Graham Reid | | 2 min read
Andrew Fagan's first band was called Ambitious Vegetables, but that was in the period which rock historians refer to as "a very long time ago". Everyone is allowed silliness when they are still at school.
But Fagan was made for better things and some of AVeggies formed the Mockers, one of the great pop-rock bands of New Zealand in the Eighties which -- propelled by Fagan's swaggering stage confidence and great songs -- became household names and sold platinum of their album Swear It's True.
The Mockers didn't last the distance but Fagan certainly has. He and his partner Karyn Hay lived in London on a houseboat for many years, and these days -- having returned to New Zealand -- Fagan is still a musical force, co-hosts a talkback radio show with Hay and . . .
He's a published poet and has written an autobiography and -- my guess he might actually prefer this to be mentioned first -- he's a man with sea spray in his skin and the briny in his blood. Sailing isn't a hobby or even just a passion, it is a way of life and thinking.
Not a lot of people understand that perhaps, but so be it.
As Tom Waits sang in Shiver Me Timbers, "Many before me, who've been called by the sea, to be up in the crow's nest, and singing my say . . . my heart's in the wind, where the clouds are like headlines upon a new front-page sky and shiver me timbers, 'cause I'm a-sailing away . . ."
And now Fagan has released another album Admiral of the Narrow Seas (the title refers to throwing up, in sailor lore) and yet he still took time to drop sail and answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Irish Rovers, Black Velvet Band
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Both, Ramones, neither, Jacko
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Delirium Tremens, I’ll Be Damned, by Elliot Brown and Can Of Worms by Phil Judd.
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Some one who knew what they were doing and I’d try to keep in time doing hopefully something relevant.
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
Never insist, and only two, The Duellists -- Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. Square Riggers Of The 1930’s -- Alan Villiers
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Nil by ear.
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
My songs plural, Get Light or Enjoy The Show or Religion or Messiah. [Editor note: all these are on Admiral of the Narrow Seas]
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
A view of the sea outside.
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
Sailing to somewhere I haven’t been before.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
The next album will be my best album ever. That’s the nature of human application, otherwise we don’t bother.