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  • Wellington’s 60’s scene: Abdulluh’s Regime
  •           [Transcript:] ABDULLAH’S REGIME November 1968 Original line-up was: MARK DALLEY – vocals/lead guitar/piano/organ ROBERT COULTER – rhythm guitar GREGG COBB – bass guitar MARK HANSEN – drums In November 1968 the label ODE became a reality: it was one of the first independent labels to challenge the stranglehold held by […]

  • Wellington’s 60’s scene: Cellophane
  •                   [Transcript] CELLOPHANE 1969-1970 Original line-up was: DAVE WELLINGTON – lead guitar/vocals PAM POTTER – organ MICHAEL HILL – bass guitar/vocals JOHN VAN DER RYDEN – drums IAN HEWITTSON – lead vocals Cellophane was formed from the remnants of two other bands, as is often the case. […]

  • Wellington’s 60’s scene: Bari and The Breakaways
  •                                   [Transcript] BARI AND THE BREAKAWAYS 1964-1967 Original line-up was: BARI GORDON – lead guitar/vocals KEITH (MIDGE) MARSDEN – rhythm guitar/vocals DAVE ORAMS – bass guitar/vocals BRIAN (GRUDLEY) BEAUCHAIVIP – drums/vocals Bari and Dave first played together in a […]

  • Wellington’s 60’s scene: The Librettos
  •                     [Transcript] THE LIBRETTOS 1960-1966 Original line-up was: ROD STONE – lead guitar JOHNNY ENGLAND – rhythm guitar/vocals PAUL GRIFFIN – bass guitar/vocals ROGER SIMSON – vocalist/piano/bass DAVE CLARK – piano/also manager GORDON JENKINS — drums     All of these guys met whilst attending Rongotai […]

  • Wellington’s 60’s scene: Mammal
  • ‘Mammal’ were the third of three 1960s bands to feature iconic Wellington Soul-man Rick Bryant…             Mammal II, at Lucifers. The line up is basically that of MK I of the band. (Photo: Graham Nesbit collection) Mammal 111….a future Crocodile, two future Dragons and a future Jive Bomber   [Transcript] […]

Artist entries...

  • Abdullah’s Regime

    Mark Dalley (Vocals / Guitar / Keyboards)
    Robert Coulter (Rhythm Guitar)
    Greg Cobb (Bass)
    Mark Hansen (Drums)

    Abdullah’s Regime was a Wellington group, put together only to record the first single for the launching of the newly formed independent label, Ode Records in November 1968. It was one of the first independent labels to challenge the monopoly that the major labels had on the local recording scene. The song “Sally, I Do” was written by Mark Dalley and was backed with “Silver Ship”. They never played or recorded together again.

    Robert Coulter later played in Risk in 1973 and Mark Hansen was in the original Mammal line-up in 1970.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Alan Galbraith

    Alan Galbraith originated from Nelson, before settling in Wellington. In 1966 he joined the Sounds Unlimited and one of their singles in 1967, “Either Way I Lose”/”One Way Love” was billed as Alan Galbraith with Sounds Unlimited. In 1967, the Sounds Unlimited was probably the loudest band New Zealanders had ever heard and this got a little too much for Alan, so he left. In 1968 he shifted to Auckland and formed a duo with Ken Murphy, calling themselves the Real Thing. Ken had been playing with a Hamilton group called the Trends, who would evolve into Music Convention after Ken left.

    Real Thing : Ken Murphy and Alan Galbraith.

    The Real Thing released one single in 1968 called “Walking In The Rain”/”Lullaby To Tim” on the HMV label. At the same time Alan moved into the business side of the industry and began working as an HMV sales representative. In 1969 he returned to Wellington to work in the HMV warehouse. He released a solo single the same year called “Serving A Sentence Of Life”/”Rose Growing In The Ruins”, also on the HMV label.

    In the early seventies only HMV had their own recording studio, and with producer Peter Dawkins at the helm, they began releasing a large number of New Zealand recordings. Alan Galbraith was moved in to assist Dawkins in the production of a number of groups. In 1970 he undertook some part-time performing on television’s ‘Music Makers’. He released another single in 1970, which was his own composition. Called “The Old Man”, he was back by Garth Young’s Orchestra. This same song was entered into the 1971 “Studio One” competition, where it gained first prize, sung by Eddie Low.

