Off My Soapbox of Self Righteousness

I love throwing words and venacular phrases together. This stems from the power of Split Enz to create visual imagery from common sayings. An extreme example: Another Great Divide (Judd/Finn/Rayner/Gillies)

Now how can I figure this equation, if multiplication’s the rule /
You keep subtracting me from you, and it just doesn’t add up at all

It should be further noted that there is always a Finn song for every occasion. Thanks @mediamum!

In the instance of Off My Soapbox of Self Righteousness, relates to battles and discussions that rage daily. Like all family dirty laundry, the exact nature will remain confidential.

But on a larger scale, it is my opinion that social media (whatever that is) is being misunderstood; or worse, mis-used by various less Cluetrained people. My fear is that the forces of oldskool will water down the potential for massive change that is blossoming. There are skirmishes being fought daily. The wider community does not see nor hear of these.

Sadly, those on the internal firing line are also copping friendly fire. Just sayin’

The strangeness is made more fictional when I have an internal voice that is shouting, not whispering, you’re also doing it wrong. There is a high-wire act going on in my head, and the fingers of sanity may be slowly letting go.

Rootin’ Tootin’ Luton Tapes: Split Enz

In 1978 Split Enz were stuck in the UK, between albums, managers and recording labels.

For many years, hard core Split Enz fans heard the odd song from this period: Serge (Once in Rome), Next Exit. Semi Detached. Some songs were released as B-sides. Others just made it onto other albums over time.

Fans heard from various sources of the existence of the Rootin’ Tootin’ Luton Tapes. The tapes from a studio sessions. Some said these tapes never existed. Others said that they were lost for ever. Yet others said that they were so bad, they would never see the light of day.

Earlier this year, the Frenz of the Enz fan club announced that Eddie Rayner had found the master tapes, and was re-mastering for release.

I am listening to them now. Wow. You have to be a major Split Enz fan to understand the timing and forgive the rawness. Upon closer listening, I can hear why Frenzy was such a crap album. They just chose the wrong songs.

Rootin’ Tootin’ for sure.


Imagine The Beatles reformed in 1992 and played all their classics, as recorded, to an adoring audience. Imagine Shakespeare reformed his original actors from the Globe Theatre and performed his classics, as written, in the 21st Century.

Split Enz, NZ’s greatest export to the world, have reformed after 22 years to perform in Australia. As a major fan (life member of the fan club major fan) – and owner of the cassette, vinyl, CD, DVD and other collected works of this band + offshoots, I’ve probably personally provided the band members a healthy retirement.

Obviously, attending their concert this evening in Sydney has been a once-in-a-generation event. The whole Hodge family attended; and Split Enz performed their classics in a theatrical and purposefully chosen manner. Oh wow.

For me, it’s about the songs. They each have a personality; and their natural performers (the members of Split Enz) are the natural players. In a crowd of 10,000 I must admit I momentarily lost my personal connection to each of these songs. Recorded from 1972 to 1984, the songs occupy a particular place in my psyche during those difficult formative years. The words: whether lyrical and mystical (Neil Finn) or colloquial and alliterative (Tim Finn) matched with timeless music [I See Red, Message to My Girl, I Got You etc etc] they have lifted me through many an internal storm.

The Split Enz classics, have a timelessness that evoke a simpler period in life; and these songs held greater sway in our being. Even Neil and Tim tend to be more experimental when crafting their later songs: they have an increasing depth, maturity and introspection that matches their journey.

“Songs” today is entertainment in a package; rather than a story wrapped in a musical shell. For two hours tonight, Split Enz returned us to this simpler time.