Deane Waretini: Now is the Hour is an affectionate and funny slice of real life as legendary Te Arawa singer Deane Waretini makes a road trip from Christchurch to his Rotorua hometown for the gig he hopes will re-launch his career.
Deane Waretini: Now is the Hour, a seven-part comedy-documentary, starts on Maori Television at 10.00pm on Friday, August 31.
Deane wants to recover the fame he enjoyed in 1981, when his single The Bridge became the first te reo Maori song to top the pop charts. But fortune didn’t follow, and he ended up bankrupt.
Now a taxi driver in Christchurch, 65-year-old Deane has never surrendered his dreams: “I know I can deliver – I know I’ve got the goods. This will be my second chance to be a superstar.”
The trip to Rotorua with his best mate Andrei Frolov, a Russian immigrant and enthusiastic musician, is a journey into heartland New Zealand, singing old-school songs.
But hang on … the hometown comeback is being organised by one Orlando Stewart, whom fans of Wayne Anderson: Singer of Songs will remember as Wayne’s clueless agent.
These days, Orlando’s a “musical media entrepreneur” running a reo Maori radio station out of a dilapidated caravan in his Avondale, Auckland back yard. What if he turns Deane’s dream into a nightmare?
Deane Waretini: Now is the Hour is “a big-hearted celebration of the balladeers of yesteryear, bromance and the simple joys of song,” says executive producer Meg Douglas.
“It’s also a touching and inspiring story about having the guts to follow your dreams.”