Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Paul McCartney, at last…

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I fell in love with The Beatles back in 1962, when I was 6 years old. The radio was full of “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You” and “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (along with “The Twist” and “The Loco-Motion” and “Johnny Angel.”) I discovered my life-long love of music that year and never let it go.

But while I adored the Supremes and The Shirelles and the Everly Brothers no one came close to the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, who in my eyes, was the dreamiest guy in the world. Living in the Bronx, I was down at the candy store on the corner nearly every single day – no longer buying candy – I bought every single fan magazine and pored over every photo and wished and hoped I could marry Paul one day. And when The Beatles actually came to New York in the winter of 1964, I begged and pleaded with my mother to take me to the concert. She refused (and I never really held it against her) but agreed to give me a Beatle hair cut! That’s me on the right – looking just a tiny bit like Paul…

Years passed, life happens. The Beatles split up before I was even old enough to see them. Paul married Linda (a photographer!) and she was the love of his life, so that was that. I married someone else. Had some children, a couple of careers – the usual thing. I did get to see him in Cleveland in 1990, which was a thrill.

But it really can’t compare to his Auckland show this past weekend. He played a 3-hour show, 40 songs, to a packed out stadium of 48,000 people… And I knew all the words to all but about 4 songs. Amazing light show, including monster fireworks and Paul sounded just as good as he did 55 years ago – and my heart was singing all night long. He may be 75, but he still set my heart a-flutter.

And the best thing? I got to photograph the first two songs of the show for The 13th Floor. There’s a full gallery of my photos, along with a great review of the show here: https://www.13thfloor.co.nz/paul-mccartney-mt-smart-stadium-december-16-2017/ A night I’ll never forget.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

19/12/2017 at 1:08 am

A few portraits

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I’ve long had a passion for old movies – mostly talkies, but silents as well… so a couple of weeks ago I put together a shoot with a bunch of models and make-up artists and rented a studio… Costumes and props and whoosh! We were shooting like it was 1922… I’m too busy at the moment to continue working on the photos, so there are many more, but here’s a few I hope you’ll enjoy.


Beth St Claire, hair and Makeup by Ruth Baron.


Brandon Adams, hair and makeup by Maree Carlisle


Mimoza Ilieva, hair and make-up by Sabrina S. Begum


Beth St Claire, hair and Makeup by Ruth Baron.


Briana Sullivan, hair and make-up by Qteaz Hair


Vanya Essin, hair and makeup by Maree Carlisle


Raymond Vinton, hair and make by Casey Bethlyn


Beth St Claire, hair and Makeup by Ruth Baron.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

18/06/2016 at 12:58 am

Tom Jones – Vector Arena March 19, 2016

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TomJones-1921.jpgShot the photos that accompany this review of Tom Jones at Vector Arena in Auckland on Friday night!

It’s been six long years since Tom Jones played in New Zealand, and last night at The Vector Arena there was a palpable excitement in the air, with some enthusiastic fans dressing up in 70…

Source: Tom Jones – Vector Arena March 19, 2016

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21/03/2016 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Writing

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – St James Theatre December 12, 2015

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

14/12/2015 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Writing

A bit of Halloween Ghoulishness

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You may have guessed that I’ve been a bit more rapt in photography than writing lately. The photography is moving more and more into complex shoots, involving costumes, make-up, proper lighting… Still trying to figure out where I want to take this. The natural direction seems to be art photography (trying defining that!) but I find I have a lot of fun with the goofy stuff. Sooo…

Here’s a gallery of shots from a Halloween shoot I put together last week – 8 models, 4 make-up artists, a smoke machine and a fabulous location, full of intricate, spooky nooks.

The models are Raymond Vinten, Kirsty Leigh Robertson, Michaela de Bruce, Kate Lynn, Beth St Claire, Emily-Rose Schoemand, Neil Schoeman, Mimoza Ilieva. Make-up by Sara K Atkins, Qteaz Hair, Ekaterina Murtova, Vivian Tian Yuan.

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The first tunnel, first of many… but you never forget your first…

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CollegeAvenue-Bronx-3This is an underpass. It’s on 167th St in the Bronx and runs under the Grand Concourse. We lived in a block of 6-storey red-brick apartment buildings a few blocks away and this was where we shopped. It really hasn’t changed much since I lived there back in the early 60’s. Deep discount shops, fast food, bars, second run movie houses – chain link fences, barbed wire, guard dogs, alarms. Not a very nice place to gow up to be honest – but I didn’t really know that then.


The old Kent Theatre on East 167th St in the Bronx. Oh yeah… look what they’ve done to my song, Ma!

My movie theatre was there – The Kent Theatre – full of dreams and all the other places in the world. My pizza joint, where the jukebox had the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits and The Supremes and my Chinese Restaurant with real Chinese people – all of which totally directed me to exactly where I am now. Fortunately, I left when I was 7-going-on-8 and didn’t go back until November last year – so I didn’t notice all the drugs and related violence also going on there.

But back to this tunnel… you can see that the sidewalks have been sealed off and there is no pedestrian access. Not so 50 years ago, when my mother would give me a dollar to walk up to her favourite bakery on the other side of the Concourse to buy her favourite cake. It was a six block walk to get to the other side, 4 of them in the underpass. Dark, filthy, smelt of urine and and vomit and rotting food. Sometimes I had to walk around a sleeping drunk or bum (back before they were renamed homeless). I was terrified of everyone coming toward me or coming up behind me. Frightened of the rats and the cars careening past and of losing the money or dropping the cake… I walked tough, with clenched fists, totally ready to take on anyone that messed with me. No one ever did…

I’ve walked through a few tunnels in my life that later proved to be metaphorical and utterly transforming… This was the first.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

09/07/2015 at 5:58 pm

Ace Frehley – The Studio April 25, 2015

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Ace Frehley & Ritchie Scarlett

What I got up to last night. Possibly the loudest show I’ve ever been to, but I got some amazing shots of the band. Ace Frehley isn’t all that much of a showman, but guitarist Ritchie Scarlett stole the show.

Ace Frehley – The Studio April 25, 2015.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

26/04/2015 at 11:16 am

Posted in Writing

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