Thursday, April 29, 2010



Last night was the Auckland launch for the 42 Below book, organised by 42 Below and was in the old 42 style and in the 42 Below bar.

The music was lively, the cocktails powerful and the room crowded. Greg Johnson and his band played, along with a couple of songs from Taye Williams.
Jacob Briars, the vodka professor was the MC. The book was officially launched by Karen Walker and of course our Nicola did a wonderful tribute speech to Justine, Geoff and those involved in the book.

And Justine's speech was just fantastic, I knew Justine could write but what a delight to hear her speak. She was most definitely in her element!  Very entertaining, of course it was her presentation of the speech that was great, very theatrical.
It was so lovely to be involved and meet some of the people who appear frequently in the book.

Justine's speech follows:

Yesterday at 2pm there was an intervention. It happened on the 19th floor of a building not far from here. I was the subject of that intervention. Three women I’ve known for over eighteen years suddenly wanted a piece of me. They called me to their boardroom.

I thought they were just spectacularly good drinking buddies and beloved confidantes. Who knew they were so smart and powerful. Turns out I’ve strayed onto their patch – -  they slammed the national newspapers down on their boardroom table and point accusingly at Geoff – WHY is HE so big in this shot – they demanded. We’ve been scanning the on line reviews they crooned –  Are you speaking on Wednesday – why didn’t you speak on Friday ? They showed me book publicity releases one page about the book, the second about the author and they wondered why the second page was about Geoff. They had done their homework.

As they spoke …I have to admit to drifting off for a moment – I adore satire and I began thinking that this very scene would make excellent book fodder. Nancy Mitford observed her friends and family with wit, mockery, insight and fearlessness – now there is someone I can respect. All my literary heros – seem to get away with abandoning conventional writing techniques and they certainly abandon Political Correctness … Oh how I aspire to that – THE HUMAN CONDITION … Intelligent Social commentary (and business people … its all SOCIAL) fascinates me but as you’ll see in Every Bastard Says No – I don’t limit my first wobbly literary lashings to friends and family I go all the way and finger Geoffs’ colleagues, his associates and even our country. Fortunately for quite a number of folk, Nicola Legat was there to issue some restraint.

It’s true that this is my first book, but the beloved intervention team have seen me leave a flash job in Advertising to be a lowly student in Journalism , they’ve seen me work as a receptionist in a film company (If you knew me you’d understand how very much I must have wanted to write) I waiting by the phone and sometimes at the airport, drycleaner, sandwich bar  where ever I was needed for my chance to write and research, this very same team laughed along at my column in Capital Times usually because I was taking a dim view of one of our friends. The intervention team delighted as I drafted up book ideas documenting the Saatchi and Saatchi Days –- when I began interviewing they gathered intelligence on who was nervous about the proposed book. They told me people were hiring lawyers least I spill the beans and we chortled and knew we were onto something. Then they waited and waited while I did ‘vodka wife’.

So, although they love Geoff and he deserves (well… a book written about him) they’ve been standing very by for quite sometime for a book written by me. I have something in the order of 6 known groupies here tonight, Kim has ordered 10 copies from Dymocks at three lamps Dad had Northlan, mum the CBD, Donna has the Eastern Suburbs– Rae is in a holding pattern above Sylvia Park ready to swoop.

That is loyalty and love and faith at its best – in many ways that is what every bastard says No is about. Matt Cooney Editor of Idealogue said Despite the title it’s a generous book … it needed to be – there were a heap of thankyous. To the 42 Below old boys and girls here tonight a thousand thanks – my advise after listening to all your stories is go out there and use what you learnt well but hurry the secrets are about to go on sale. Some people court controversy – you could safely say I fall into that category. That my beloved Geoff together with Grant ,Donna, Steve, Jackie, Justin, Mark, Jacob, Darryl and Ange  allowed me to muse freely about them in the book is a sign of their own beautiful self confidence. To them and to Simon, Dion and Ross Brown- my thanks.

There is a man among you called Dave Dewar – tonight he represents the YES people in New Zealand. He trusted his gut, ignored the scared mongers and backed 42 Below with his hard earnt cash in 2003 because he rated Geoff and he thought the idea might fly – he attended the AGMs and quietly cheered us on. These are the people acknowleged with love and gratitude in EVERY BASTARD SAYS NO.
The book needed an insert, an expander, a gusset to make room for the stories of support but no story is more compelling than that of Dave and Rae who mortgaged their home to invest in the IPO then did it again when the share price hit the 30s halting and consequently reversing the heart stopping drop. For 5 years they wore our t shirts and kept the faith - they were the largest private investors – not ‘rich friends’ just believers.

I tend to start out with a few hard serves and then give my best self – the love, to the folk still standing. There is love a plenty in the book but there are hopefully some well researched messages too. I’m a natural optimist but my research into why Every Bastard Actually said No – honestly left me disappointed and concerned about our countries psychological DNA no less. Those cherry thoughts are addressed in the book.
The message that isn’t in there however is the one for people considering writing a book. … The process immobilised me … I suppressed emotions, avoided human contact, developed acute intoleritus, and neglected (at times) personal grooming  (where was the intervention then girls?)

I’m now 17 hours Post the intervention and I’m staying largely on message … tonight its  all about the book … you’ll have to see Geoff for the business story.
Finally - I’m going to tell you about the third or was she the fourth fact checker. She rang me daily over the Christmas break and bless her she could barely keep the incredulous tone from her trembling lips … NOW Justine … page 242 line four… you say you made what. For cutting what  …. Page 309 Who … who was in rehab …  page 34 … line 30 … can’t sell, gutless, arrogant, are we being a little unkind to brokers? 178 line 45 is this statement about Muslims correct? Page 393 line 12 – what do you think Darryl means when he mentions the growth quite high up on his leg? And so it went on. . . Random House let us get away with a lot. Like growing a business in our country writing a book is actually hard, it’s also an intrinsically hopeful endeavour.

Nancy Mitford of course caused rift after rift with her astute and cutting observations. I’ve a long road to hoe before I can claim to be a Nancy Mitford but this book… MY BOOK  is about holding fast to dreams and believing so one day (she says with a confident flick of platinum hair) when I am a Nancy Mitford– I can promise you something – there is no way I’m writing anything that will in any way piss of the girls on my intervention team.

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