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Last year Elsewhere spoke about the price musicians pay for their career choice: the hours are anti-social and some of the people are too; the rewards can be elusive; the competition is vast; with every success comes self-doubt and the thought that it may never be repeated . . .

So why do they do it? The allure of fame is seductive, the thought the sex and drugs might be better, it’s be cool to hang out with your idols . . . and mostly just because these people have to. They are creative individuals and music is their vehicle.

But when it all goes wrong, when the health packs up and the doubts become crushing, when the rent can’t be paid and the medical bills are mounting . . .

Where to turn?

Well, the New Zealand Music Foundation Wellbeing Service is there and available for musicians who have fallen on hard times or whose health is impaired.

This is what we wrote about last year, this world-first 24-hour service for musicians. It is a registered charity and the man who helms it Peter Dickens.

ce4ef0b9_78e7_4f22_a38a_315455c2cca3He is one of the speakers at the forthcoming Music Month Summit to be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Billed as “For the Love of Music; Industry Professionals Talk About Their Passion”, the event takes place on Saturday May 20 (10am-5pm) in the museum’s auditorium . . . not so coincidentally the final day of the long-running Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa exhibition.

Amoing the many guests are producer Greg Haver, manager Scott Maclaughlan, performers Kings, Moana Maniapoto and others, DJ Aroha Harawira . . .

Tickets and information about the summit are available here, but meantime let’s hear from Peter Dickens . . .

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Earth Wind and Fire – Fantasy. Dropped it on my unsuspecting classmates at a school disco age 7 or 8. It bombed.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Depeche Mode. Never went full string vest though.

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

Lennon, Nirvana, Gaga and Jackson

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Human rights lawyer, cause campaigner, some kind of wrong-righter. I need windmills to tilt at.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

The Temptations – Law of the Land, Recoil - Electro Blues for Bukka White, SJD – Was I always here

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home...

A “Breakfast with The Clean” set: three artworks that Hamish, David and Robert did for the charity which we put on a mug, tea-towel and toast plate limited edition set. You can get a set for yourself still at Real Groovy.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Roger Shepherd, In Love With These Times. Close to home for me and vital history.

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be?

Supergroove on the distraction tour. Lordy what times. When has a national tour gone to Dannevirke since?

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Alive Inside (shows the power of music therapy in the treatment of dementia), Love & Mercy (Brian Wilson biopic, shows brilliantly the difficulty of maintaining good mental health at the cutting edge of creativity), Grand Budapest Hotel (because that’s what makes me laugh)

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include...)

Latest download: The Japanese House, Swim Against the Tide EP. I have no turntable: I should do something about that.

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 . . .

Prince - Never take the place of your man. What a man, what a year, what a live movie… taken too soon.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

Johnny Cash – Man comes around

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

A greyhound by Nellie Doodles in honour of Will, our retired speedster hound.

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where and doing what?

In Spain, eating, drinking, travelling, talking and rescuing galgos.

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

If by “album” I can substitute the NZ Music Foundation Wellbeing Service, it’s because of the impact it’s having on people. Relief, healing, hope, joy: it’s an honour to do anything that helps brings these things to people’s lives.

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