posted on November 6, 2006 at 7:24 pm

its been my pleasure
or otherwise
to know some real characters
the 1st drummer in the chrunch
for example
the guy who called himself nick ward
that wasnt his real name
you see
this character had been one of the bullies
at bully high
his real name was nigel murray
and paradoxically
in one of lifes strange little twists
nick ward was the name of a slightly retarded kid
(i guess these days youd have some euphemism for that)
he had a strange lurching walk
and a huge thick pair of spectacles behind which
his eyes seemed to swim, impossibly large
i remember nigel murray ALWAYS teasing n hassling nick ward
making his already miserable life more miserable
i had a fight with nigel murray
my first day of school in canberra, in 1965
in those days i used to get in a few fights
before the teenage days when people started
knocking each others teeth out n noses in
i couldnt abide the thought of my pretty face goin’ to hell
on the end of some 15 year old dumb fist
but before that
i roughed n tumbled
nigel murray was a handsome boy
but you could tell at once he was hell bent on mischief
of course he won the fight
as all 10 year old fights seemed to end in those days
him pinning my shoulders down with his knees
me agreeing to him and the onlookers that he’d beaten me
quite civilised, i guess
before the black eye blood gushers of high school
anyway murray was in the year above me
it was such a pleasure to turn up for high school
2 years later n find murray on the steps
now notching up his terrorism a little
sneering laughing n threatening all the new kids
wherever playground misery could be found
there was little nigel
not usually the main bully
more like one of the taunting mockers
who come in their wake
as jackals attend lions perhaps
nick ward was a constant figure of amusement
to nige n his pals
and it seemed to me
niges handsome face was beginning to contort
the sneers n grimaces becoming permanent
you see i KNEW i had some connexion with this cat
and lemme tell ya now
this guy is driven to be petty nasty n cruel
i heard he blew up animals with fireworks
i saw him turn up to football pratice once
with a vacuum cleaner tube
beaten closed one end n bent down like a handle
he could hold on to it there
then hed drop a lighted “penny ” or 2penny banger” in
and a marble
it was like a primitive bazooka
or once i kicked him my new football
and he just walked away with it….forever
he was a gleeful bully thats fer sure
as he got older n older
i guess his tricks got nastier n grosser
he thankfully dropped outta skool
and youd occaisionally hear rumours
that he’d done this n that…
years later when i was doing the markets in sydney
peter k turned up with a guy who was playing drums
in a power pop band they were in called limazine
unable to muster much of an advertizing budget
limazine had stencilled their name in every available
bit of pavement in paddington
even over the top of dog turds
the limazine moniker was proudly emblazoned
that same afternoon
peter walks by my stall
says hello
and theres this familiar looking guy
peter tells me hes called nick ward now
fuck me gently!
i cant believe hes had the sheer cheek
to name himself after a man he hounded for years
what a gall!
im stupid
cos i
trying to forget all nigels multiple sins
hoping a leopard COULD change its spots
i suggest he could try out
in this band me n pete were trying to launch
to tell ya the truth
pete was one of the only guys to stand up to
and call niges bluff
(from here on in i’m gonna call him nick, ok?)
and he wasnt too affected by his savage mood swings
i think poor old nick might actually have needed something
like lithium or something(strychnine?)
the shame was there was a nice guy in there
but he made my life n then martys hell
right from the word go
oh he could play everything better
as you did a take
you could see him in the control room
exploding in anger n ridicule at yer rotten playing
to further complicate things he was left handed
so hed pull a guitar off you to show you how it SHOULD be done
only to realise he couldnt play it cos it was upside down
he was frustrated 100 percent of the thyme
he made me dread rehearsals
hed boss us round and throw things about
hed sink into dark silent sulks and you didnt dare talk
he hated my fucking songs and my stupid fucking lyrics
he hated our band
he hated our label
he was the expert
he was the the sound of the band
he didnt think i had what it took
and tried to organise a coup with a tour manager
ha! ha!
drummer n tour manager seize the chrunch
and do what with it exactly…?
he even had a couple of his own yes men
that hung around and said
(you guessed it!)
to him
oh so many anecdotes
i mean hes a legendary figure in the church camp
not many days go past before someone mentions him
or one of his aphorisms done in that voice of his
nk said one yesterday
not even knowing what it was
just that shed heard mwp or me saying it
“more for me”
nick would say if he offered ya something
and you declined
other sayings were
“cluey clem”
thats if you were foolish
“my heart bleeds” nicks declaration of sympathy
“live and learn, live AND learn”
when someone disappointed him
in fact he had a charming tatoo
of a executioner raising a bloodied axe n asking
nick was unpredictable with pot too
he could become real nice for ten minutes
or he could become a paranoid sociopath
one night before a gig
he smoked some pot with me n mwp n pete
he then had a “bad” night….
(werent most of em, nick?)
after his “bad” night onstage
he made me swear i would never
even if he asked for it…
never would i give him pot before a show
he threatened me and made me promise
the next night
i can still fucking see it
im standing outside this club smokin’
well away from you know who
when he finds me
gimme a smoke kilbey
says nick nicely
but ..but..nick…i stutter
you you said….
gimme a smoke i said says nick
but you said…
i said gimme a fucking smoke
ok ok
i do it
nick has another “bad” night
(he was after all a hopeless drummer)
he storms up to me afterwards
did i fuckin’ tell you to never gimme pot before i play????!!!!!
here we go again..
needless to say
i could write a book of anecdotes about this strange character
thats him doing those high vocals on ungrated momento
which is probably another reason i hate that song
we never got around to playing nicks songs
the lament of the hairy bolt
or cold steel
whatta shame…!
i bet they’d be standards by now
the other really funny thing i remember
is that nick was a real veteran road warrior
you see limazine had been to melbourne once for a few gigs
and nick knew all the ropes
you n piper ‘ll never fuckin’ make it on tour, you pansies
and he sneered n rolled up another cigarette
he constantly doubted my abilities to handle touring
and he told me so
in his colourful vernacular
youre a fucking girl
yet when we got to melbourne
it was nick who suffered an anxiety attack
and locked himself in his room
and had to be gently coaxed out
the band pleading with him to come n play
while he monosyllabically refused
from behind a locked door
jesus what a fuckin’ set-to….!
shortly afterwards
nick transgressed our golden rule
when he physically attacked mwp at a gig
it had only been a matter of time
en tidsfraga, they say in sweden
and what a fucking relief
when ploogy joined the band
and we could enjoy ourselves
without nicks constant malevolent n pathetic bullshit
and ya know what
now i know a little bit about drumming
and ive played with a few good ones
i listen back to that 1st album
wherein he made my life a misery
during the making of
telling me i couldnt sing
i couldnt write
i couldnt play bass
i shouldnt play the piano or vocoder
and now when i listen to it
and maybe while i hate that 1st record
its the drums
theyre hopeless!
he was bullying us so we’d never notice
how godawful n random his drumming was
vale nigey the bully
my heart fuckin’ bleeds!

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