    In February 1972 Alan sailed to England, singing on the way, and secured a job with EMI’s A&R division. He only stayed there 12 months and returned to New Zealand to continue full-time production duties at HMV, just before they changed their name to EMI in April 1973.

    When EMI moved their whole operation to the Lower Hutt, Alan was looking for an in-house band to provide backings for the growing number of soloists at the stable. He found the perfect band, who were still really in their rehearsal stages. Rockinghorse provided backing for almost all the releases to come out of EMI in 1974.

    Using the resources at his disposal, Alan released one last single in 1974, called “Homburg”/”Backdoor”.

    Alan left EMI in May 1976 and formed AGE (Alan Galbraith Enterprises). He then moved to Australia and in 1979 while working for CBS, he was responsible for getting Mi-Sex into the studio over there and signing them up for a deal. In 1980 he was back in New Zealand, working for WEA and responsible for giving the Herbs a go.

    During his time with HMV / EMI, Alan launched a number of successful careers for some of New Zealand’s top artists. In 1970, David Curtis came to the attention of Alan as a 13 year old school boy from Wellington. Alan heard an acetate of David singing four current pop songs, backed simply by a guitar. It was good, but the commercial value was still unclear. Alan persevered with David and a few weeks later he was a star.

    He also recognised the talents of Sharon O’Neill and signed her up to a deal. One of his biggest signings was in 1974, with Mark Williams. He produced his three EMI albums and even became his manager. When his EMI contract was about to expire, Mark decided to move to Australia, following Alan and joining him at the CBS stable. In 1975 and 1976 Alan was awarded “Producer Of The Year” for his work on Mark’s albums. At CBS he continued to produce Mark’s new albums.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Andrew Parata


    Andrew was a pop vocalist based in Wellington. Andrew’s full name is Andrew Parata and he was originally from Christchurch. He only ever released one single, “Handbags and Gladrags”/”Jordan Marsh (My Best Friend)” in 1969 on the Ode label.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Bari and the Breakaways

    L to R: Bryan Beauchamp, Midge Marsden, Bari Gordon and Dave Orams.

    Bari Gordon (Lead Guitar)
    Dave Orams (Bass)
    Keith “Midge” Marsden (Rhythm Guitar)
    Bryan Beauchamp (Lead Vocalist / Drums)

    There were only a few R&B groups around in New Zealand in 1965. The main ones were Chants R&B based in Christchurch and The Dark Ages based in Auckland, along with Bari and the Breakaways in Wellington. Bari and the Breakaways were originally from New Plymouth, but based themselves in Wellington during 1964 to 1966.

    Bari originally started out playing in his father’s band in 1961 before moving to a local Stratford band called the Crescendos. From there he played in a band called the Nitelites, whose lead singer was Lew Pryme and also included Dave Orams.

    Bari formed a band called the Blue Diamonds in 1964 and they played behind such artists as Dinah Lee, Tommy Adderley and John Hore on Johnny Coopers Talent Shows. The line-up for the Blue Diamonds included Bari, Midge Marsden, Bryan Beauchamp, Colin Lambert and Tim Nuku. Bryan Beauchamp had originally played with Darryl and the Demons and when he left them his place was taken by Jim Ford, who was later to go on and play with the Dallas Four. Needing a bass player, Bari called on Dave Orams, from the Nitelites. With gigs already lined up they changed their name to Bari and the Breakaways.

    L to R: Bari Gordon, Tim Nuku, Midge Marsden and Bryan Beauchamp.

    Bari and the Breakaways began playing at a number of Wellington nightclubs and touring around the surrounding provinces. An appearance on the “Let’s Go” TV show increased their exposure.

    In 1965 they signed to HMV Records and there first single was a cover of the Who’s “I Can’t Explain”, backed with a copy of the Kinks “Long Tall Shorty”. A second single, a copy of Frankie Ford’s “Sea Cruise”, backed with “Tough Enough” was released in October 1965. “Sea Cruise” was the groups biggest and most well known hit.

    After what had been a very successful year, Midge Marsden was called up for compulsory military service and Bari decided to leave the group to get married. Bari’s last single was a Swinging Blue Jeans song called “Old Man Mose”.

    Dave and Bryan recruited Dave Hurley to replace Bari. Dave was guitarist with Palmerston band, the Saints, (not the Christchurch group of the same name). They shortened their name to just the Breakaways and played in Nelson for a while until Midge rejoined them and they moved on to Christchurch.

