So another New Zealand Music Month has played its final encore, and the crashing last chords have echo-ed away ...

And what a month it has been.

It began four days early with arguably the biggest news story of the year — Abba got back together in Stockholm and recorded some new songs, their first since they split in 1983.

Okay, that sensational news had more to do with Sweden than New Zealand, but it seemed to set the scene for what was to come.


The month ended this week with Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall laying down a DJ challenge to none other than celebrated turntablist, master mixer and disc jockeyette Jacinda Ardern, also the Prime Minister.

Disc-spinner Ardern had put out her top 15 Kiwi tracks back at the start of May, but she was topped by McDouall who came up with 15 songs all connected (admittedly, sometimes in a most obscure way) with Whanganui.

However, in terms of New Zealand musical notes, the most astonishing noise was coming from thousands of miles away — from the United States.

There, it was announced that former Split Enz, Crowded House maestro and all-round Kiwi legend Neil Finn was joining Fleetwood Mac, one of the most successful and dysfunctional rock'n roll charabancs in history.

Who could have seen that coming? Not even Finn, apparently.

Genius songwriter that he is, one struggles to see Finn rocking out at the mega-stadium shows where the Mac have made their overblown mark.

He seems too nice, too humble, too normal ... er, too professional.

For Fleetwood Mac's story is one of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll gone into overdrive. The marriages, the affairs, the break-ups, the punch-ups, the drugs, the booze, the sackings, the reunions, the make-ups,the egos, the drugs ...


Did I mention the drugs?

It's been a soap opera of excess.

There can only be one plausible explanation for Finn teaming up with this five-headed hydra ...

The decent family man has been brought in to keep the peace; to keep the others on the straight and narrow; to set a tone of calm and respectability. He is music's version of a United Nations 'Blue Helmet'.

It should be fun.