remember joining in as I had a lot of work to do — but I might have had a swig or two).
So we returned to Westfield works and hooked up with our young friend from the office who took us in and looked after us while we moved slowly down the chain from the initial slaughtering being done by some Muslims who said they preferred to be here killing sheep — rather than having to fight Israel in the Middle East. They had a red line painted on the wall in the direction of Mecca, which although they were supposed to pray to every time they cut a throat, they smiled and said they never bothered.
Along we moved shooting 100′ rolls of 16mm film on a wind up Bolex camera, and lighting the scenes with a 2kW ‘blonde’ and an 800W ‘redhead’. The cables were swimming in a watery blood mixture but luckily we didn’t short out any circuits. Near the end of our short shoot, I became aware of a rippling of descent amongst some of the employees of the works. And in fact while we were shooting the final scenes, a union rep was trying to have us evicted. Our young friend (who must have been the manager’s son to wield this authority over the unionist) managed to hold them off and showed us the side exit. We literally ran to the waiting Morris Minor as the management were entering the front doors.
The scenes of the ‘meat packing’ were shot elsewhere at a factory called Kellax in Mt Wellington and the management were in fact told straight up that I was doing a music video for a song about meat packing. The boss let us in to the factory where frozen meat was band-sawed into pieces and shrink-wrapped before being packed into manila cartons. He was very friendly, and as I had agreed I sent him a copy of the video when it was finished, but no comment was received. I actually sent a copy of the video to Westfield also and asked them if they would make their staff aware of it in case they wished to see it as some had indicated while we were shooting. No feedback from them either.
It has been written that this video was “vegetarian” or “animal rights” inspired etc, which is actually incorrect also. Although neither the Skeptics or I have anything against such groups or ideologies, (in fact I applaud their efforts to manifest their feelings towards our animal friends), this song was written purely about some guys who “pack meat” and the video was made in that light — not wanting to cast any aspersions on the workers in the meat trade — but to document the “process” of a sheep’s life in contemporary NZ. I guess we got carried away wrapping David d’Ath the singer in glad wrap and baby oil and food colouring — but it was the natural result of a collaborative effort by those present at the shoot in an upstairs room at my Freemans Bay flat.
The video has been screened a few times on TV now — once on the last show of Radio With Pictures by Karyn Hay, and again on SPACE apparently. It has also been screened at various art exhibitions in NZ and film archive screenings in Wellington. It features on my Brilliant Films Music video compilationNOISYLAND released through Festival Records in NZ 1992.
The design effectively simulates a chromic equivalent of the liver-crippling psychedelic effects experienced from guzzling one dose (500ml or 1 pint) of sweet, yeasty, speedy caffeine-infused Château de McCabe. Screen-printed at INK INC, sky blue on ƒluoro orange card c.1984.
Click below to see the quasi-instructional film “Drink For The Heart, Heart For The Road”, the soundtrack of which is the McCabe ditty of the same name. (This is probably the Fassbinderesque peak of Lawrence Lens’s celluloid involvement with AXEMEN).
The “how to” theme of 1985’s “Screen Printing” is carried over and combined with priceless historical reportage and hallucinatory fantasy scenes at McCabe’s unsanitary pad in Christchurch. His school-boy beginnings as a backyard brewer have by this stage guaranteed a constant supply of 1.5 litre (3 pint) “sleek botts” bulging with a murky form of liquid amphetamine (a.k.a. coffee wine).
Occasionally (due to fancy, budgetary constraints, or experimental urges), frozen free-flow carrots, peas and corn were also utilised. But it was the “Château de McCabe” coffee wine which jump-started the boys after a pre-gig snooze on the dance-floor during the previous act; the legendary slurry* powered them through many glorious gigs up and down the emerald isles.
*slurry |ˈslərē|noun ( pl. -ries) a semiliquid mixture, typically of fine particles of manure suspended in water. ORIGIN late Middle Southerish : related to dialect slur [liquid guano], of unknown origin.