Born 60 years ago in the Eketahuna Maternity Hospital, named Michael by his parents, Mum and Dad. Allowed to freely grow up in a small-town New Zealand way. Rugby at the Domain, swimming at the river, playing at the dump. At school Gilbert and Sullivan, at home Barry Crump. Shearing gangs, possum trapping, country roads and country pubs. Tiraumea, Pleckville, Alfredton, Newman, Eketahuna. The Tararuas. Pahiatua, Pongaroa, Akitio. Masterton, Castlepoint, Riversdale. The Rimutakas. Wellington. Palmy, first guitar, long hair and lectures. A short, shorts-andwalksocks High- School-Teacher career. Camped outback, enticed to Auckland by bohemian folk-singers. Musical apprenticeship began. Poles Apart, Cook Street Market, street music in Parnell Village & on K. Road.
An OE or two and Mike, as he was now known, asking where are my songs? On a Summertime Blues Sol search of New Zealand seeking the answer was asked to show off musical mates on 1984’s Time On The Road. The road then taken, hitchhiking and busking Highways One to Ninety-nine - solo shows of homegrown folk and popular song to the centres and edges of Godzone country. Along the way L.P.’s for City Folk, programmes and cassettes for National and Replay Radio, “When the Pakeha Sings Of Home” for Godwit Press. The Rowan Studio recordings, some with Taranaki combo Gumboot Tango. In New Plymouth in more recent years Mike has found a home, a family and a vocation teaching young people to explore music and their muse through the guitar. Now it’s road time again. Kiwimusicana and Mike doing what he does best, songs of home with humour and affection,
spontaneity and musical skill.
Celebrating New Zealand, its people and their stories