Dunedin According To Keith Richards

I am reading Keith Richards’ autobiography and this is what he has to say about Dunedin, New Zealand:

But my God, there are some black holes. Dunedin, for instance, almost the southernmost city in the world, in New Zealand. It looked like Tombstone and it felt like it. It still had hitching rails. It was a Sunday, a wet dark Sunday in Dunedin in 1965. I don’t think you could have found anything more depressing anywhere. The longest day of my life, it seemed to go on forever. We were usually pretty good at entertaining ourselves, but Dunedin made Aberdeen seem like Las Vegas. Very rarely did everybody get depressed at the same time; there was usually one to support the others. But in Dunedin everybody was totally depressed. No chance of any redemption or laughter. Even the drink didn’t get you pissed. On Sunday, there’d be little knocks on the door, “Er, church in ten minutes…” It was just one of those miserable gray days that took me back to my childhood, a day that will never end, the gloom, and not anything on the horizon. Boredom is an illness to me, and I don’t often suffer from it, but that moment was the lowest ebb. “I think I’ll stand on  my head, try and recycle the drugs.”

To me Dunedin was very different, it must have changed a lot since 1965… At first I thought he was writing about Invercargill, or some of the smaller towns in the south of South Island, like Riverton, where famously the petrol was very cheap for a couple of years, because the head office of the petrol company forgot to change the prices on the pumps.


Riverton, New Zealand

Riverton, New Zealand, ‘Where life is for living’


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