George Dunford in New Zealand travel blog

Songwriting busy bee Simon working on a tune

Could this be the next Mozart or the next Falco?

Ten hours of solid music power every moment pure GOLD


Getting a hire car is always a bit of a lottery - you book it in advance and when you collect you might get upgraded because all the mid-sizes are in North Palmerston, or the windows don't work from overuse. We've been relatively lucky with our car - a Toyota Starlet (to have your product placed in this blog, hit the guestbook and make a donation to our Swiss bank account) that must be rhyming slang for Harlot. It's a zippy little thing that parks on a halved kiwifruit and handles like a spry tui bird. If it had one fault it would be that the CD player (as promised by the renter agency) is purely decorative.

This means Simon and I have been forced to bring or buy tapes to accompany the journey. This has made for some strange listening. Heading up the majestic Mt Taranaki, watching the scenery shift from pastoral to rainforest to alpine we were accompanied by the Austrian synth-pop of Falco who had an 80s hit with 'Rock me Amadeus'. The chorus ringing through the car as we arrived at impressive views of the mountain known to pakeha as Egmont was 'Rock on the neo-rockers, rock on'.

Coincidentally, Simon has a musical past which includes being in a band called Egg the Mountain (lead flute). This partly explains why everything I say he turns into a song and repeats back to me. This songwriting method has yielded such sure-fire hits as 'Who am I to play town planner?', a slow ballad that has one of us holding up a cigarette lighter in the car. Another golden great is 'White Eagle Motel', a dirty blues number that consists mostly of Simon howling the same three words repeatedly like Robert Plant in a fight with a cat. He's working right now on a follow-up single called 'I Had to Work Very Hard Not to Hit You Across the Head with this Folder'. It's not catchy, but with a musical genius onboard it just might work.

List of the Day

Best Price of the Day: Tough choice between a box of clothes pegs for $7 or the Country & Western Greatest Hit Vol. 4 album $1 - both at country town op shops.

'Discussion' of the Day:

Anonymous1: Maybe you could try not to hit any more birds.

Anonymous2: It's not my fault, it's up to the birds really.

Best trans-Tasman rivalry: Australia vs New Zealand in the netball, a prime time televised event that saw the Silver Ferns romp home and Simon and I questioning our citizenship.

Our Complete Playlist:

Happy Mondays Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches

Falco Falco 3 - Bought mostly for the long version of 'Rock Me Amadeus' which includes a spoken biography of Mozart which concludes with Falco mentioning his own part in the great composers story. An epilogue about Falco now pumping gas is expected in a new remix.

Club Med - The Music - We still haven't gotten to side two of this sucker.

Bob Newhart The Best of Bob Newhart - Surprisingly funny for a comedian from the 1960s who thinks the phone is a neat new invention.

Golden Country & Western Hits Vol. 4 - Disappointingly cover versions of the fourth best country songs.

Lloyd Cole Rattlesnakes - Lyric sample: 'I was working on my great unfinished novel, please let me introduce myself my name is Ronald.'

George's NZ Rocktober 2005 - The ultimate compilation made by Simon's pookie that shifts effortlessly from Johnny Cash to the New York Dolls via 'The Wheels on the Bus'.

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