I’ve no doubt that people who spend the most time with me, occasional dining friends and regular golfing buddies for instance, would tell you that I talk too much.

And it’s true, at times I do. You see I live alone with only a cat for company and he’s not much one for conversation. So when I get out amongst others, my tongue, having rested unused for so long, runs off madly like a horse let out of the stable.

Well … that’s my excuse. It might simply be that I have verbal diarrhoea.

However, as many you have noticed — and written to ask, why? — I haven’t had much to say here lately. I didn’t even post my traditional end of year rant. Although, I have to say my silence in this case was rather cynical. Looking at the world and the same old, same old nonsense going on everywhere and nothing really changing, I was tempted to post a blog that simply said, ‘For this year’s view of the world, read last year’s.’

People argue the toss about global warming despite the evidence. Others argue against proposed gun laws with the most inane arguments imaginable. My email inbox is stuffed regularly with anti-Islamic hate mail, some pointing out with maniacal glee that Obama’s second name is Mohammed. Ignoring the cerebral deficiencies of those who find the latter significant, I think a lot of people forget that Hitler and the Klu Klux Clan were Christians. And speaking of morons, the level of political debate in Australia  defies description. There is no balance, no bipartisanship, no thought of doing what’s best for the country. The business of parliament, it appears, is to pile derision on the opposition. Party politics has become a farce, strapped by inanity, intransigence and — at the State level at least — breathtaking levels of corruption.

So, with that little taste of how I’m seeing things at present, aren’t you glad there wasn’t an Xmas blog from me this year 🙂

On the bright side, I have lots planned for this year. Actually, more than planned, for the most part I’m committed to do these things.

I’m delighted to tell you that the original tapes for most of my past albums have been found and remastered. They are all soon to be made available online. This means, for the first time ever, you will be able to download every single song from: Garden Fresh, Higher Trails, Use Your Eyes and Short Stories.

This has all been made possible because I now own the rights to all my own material again. Anyone who has been in the music business will understand the significance of this. Seems weird, but it’s quite a thrill to actually own your own music.

We did consider releasing all these albums as CDs as well, but I’m not sure there would be a big enough market to justify the expense.

Instead ODE records have asked me to select my own Best Of compilation and that will be a two disc set of around 40 songs selected mostly from my earlier albums but with a few from Just Quietly and 12 Shades of Blue as well. I’ve also thrown in the odd bonus ‘Mystery’ track, that you will never have heard but, I’m sure, will like.

We hope to promote and advertise this album as a true representation of my body of work until now. And I have to say as I get older it’s becoming important to me to try to ensure that my work as a songwriter is not forgotten and perhaps even celebrated as a significant part of New Zealand’s musical heritage.

But, having never been one to wallow in the past, later in the year I’m releasing another CD of songs that are already recorded. It will be called All Sorts. I’ll also be going back into the studio at various times during this year to record a simple, acoustic-based album, which will be released early in 2014.

Added to all of this I’m going to try a few live performances here in Australia with a mate’s band. And if I can arrange it, or find someone to arrange it for me, I’d like to do a small concert tour of New Zealand next Summer. If I do this, it will literally be just me and my guitar. Just a songwriter at work playing the songs as they sound when they are born – before I take them into the studio and apply the genius of far more competent musicians and studio magic. But, hey, warbling away on a stool with my guitar was how I started in music and it was also when I was having the most fun. So if I can get back to that and hopefully attract a few curious younger people to come and hear an old fart do his thing, and not just rely on rooms full of grey hair yelling for Damn the Dam, I might do it again and again. Only time will tell.

That’s it on the musical front. Wearing my writer’s hat I will also be doing more promotional work for my golf book, which is soon going to be available in book shops, and will release at least two more books online in the next 18 months. Both will be fiction and designed to entertain and amuse. More of this later.

So that’s it folks. I’ve been quiet but I’m about to get very busy. I’m may well be 63 years old but I’m still swimming upstream. Someday, perhaps, I’ll learn to just lie back and go with the flow. But not today nor anytime soon.

Oh, one final thing: I’m going to change this website to make it easier for you to find what you want. There will be simpler menus, easier navigation and regular give aways. More reasons to come back regularly and to tell others to do the same.

You see, I’m finally joining the modern world. But, sorry folks, I refuse to twitter.

You have to draw the line somewhere.

 

John Hanlon

February 1, 2013