Distribution Central acquired: Dream your own dream - the Nick Verykios story

Distribution Central acquired: Dream your own dream - the Nick Verykios story

The inside story on Distribution Central's managing director and his remarkable career and private life

Distribution Central's Nick Verykios during an ARN roundtable.

Distribution Central's Nick Verykios during an ARN roundtable.

2012 ARN Hall of Fame inductee, Nick Verykios, is a rock’n’roll survivor, poet, Buddhist and philanthropist, as well as co-founder of the $250 million Distribution Central. This is his story.

On the wall behind Nick Verykios’ desk in the St Leonard’s offices of Distribution Central, is a framed poster of the 2002 induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame of legendary and definitive US punks, The Ramones.

It is signed by three members of the band. Only the signature of its beanstalk lead singer Joey - who was dead by the time the band was inducted - is missing.

Towards the bottom of the poster, a cover has been neatly placed on the poster. It comes from a copy of the band’s ridiculously rare first demo tape. It’s so hard to find, it’s almost priceless. On that plain white cover is Joey’s signature.

The tape is safely tucked away elsewhere.

On the main wall, Jim Morrison, the long dead lead singer of quintessential US rock band and psychedelic warriors, The Doors, smiles, enigmatic, almost God-like, as was his way, at any visitor that sits on one of the black leather couches.

Legendary US producer, Bruce Botnick, who helmed The Doors’ seminal LA Woman album, gave the photo to Verykios a decade or more ago.

There is no sign of any of his degrees. And Nick Verykios has them – a Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Marketing) from the University of NSW and a Corporate Director’s Graduate Diploma from the University of New England. But they don’t give out degrees in recognising and understanding of life. That, in many ways, is what Verykios is all about.

He talks a lot - because I ask him to - about his drive to help orphans, about his Buddhist beliefs and his relationship with the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, about his family and how on earth the $250 million Distribution Central he founded eight years ago with long-time partner and friend, Scott Frew, fits into the picture.

To understand all that and this 48-year-old rebel with a cause, you need to go back to the very early days, poverty, and, in particular, his first dream. It wasn’t of being a train driver or a pilot or racing car driver or any other little boy’s normal fantasy career.

“I came from a really poor environment. We were dog poor, I lived in a place with lots of people in it,” he said.

“There were people there all the time. There were barbecues with lamb on a spit going all the time. Someone was a butcher, someone was a grocer, someone was fisherman, someone was this and that, everyone contributed. I had no idea we were poor because everybody else was - until I got to high school.


“I grew up in Rosebery and in our day Rosebery was the scum of the earth, unlike now. Across the road was Eastlakes, where they built this massive high rise. In my eyes it was 20-storeys.

"What I wanted to do when I was a kid was move from where I was into that building because I wanted to live somewhere where there wasn’t lots of people. It’s all I wanted to do. What I didn’t realise was that it was a block of Housing Commission flats.

"I didn’t care. That’s what I wanted to do. That’s when things started to go wrong for me. When I started to think that I needed to separate myself from everything. I was in and out of the wrong kinds of places.

“You really had to know how to fight well to survive the streets there. Just a lot of juvenile crime and that kind of crap. I just wanted to be free of everyone. That’s so crazy now because I hate being by myself because I don’t feel useful.

“That’s the softer bit. The harder bit was I wanted to be an achitect, to build things. But my dad was an orphan who spent all his time raising five sisters, who were all older than him, by singing in hash houses.

"He was a singer from an early age. He pushed me down that track so I learnt to sing operas when I was very young. Then all I wanted to do was become a musician so I became one.”

He was 17 when he joined his first band, US glam rockers Blue Passion in 1981, singing the higher registers. When he returned home, he joined Lung Slug which was put together to support grunge gods, Nirvana, when they toured Australia.

“I loved that band but it was manufactured so we didn’t really like each other but we wrote incredible songs. What is amazing is so many people still remember it.” He then went back to the US and played with a reformed Blue Passion, then Nasty Passion, before he moved on to another glam metal outfit, Alleycat Scratch.

Incidentally, its first album 1993’s Deadboys in Trash City is regarded as one of the better sleaze rock albums of that time, although I'm not sure whether Nick played on it.

City Lights

Back in Australia, he also played with Wooden Heart and through it met legendary guitarist Deniz Tek.

“Around that time I stopped wanting to be a musician but I wanted to keep writing songs, writing poems. They got published through City Lights [founded in 1953 by the great beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin] in San Francisco.

"What I realised is you can be a musician, a songwriter, but you can be smart as well. It was Tek who made me realise ‘It’s cool to be at uni mate. Keep doing what you’re doing at uni, you’re doing well, despite yourself. You’re going to need it to fall back on because what if you are crap later on as a musician?’.

"That made me think, what happens if people stop wanting to come and see me? What happens if people stop enjoying my voice or my poems?”

While all this was going on, Verykios had, without knowing it, become a practising Buddhist. From the age of 21 he had been contemplating and meditating.

Drawing on the influence of several people including his mother who was a hardcore orthodox Christian (which Nick now sees as form of mystic Christianity), a university lecturer who ran flotation tank experiments, and Botnick, who was a practising Buddhist, Verykios arrived at a point where he realised that his purpose in life was “to stop people from wanting to kill themselves because they thought that what they were thinking was true”.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Blue PassionCity LightsNirvanaBuddhism1Worlddistribution centralJim MorrisonMovexAlleycat ScratchDalai LamaLAN SystemsDeniz Teknick verykiosthe DoorsorphanagesLung SlugnetcommCasioRamones



Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments