Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Working Too Hard?

Q: When is a kiwi NOT a kiwi?
A: When he works overseas too long, promoting NZ!
The percussionist of Wellington's progressive indie rock band The Phoenix Foundation - Will Ricketts - ain't welcome to be 'one of us'...even though he's lived here virtually his whole life.
Ricketts moved to NZ from UK with his family in 1981, when he was just two. Wind the clock forward a few decades, and he's co-writer, percussionist and keyboardist for The Phoenix Foundation...
The band took its name from a fictional organisation on the popular '80s tv show MacGyver, which may or may not be a claim to fame. LOL If the band's not familiar to you, its sound may be: it performed the score to the 2010 NZ film Boy. On its mantelpiece are also two gold albums and a NZ Music Award for Best Group.
In order to survive, The Phoenix Foundation regularly plays overseas, as far afield as Europe and the UK. But Internal Affairs says Ricketts' application for citizenship will be denied because he spends too much time out of the country. A spokesman says recommendations are made to the minister on set criteria, including that applicants had to have spent 240 days in NZ for each of the past five years.
Ironically, those overseas gigs were often with support from the NZ Music Commission to showcase Kiwi music to the world! Go figure.
It's shades of Richard O'Brien's case all over again! If there's one consolation, at least (after a lot of public noise) the Rocky Horror Show's creator eventually got his wish.
Perhaps there's hope for Will Ricketts yet...?

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