A Blog Says Goodbye But You Actually Probably Will Believe Exactly What Happens Next

00:05, Feb 19 2016

And now, the end is near, this blog faces its final curtain...it's lived a life that's full (of rage, bile, anger and negativity). My friends, I tried to say it clear, to state my case, of that I'm certain.


Yesterday's news that Blog On The Tracks is signing off/being signed off gives me - in some sense - the exit strategy that (I told you recently) I didn't have. Having the rug twisted, if not pulled, isn't always a bad thing.

As I said yesterday I've never understood the petty putdowns aimed at 'blogging', and 'bloggers'. To me it was just another way to write, another reason, another platform. I started thinking of all the milestones and madness across eight years. I should have kept a list of the best - angriest, rudest, oddest - comments. But I didn't. Probably that's for the best, actually.

Once a year, or so, someone worked their way up to being head troll. They picked away - and it was usually desperate and wrong and stupid. I outlasted all of them. Some bonehead now will probably think they've won. I don't mind...

Rather than think about the times I shared frustrating interview experiences or reviewed bands - and maybe slammed them down a bit, or any of the perceived nastiness and negativity I think of the things having a blog on this site enabled...and the stories I was able to share...indulgences, obviously.

I was already married - and somehow (miraculously, I guess) I remain married. It helps when you find someone that's wonderful, not only a best friend and all of those other things you say in the vows - and mean of course - but someone who believes in what you do, supports you, leaves you alone in those moments when you're hitting down on the keys as if for more than those minutes and/or hours (and then across days, weeks, months - and now so many years) it might mean something...

But I told you about some of the big things that happened to me. Always with music. About music. Around music. Music always there....


We moved house.

We had a baby.

That baby quickly grew up to become the world's youngest Neneh Cherry fan.

I've dropped plenty of clues, told you all sorts of things you never needed to know, never wanted to know. I used to smoke. I worked full time, I started off this blog on a whim, following through in fact on what so many people seem to threaten: I hated the fact that the blog-writer on this site, at the time, who covered music and entertainment was utterly rubbish at his job. I wanted a piece of that action. I wanted a turn. I rated myself above him. And I was totally and utterly right. And I followed through. People have been after my blood and/or my position since day two or three, if not day one. They always could have had it, or had a shot at it, but they wouldn't ever give it a go. They were full of all of the s**t.

All sorts of things have changed for me. Little things. But I remember. I told you about a lot of them. I never expected you to read every single thing - you'd be madder than me if you did. But the clues were there if you wanted to know...

When I started this blog I quite liked the music by Kanye West. Now I think he's awful. I loathed Tami Neilson's records - now I think she's nailing it, making great records; one after another.

When I started this blog I hadn't ever played a record in public...now I've piled up DJ setlists to bore you with.

It was, arguably, through this blog - and writing - that I got to cameo with one of my all-time favourite bands. I played drums, for a weekend, in The Spines. I felt like a million bucks, even though I didn't get paid a cent. Didn't need to. Wouldn't have wanted it. (Side note: I'm really proud of Jon McLeary's series of posts - numbering nearly 100, his "Ghosts of Electricity", his War Stories). 

Ah, who am I kidding...St. Vincent was rude, Don McLean was a far bigger jerk, Fat Freddy's Drop put me to sleep, Devilskin fans called me fat and wanted to s**t in my mailbox, Hollie Smith sings as if she's constipated...choking it all down until she finally releases it in one long vowel-movement, Autozamn made a video about me, Six60 is leading "the kind of revolution that takes place when the girl that works at Supre leaves 15 minutes early so that her knucklehead boyfriend can pick her up and they can doof-doof-doof down to the beach to watch a Frisbee outwit their dog", Annabel Fay was a fraud - in fact one of several NZonAir mistakes - and Rhys Darby is the stupidest thing to ever happen to, in and/or around pop-culture's general vicinity.

Never mind conversations with living legends like Sonny Rollins and mad chats with George Clinton...that was never important. It was about who I had offended, not who had offended me. I know that. I always knew that. It always bothered me. That's why I kept writing. And why I kept self-sabotaging.

My pursuit has been honesty. My aim is for the truth. (My aim is true).

When I started this gig I was working on the Good Morning TV show, during the lifetime of this blog I was unceremoniously dumped from a reviewing gig at North & South - half a dozen years and not a deadline missed and they can't even pick up the phone, they just send you an email...

I had the audacity to ask Radio Active for some money. Two years of giving them content for free - couldn't even buy a thank-you.

But I leave Blog On The Tracks in good shape I reckon...some days were wasted, some weren't. Over 2000 posts. Something for everyone. That was always the aim. In fact that was the only aim. Really.

An interview with Lionel Richie was as important as a conversation about when we get the lyrics wrong - or if it wasn't it was afforded the same space. Just on a different day. You get the picture...at least you should be now. If not, it's most definitely far too late.

When I started this blog I was hoping for maybe an interview or two. I'd done some already, but thought I might get to do more. I spoke to some of my favourite musicians (actualy heroes) with this blog as the reason, the context, be they Dave Dobbyn...or Elvis Costello...I was always so grateful for such opportunities.

Kind readers of Blog On The Tracks who flock to the Facebook page (and Facebook sifters who never read it here but lurk there for the other things that happen on that page) suggested I go out by talking about great last tracks - final songs...

There's The End by The Doors and The End by The Beatles (and someone will tell me that's not really the end of the album, but I'd argue Her Majesty is just a coda, nothing more, and mostly a whole lot less) and David Bowie's Blackstar is the most important album release of 2016 - easily, right? - and its final song, I Can't Give Everything Away felt like a fitting final song from a good album for me to pick...

But instead I wrote this post, this last one in the life of Blog On The Tracks by listening to one of the most significant albums of my childhood/one of my favourite albums by any artist ever - and its final song (Never Forget) might as well be the best way to go out. (Even though Beautiful Child is one of the best songs  on album chock full of spectacular moments).

I thank you all - once again - for reading. For commenting, or not. To the guest-bloggers who joined in on the Right This Blog! rounds and once or twice on other occasions, to the interviewees, the publicists, the promoters (even though most of them won't be reading this on some warped, jaded, dumb-as-all-f**k thing vaguely resembling what they think of as a principle) and to my family and close friends who manage to understand me - or know, perhaps, that it was always best to never try...

Thank you.

I started this blog with nothing. I've still got some of that left...

I leave here (to return in a different form next week, not as often - breathe a si/gh of relief) with more chances to talk on radio about music. I leave here with 15 episodes of a podcast, and many more to come... (the most recent, just up today is with Leila Adu) I leave here having written a book. I leave here with mother**king Prince tickets, y'all!

I kinda feel like getting to see Prince live is a bit like clocking music. It feels like the perfect get away from all "this".

"This" was only ever here until you clicked anywhere else instead. Do that now. Your life will be no better. Or it will...

I love you all...

(Except Rohcna).

Postscript: Tusk is finished now - the coda, if you will, is Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours, nothing could ever seem more fitting...

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You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.

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