Barcelona!

Hey there. I'm taking a little break for a few days - I'm going to Barcelona with some friends to paint a mural on the walls of a new record shop there called Paradiso. So there won't be any posts for the next week or so but I promise I'll make it up to you when I get back with some pics and footage of the project there. In the meantime check these out - the last couple we did - White Wall and The Sea .

See you soon!

#30: Jimmy Southgate

My friend, 1999 - ?

In a fair world Jimmy Southgate would've been born 6 foot 10 to a wrestling family in America somewhere and would've grown up to become the greatest WWF superstar of all time.

Even though Jimmy comes from Dannevirke and isn't really a pro wrestler, he is still the one of the awesomest dudes I've ever known.

#29: Klaus

My Dad's friend

Klaus used to come around and hang out with my Dad since I was a small boy. I must've been annoying because I remember my Dad pulling me aside one time and telling me that Klaus actually hated children and that I should stay out of his way. I can see now that he was probably joking around.

Thing is, I took it for real. For years the very mention of the name Klaus bought on bad vibes, and I made sure to stay well the hell away from the guy.

When I was 11 we went a holiday to Brisbane and we were going to be staying at his house. I was pretty nervous, but it turned out he was cool all along. He let us eat frosties and put heaps of nutella on our toast, it was great.

#28: Rob Corliss


Coach, Wellington College First XV, 1997-1998

When I think back to playing rugby for Wellington College the soundtrack is the raspy voice of our coach Rob Corliss. He was tough talking but had a good sense of humour - being a teacher he couldn't encourage us to drink, but he'd always joke with us about parties after a game. "Well done boys, enjoy those fanta's tonight!"

#27: Bruce

Guy's Imaginary Friend, 1986

I never met Bruce but I still feel like I knew him. He was my younger brother Guy's imaginary friend at age 4 - a chinese boy who lived alone with his father who had lost a finger in a wood chopping accident.

Guy apparently used to spend a lot of time at their house down the road during the day and in the evenings he would entertain our whole family with detailed stories about the strange and funny things Bruce and his Dad had said to him.

#26: Sarah Hayes

Furst Media colleague, 2005-2007

Sarah Hayes is who I think of when I think of the most Australian person I've ever known. She had a drawling aussie country accent so thick you'd need to subtitle it if she was in a movie, and the dry, dusty 'she'll be right' sense of humour to match.

Aussies love nicknames, and Sarah was the master in our office. Nicko, Davo, Jezza, Stevo, Robbo, no-one could escape. She called me 'Tobaroo' and I felt a little bit proud.

#25: Paul Guest



Flatmate, Sar St, 1999

When I was 18 I moved out of home and into my first flat. Paul Guest was a mate who was looking for a place at the same time - I liked him but some friends who had lived with him the year before had words of warning. "He uses so much toilet paper", they said. "It doesn't sound like a problem, but trust us, it is." I thought they were joking and soon he moved into Sar St with me and Kannika and Ratanak.

But they were right! I don't know what he did with that stuff but toilet paper was disappearing faster than we could buy it! Before long we each had our own secret stash in our own rooms, and Paul started using the phone book.

The landlord came around for a flat inspection, saw the torn up yellow pages next to the toilet and started getting angry. Paul said "No, it's fine, I'm only using pages we're never going to need".

#24: Jerry Collins

Rugby nemesis, 1987 - 1999

Every year of my whole rugby-playing career I was in the same grade as Jerry Collins. You could say he kind of haunted my childhood.

As kids his Norths teams would regularly pummel my Tawa teams, and Jerry was always North's number one hit man. Even as a kid, he played rugby like Mike Tyson boxed: speed, strength, accuracy. He ruthlessly and efficiently destroyed us every time, and had fun doing it. He showed no mercy. He ate skinny white boys like me for breakfast. By high school our teams (Me at Wellington College, him at St Pats Town) were more competitive, but still any one on one encounter with Jerry took serious balls. When you take a run off the back of a ruck and see Jerry lurking in the fringes ready to take your head off, you know you are in trouble.

Of course Jerry went on to become a 48 test All Black (including 3 as captain), an international star and one of world rugby's most feared hitmen. I've followed his career with interest and even a little bit of second-hand pride - these days I watch his knock-out tackles from the comfort of my bar stool and say to whoever is listening "that hurts, trust me".

#23: Trendy Nguyen

Deep Dish manager, 2004

When I first moved to Melbourne I washed dishes and made spring rolls at a cafe called Deep Dish. The owner and boss was an incredibly tiny elderly Vietnamese woman called Trendy. For real.

Her daughter May ran the day to day, practical things, and Trendy mainly just wandered around hugging everyone, making sure they were happy. To keep my spirits up she liked to perform a bizarre, completely wrong version of a haka for me while I was standing there working. I tried to tell her that it was pretty inappropriate but she would laugh and tell me it was ok because she'd been to New Zealand.

#22: James Murray

Metal Maniac, Early 2000s

I first met James through punk and metal gigs around Wellington, and got to know him through a shared love of trash pop culture of the 1980's. He had a badass collection of old Bones Brigade skate videos and once started a band (The Axel Foley Experience?) that played only the theme song from Beverly Hills Cop in various genres and styles.

These days he plays guitar in Gaywyre, who sound like classic old school thrash metal. All my friends back home are raving about their show - I get the feeling that James has found his true 80s metal calling.

#21: Kate Woods


Flatmate, Brougham St, 2003-2004

Kate has the greatest laugh I've ever heard in my life. It's like she opens the floodgates on a tidal wave of machine gun transmissions of pure joy.

#20: Jim Sim


Next-door neighbour, 1993-1998

We didn't know Jim that well. He was the type of neighbour you wave to on the driveway and say 'Merry Christmas' to when the time is right.

But Jim Sim was no ordinary joe - he was New Zealand's top expert on the poisoning of marine life, and more specifically, shellfish. I know this because every time something came up in the news about toxic oysters or a contaminated lake we'd see him on the TV and cheer like he was our best friend.

#19: Ben Butcher

Guitarist, Baseball, The Assassination Collective. Melbourne Music Photographer 2005-2007

If you've seen a decent rock gig in Melbourne in the last five years I'd say you probably know Ben Butcher. Lanky spidery guy? Always up the front taking photos with the crazy grin and the wild eyes? Slightly shabby but extremely enthusiastic? Plays guitar in Baseball? Yeah that's the guy.

Ben is one of those people who no matter what band you're watching, good or bad - you can always just watch him and get so much pleasure out of seeing just how much he loves music, the scummier and wilder and weirder the better. Whether you're watching him play or take photos the guy is always buzzing with energy, so excited, so alive.

And he's talented too - these days I just follow his blog and imagine his crazy grin and his laugh as he takes each shot.

#18: Ace Tiatia

Wellington College Rugby Star, 1994

In my first year at high school Ace Tiatia was the toughest and coolest guy in the whole place. He was the star of the First XV rugby team, the deputy head prefect (I think) and his older brother Filo played number 8 for Wellington (and later the All Blacks). Lucky for me, my dad and his mum were colleagues and I got the impression they were good friends at work.

One day my class was waiting outside our science room for our teacher to arrive when Ace strode over asked which one of us was Toby Morris. He shook my hand and told me in front of everyone that if anyone ever messed with me I should come tell him.

I never needed too, but for the rest of that year it felt pretty good knowing Ace Tiatia had my back.