Saturday, August 11, 2012

People are people, whatever they eat for breakfast (Ray Columbus)

Ray Columbus! Probably a name not very well known outside of Australasia but, in Nu Zild, in particular, it is a name that conjures up instant images (and lyrics!).

Ray has been an entertainer in NZ for five decades. He's had an amazing career, even if you don't like his stuff much.

For people of my generation he's the self-proclaimed Modfather (She's A Mod with his group The Invaders), the perennial family entertainer on musical TV shows of the sixties and seventies C'Mon, Happen Inn and That's Country, and in later years the knowledgeable manager of the brilliant Zed.

I picked up his autobiography, The Modfather, at the Waipukurau library while I was waiting for Jacky to finish some shopping. After flicking through it I borrowed it and haven't put in down in three days!

It's excellent! He writes as he has lived his life - with sparkles, breathless short sentences and (mostly) endearing hey-look-at-me bravado. Talent smellent - he dreamed it (Elvis, Jerry Lee, Buddy, Roy etc) and then made it happen through force of will. Failure smailure - he never entertained the idea.
I've never been a big fan but I did once own his greatest hits album for three reasons: She's A Mod, Till We Kissed and People Are People. Three songs that are firmly lodged into my DNA.


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