Soundtrack to My Life: Mike Minogue


Each week we ask music lovers to share seven songs that have shaped their life. This week it’s actor Mike Minogue, star of TVNZ’s spooky mockumentary, Wellington Paranormal. Season two premieres Wednesday night on TVNZ2 and can be streamed on TVNZ OnDemand.

Thriller – Michael Jackson

What a tune – but what a video as well. I associate a lot of my music with their videos because I used to watch a fair amount of TV. I was a big Michael Jackson fan. My mother thought it was unhealthy but I loved it all. Loved Man in the Mirror, Liberia Girl, which when I was a kid I thought was Librarian Girl, because I hadn’t heard of Liberia. I just thought he was being very specific because I thought all librarians were girls. To this day I don’t think of seen a male librarian. Or Liberian. I haven’t seen either.

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Rocket Queen – Guns N’ Roses
Appetite for Destruction is the best album of all time as far as I’m concerned. It came out at the same time as Poison’s Open Up and Say … Ahh! I was 12 years old and remember having a big argument with my best mate about what was the better album. Unfortunately I went with Poison, which history tells us was the wrong choice to make. I think about that conversation a lot. I just thrashed Appetite. I saw Guns N’ Roses in 1991. I hitchhiked to Auckland from Levin. I would have been 15 or 16. I went up by myself because none of my mates wanted to go. My brother went up separately. He drank so much that he passed out while Skid Row were playing and woke up when the whole concert was over. So he thought it was s***. I said, “Well, technically you were asleep.” But he wanted to make himself feel better. They were gods at that time. I love them and Rocket Queen is like their rock opera. They jammed two songs together and you can hear that. As a record closer, it’s brilliant. I’d put it up against any album closer.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
It’s undeniably a great ballad, which there were heaps of back then. Every single hair metal band led with a ballad. I haven’t listened to it in a while but it was massive at that time in my life. Leaving intermediate and going to college. That’s when music starts to have a big difference. I love a sing-along. I wasn’t a big romantic but if all the girls are having a sing-along and if you’re having a sing-along, then that’s probably not gonna hurt your chances. Although it can only be said that it didn’t help my chances. Maybe looking back it wasn’t such a good idea. This album hasn’t really stood the test of time but I think this song will stick around for a while.

Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
My stepfather was massively into Queen. We used to be in a tenpin bowling league in Paraparaumu and he’d drive us there and we’d listen to their Greatest Hits double album. It’s pretty bloody good and, of course, Wayne’s World just reinforced that. We played in the bowling league every Tuesday and it was awesome.

Even Flow – Pearl Jam
When you’re teenagers you need that generational shift. Stuff that sounds like it’s yours. Teenagers will adopt any old s***, as we’ve seen since but in the 90s we had a pretty good run. Nirvana was out before this but for me Pearl Jam was the one. Even Flow was my window into all of that music, which just exploded. This was the same time as we were starting to drink, so that’s a good combo. It’s grunge but it’s still rock ‘n’ roll, combined with drinking and summer. It was a bloody good time.

Firestarter – Prodigy
This was a transition for me. Back in those days for me I was strictly rock. That was it. I remember being in my lounge in Levin at 17 and seeing the video for Firestarter. I hadn’t heard of them but it was the no.1 song in the country and I was furious, thinking, “What is this s***?” I went to the Big Day Out in 1996 and they were on the main stage at about 5pm. I wanted to see whoever was on after them. I thought, “I hate these guys.” Then I decided to stick it out so I could stay in my spot in front of the stage. Then The Prodigy came on and it was insane. They’re still the best live act I’ve ever seen. I’ve never been to see an act where I’ve had such disdain for them and within three minutes my mind has completely changed. That’s what it should be, the live act is what it’s all about. It opened my mind that I shouldn’t judge music so harshly until seeing it live. But you know, when you’re that age, everyone sucks.

Spottieottiedopalicious – Outkast
I moved to Aussie in 1999 and from 2001 I was living with a big family that had moved over from the Hawke’s Bay. The son, who was a tattoo artist and a general hard-case, only listened to rap and hip-hop. I used to hate rap but he completely converted me. He’d stop songs, go back over lyrics and break down what was happening and where the songs related in hip-hop’s timeline and what they were going through at the time. All that sort of stuff. It was a great education and from that immersion now I love rap and hip-hop. Outkast are a definite favourite. It’s a goddamn shame that Andre 3000 gave up what he’s an all-time great at to go off to do acting, which … yeah, not as convincing.

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