It’s finally happened. On Saturday April 19th one million dollars plays its final gig ever, at 4:20 in Auckland. It’s been a long journey for the band since 2000, a journey in which I was a fellow traveller for about 6 years until Europe shouted louder than the funk.
Saturday 19th will be a great celebration, and I think it’s worth remembering what a groundbreaking band we were. The first kiwi band to break the longstanding taboo on clandestine Brazilian immigrants, the first to play for Bobba Fett’s solo dance party and the only band to ever outnumber the crowd at a gig in Hamilton.
Musically, too, the band pushed boundaries, no better illustrated than in the song Energy State – our first album was called Energy State, but the track itself was never included on the album, because it was too dangerous. Its sheer funky power severely maimed several engineers during mixing and a test version of the album actually had to be removed from a flat in Waterview by a Hazardous Materials Unit from the City Council:
Apart from these tricky moments, being a member of the band was a huge privilege, certainly one of the greatest experiences of my life. Beyond the small achievements of three albums (Energy State, Soup Kitchen and Stand Up for the Shake Down), several music videos, tours around New Zealand, Vanuatu and to Sydney, it was the people who I will never forget. Musicians, engineers, flatmates, friends. They all know who they are, and the problem with a funk band is that there are so damn many of them that if I start thanking them individually I’ll leave someone important out.
So guys, have a great night on Saturday, alongside our old friends The Hot Grits and our devil spawn The Shades. I’ll be thinking of you all, and the great times we spent together. It was worth every minute. Peace.
Live at Fest Napuan, Port Vila, Vanuatu. October 2004