Ohh, now tell me where can you party, child, all night long? / In the basement, In the basement, yeah

In the spir­it of all things High Street, Auck­land, and Cause Cele­bre (includ­ing this post on Pub­lic Address from myself), I made a point of track­ing down a copy of the very rare, and rather won­der­ful (and, to the point, fair­ly impor­tant in the scheme of all things musi­cal­ly AK in the 1990s) Free­bass album, RAW: Live at Cause Celebre.

Free­bass were impor­tant for a num­ber of rea­sons, but not least because it was one of the ear­ly vehi­cles for the Haines broth­ers, Joel and Nathan. Nathan’s next band was The Enforcers, who went on to record the glob­al­ly released Shift Left – the only NZ record­ed album ever to appear on the famous Verve label.

I remem­ber the night fair­ly well. Chris Sin­clair had miked up the room and he and Mark Tier­ney taped it strug­gling against all sorts of adver­si­ty. They had to bat­tle with odd acoustics, ine­bri­at­ed folks repeat­ed­ly trip­ping over cables and staff who real­ly did­n’t care who or what they were, they had to get that case of Mac’s Gold to the back bar with­out delay.

But it worked out pret­ty well, it was a land­mark album at the time and, as I recall, sold pret­ty well. Released on Mark Tier­ney and Kane Massey’s quite spe­cial Deep­grooves label, it’s long been unavail­able and quite sought after. My (signed) copy had walked some­where in the past 19 years so I was forced to buy a new copy this week. I sourced it on eBay, from Syd­ney, and, with the bless­ing of a cou­ple of the musi­cians who may or may not own the rights (who the hell knows), I thought I’d post a track.

I’ve always thought that Think­ing Of Ric­car­do may be about the Chilean guy of the name who was around the scene. He was, as I recall, bust­ed for coke impor­ta­tion around this time and we were all rather tak­en aback. I’ve been mean­ing to ask for 19 years.


Free­bass — Think­ing Of Ric­car­do (Deep­Grooves, 1990)


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

July 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm


Thanks for find­ing this. I think it also won Jazz Album of the Year that year? 

I have noth­ing but fond mem­o­ries of doing this. It was just a fab­u­lous adven­ture. And those guys were just awesome. 

And by all means re-release it. 

You are total­ly right about the dis­ap­pear­ing NZ musi­cal her­itage 60’s-90’s, espe­cial­ly pho­to­graph­i­cal­ly. We were before the Google cache.

Per­haps some co-ordi­nat­ed effort could be made via NZONAIR or Te Papa to collect/curate it? For me Fly­ing Nun is as impor­tant to our her­itage as NZ’ers as any socio/political event of the last 40 years. 

Any­way, thank you again for this. made my day.

May 29, 2010 at 3:07 am

hey simon — it was piv­otal music!Ben H has the pub­lish­ing and he wrote most of the themes and melodies the rest was impro­vised or chart­ed in that fan­tas­tic lit­tle band room out the back!!It was a time when Joel and nathan were still at school!it won jazz album of the year — Ive still got the weird green award.I also had my CD copy flogged ! The song was writ­ten for Ric­car­do — has had been bust­ed out­side VBG the week before. His son Juani­to was the percussionist.We had a ball mak­ing it and yes the band and the club brought allot of great peo­ple and times to AK and the late 80’s — 90’s.Kane and Mark did a great job.Remember the annoy­ing click Mark? Matai.

January 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

The album is out now on Amplifier.co.nz

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