    They finished recording their first album in May 1966. It was released as “Let’s Take A Sea Cruise With The Breakaways” and included songs from Bari’s era. Other singles were recorded, “A Travelled Man” and “Despair”, and in December 1966 the “Album Two” was released.



    Bryan Beauchamp left the group and was replaced by Doug Thomas of New Plymouth’s Rex and the Roadrunners. Not long after, Dave Hurley also quit the band. He was later replaced by Tim Piper from Christchurch’s Chants R&B. Their last single was “Walk Right Back” / “Baby, Please Don’t Go”.

    The group finally broke up by mid 1967. Dave Orams later played with Tom Thumb, the Bitter End, the Underdogs and Quincy Conserve. Doug Thomas showed up in other groups, Le Frame and the Underdogs. Midge Marsden joined Radio New Zealand for a number of years before getting the urge to get back into the music, so he formed the Country Flyers, one of the more popular country-rock bands of the seventies.

    The Breakaways enjoyed the distinction of being the first full-time R&B group in the country.

    Meanwhile, Bari Gordon, who had moved back to New Plymouth, kept his hand in by singing with various groups. He ran a night club and had been working as a promoter. But sadly it all came to an end when he died of natural causes in 1969 at the young age of 22.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site <a href=””>New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s</a>.

  • Bill and Boyd


    Bill and Boyd were a pop duo consisting of Bill Cate and Boyd Robertson from the Hutt Valley near Wellington. They were school mates at Wellington’s Naenae College.

    They started recording together in 1960, and relied heavily on doing covers of overseas artists’ songs before the original versions made it to New Zealand. Their favourites were the Everley Brothers and they did well locally with versions of “Cathy’s Clown” and “Crying in the Rain”.


    Their first year was spent on the Peak label, where they recorded five singles during 1960 and 1961. The most successful was their cover of “Corrina Corrina”. They switched to the Philips label late in 1961. In 1963, the duo moved to Auckland and joined the Peter Posa tour with Max Merritt and the Meteors, Dinah Lee and Lou and Simon.


    In 1964 Bill and Boyd moved to Australia on the strength of their first Australian hit “Chulu Chululu”. It was a bright, sing-along song recorded live at the Rotorua Sound Shell in New Zealand. The talented pair were quick to gain popularity, appearing regularly on TV, particularly on Bandstand, and working clubs around Australia. They left for America early in 1968, touring with the Supremes and Herb Alpert.

    On their return to Australia, they established themselves as a top club act. In 1970, they joined Ron Tudor’s newly formed Fable label. Their first release, in July 1970, was a version of “It’s A Small World” which, although a steady seller, didn’t quite make the top 40. They had several releases of singles and albums over the next four years. It wasn’t until 1975 that they had their most success, after recording a song called “Santa Never Made It Into Darwin”. The song documented the events of Cyclone Tracy that devastated the city of Darwin on Christmas eve 1974. The song made it to number 1 on the Australian national charts. Their 1975 album release was “Bill and Boyd”. It was released in two formats, the first from Fable and the second from Axis. The Axis version contains three extra songs, two of which have not been available anywhere else.


    Another single called “Put Another Log On The Fire” followed, and Bill and Boyd were a household name in Australia. After that they took a break from recording and concentrated on touring. In 1978 they went back to America and under the direction of Glen Campbell recorded an album called “Companions”, which was released in February 1979.


    They continued to tour the club circuit in Australia until the late eighties, attracting quite a large following of loyal fans wherever they went. J & B Records have released an album of their all time greatest hits called “Dreamin’ ” and in 2003 we finally get a CD compilation from EMI of all their greatest hits.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Bitter End

    Early Line-Up, L to R: Peter Raxworthy, Alan Bateup, Dave Longmore, Peter Hall and Ben Kaika.

    Peter Hall (Vocals)
    Ben Kaika (Bass)
    Alan Bateup (Drums)
    Dave Longmore (Guitar)
    Dave Orams (Keyboards)

    This line-up is just one of many for this R&B band who originated from the Hutt Valley, just north of Wellington. It is this line-up that was responsible for their one and only recorded single. The Bitter End were active around New Zealand between 1965 and 1968. They were hugely popular in Dunedin, where their particular brand of R&B was much appreciated by the locals and they stayed there at one time for close to nine months.

    Throughout their reign as New Zealand’s wildest r&b act, the Bitter End were plagued by line-up changes, 23 personnel changes in three years, but nevertheless managed to tour extensively and built up a big following around the country. Guitarist, