Mentioned in Dispatches

Squeeze would have been delighted to be honoured by his peers at this year's Axis Awards. Not only because of the accolade, but because he was usually actively involved in the creation of ads and didn't like being billed as part of the support team. Paul wasn't a frustrated creative person, like so many 'suits', he saw his role as to create fertile ground for clients to accept work that was challenging. He liked to build trust with his affable demeanor and boyish charm. He made the process fun.

I've written about Paul before (Sorrow's Gift) and, as the time passes since his death I've thought about him often. Paul tended to consume...objects, food and drink, substances...people. I look at pictures of him socialising with my family when my son was born and feel a certain nostalgia for the time we spent working together. It was often fraught. We walked out of an ad agency together, convinced we had their largest client in the bag. We didn't, as it turned out. While the marketing manager was with us, the owner of the company was terribly old fashioned and vetoed the move at the eleventh hour.

MacGregor Jeffreys and Company had little to show for itself other than beautiful stationery and our intention to shake the cage and have a laugh.

We ended up with a business that tended to focus on our own interests - music and entertainment. Luckily Squeeze and I both had friends in the business and we had the spectrum covered - from Rock (Polygram), Retail (Truetone Records) Classical (Naxos), Budget (Metro marketing), Performance (Auckland Opera) and the industry itself (the Record Industry Association of New Zealand).

The death knell of our association came when we fell foul of RIANZ - they had granted us license to turn the Top50 chart into a product. We negotiated a deal with Philips to sponsor the gig. Long story short: Philips pulled out, we sued them (stupidly turning down a fair and substantial settlement) and lost. Of course Philips owned PolyGram and the sh*t hit the fan.

By then Paul had jumped ship - leaving me to deal the the chaos of legal action that went all the way to the High Court. having gone so far I couldn't turn back without incurring huge costs (Of course Squeeze insisted that he would share in the proceeds of our certain victory). MacGregor Jeffreys turned into David & Goliath. Goliath won that time round.

I incurred huge costs. Mr Jeffreys was nowhere to be seen with his half.

I have forgiven him. Life, as Pauls own sojourn on the planet proves, is too short.

Congratulations on your award Squeeze, you deserved it.

Read the citation from the Axis awards


  1. A mutual friend, talented designer, illustrator, golfer and muscian - Wayne Gillies has suggested the end of this posting is a little unfair to the Squeeze. 'Not a good idea'. After all, he's dead now. But the fact is that it's not an idea. It is the truth and it serves paul better to be treated with an honest perspective - or at least my own. He wasn't a saint. And anyone who really knew him would agree.
    Did you know him? What do you think?

    Visit his website


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