Moving indoors from the dark street life of “Codeine Road”, the “California Fishing” video sees Greg and his band holed up in a suburban house, which, according to the YouTube description, was Greg’s flat.
Directed by Jonathan King, most of the action takes place in the lounge, with the band in full flight. There’s a nice feel to the location, and it doesn’t seem like much set dressing has been done. Yeah, it’s just Greg’s flat.
Sometimes we see Greg by himself, sitting on a couch, strumming his guitar. And we also catch glimpses of a moody young woman, smoking cigarettes and ready trashy paperbacks. She’s obviously not fussed by the rock band going for it in the next room.
“California Fishing” is a rollicking rock song, that would more traditionally be given a big outdoors video, complete with open-top cars. But keeping all the action in a house, the tension between the lyrics and the reality is increased. Stuck in suburban Auckland, California dreaming of California fishing.
Best bit: the old homemade birthday card, with a photo of young Greg riding a toy Jeep.
Nurofen Plus – it’s my wife and it’s my life. I’m not sure what this song is about. It might be about homebake, or it might be about debilitating lower back pain. All I know is that only Auckland could produce a gritty life-is-tough song based around an over-the-counter analgesic.
Regardless of the dramatic lyrics, the video is still pretty interesting. It’s shot around Karangahape Road when it was still seedy and grimy, a good decade before it started to get gentrified and all the pink bits moved away.
K Road regulars can be seen hanging around, and there’s even a shot of the old McDonald’s before K Road became too cool for a McDo. Another ’90s memory – the mural by the Baptist tabernacle that was all “No one comes to the father except through me”. Cut with this footage, Greg Fleming mooches around the area, sometimes with his bros, other times on his own.
I’m trying to think – was K Road scary and dark back then? Maybe it only felt that way if you were luxuriating in a warm blanket of Panadeine.
Best bit: the wistful looking lady holding an elaborately wrapped gift.