A personal rememberance of Peter Gutteridge, with no connection to politics or law whatsoever. Some things matter more than those diversions.
I didn't ever "know" Peter Gutteridge.
I had my eardrums shredded by Snapper a number of times - one gig at The Crown in the early 1990s made me seriously contemplate contacting OSH (or whatever its equivalent back then was) to complain about just how fucking loud things got. Yeah - I was that kind of guy ... even then thinking about rules and regulations and behaving responsibly.
Then in my mid-twenties, I (and a group of friends) decided to try and define ourselves in distinction to what we saw as the dominant alternative. So we became scathing of "the Crusties". We'd be cool, clean and hard where they were shambolic, dissolute and sloppy. Yeah - I was that kind of guy ... had to be part of something "better" than what came before.
Then I went away from that little pond of Dunedin, and upon my return a few years later found myself living at the end of North East Valley, near to Peter Gutteridge's home. Time and lifestyle choices had ... not been kind to him. I'd see him sitting outside The Crusty Corner seemingly always waiting for something to happen, talking with a small group of friends, nursing a cup of tea or coffee for hours.
A shame, everyone whispered to each other. Probably the best talent of his generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging himself through the frosty streets at mid-morning looking for an angry fix. Or something like that, anyway.
So when I saw him join the rest of The Clean on stage to play a few songs in January this year, it was a bit of a revelation. He wasn't just looking hale and healthy (well, comparatively, anyway). He was commanding.
There's some video footage of Point That Thing Somewhere Else on (where else?) YouTube - it doesn't quite do justice to just how powerful the guitar sound was, but it gives you some idea of what it was like being there.
That wasn't all he was doing. He had Snapper up and running again. And he was playing the odd solo gig as "Pure" (ironically enough). Doing what he always should have been doing, which was making music.
But now, Peter Gutteridge is gone for good. Don't know how, don't know why. Doesn't really matter, I guess - like I said, I didn't know him.
But he was one of the greats.