All Fall Down memories
I joined my first band in the May school holidays of my sixth form year, in 1983 . Campbell had been talking to Jason Fuller, an old friend of his from primary school. Jason had a band, or at least the start of one. He had a drummer [Chris], a name, ‘The Bare Essentials’, and a book with the songs he’d written. After a while they decided there was a ‘place in the band’ for me.
Little Dead Things memories
It was a social time. After a tentative attempt to start a band with Hugh, I formed Little Dead Things with Campbell, Brett and John Christoffels. It was the beginning of the year and great to be playing some new music. We practiced at Brett’s, upstairs, behind Hamco speed. We shaped our sound and a dozen songs over the summer and played at Orientation. We made $50 each. I spent my money on a flap-sided toaster and a bottle of whiskey.
Sunset Drum memories
My workmate John Kennedy flatted with Phil Clarke and Greg Malcolm. I recognised Greg and his woollie hat from the Palmerston North band Three Leaning Men. Their video was next to all fall down’s black grattan on the vhs I taped off Radio With Pictures. We were on same night as The Fold.
The Letter 5 memories
We met Richard James in late 1985 when he asked all fall down to support The Pterodactyls at The Zetland. He’d seen us at a freezing Sunday afternoon gig at the England Street Hall. A couple of years later we played in Auckland with Richard’s next band, the Letter 5. Richard had written some of the best jangle-pop ever, and was a good person to be around.
Swim Everything memories
“ I hate that f*cken drum machine” -audience member
Brett asked me if I’d like to support Catherine Wheel at The Subway. I said yes, and asked Campbell and Damian to help.
I first met John when All Fall Down supported Sneaky Feelings at The Lone Star Tavern in 1987. A few years later John was back in Christchurch and hanging out with Moira, one of my flatmates at Avonside Drive.
The room smelt strongly of the small dogs he looked after during the day. We worked quickly.
In 1990 I earned some money building rocks and a crashed plane for Tony Geddes’ ‘Madame B’ set. I gave my wages to my flatmate John and he gave me a drum set : two cymbals, hi hats, a snare, kick, floor tom, high tom and stands. A bargain. Most guitarists love playing drums. I sure did. I gradually replaced the ropier parts as they came up for sale second hand at Cj’s. I bought a stool, hi hats and floor tom. The kit was more jazz than rock.
Blair Parkes solo releases memories
1999 – 2001
‘The End’ was recorded on a Tascam 424 II cassette recorder in our lounge at Carlton Mill Road and later in New Brighton in 1999.
Thomas : Parkes memories
“Before those ads you heard Thomas Parkes. He’s from New Zealand, and he’s got a song called seyonara ‘.” –Pip , rdu 2005
Band names are tricky. ‘Thomas : Parkes’ had some useful ambiguity. It sounded like the name of a company or a law firm. It confused people. They never saw the colon.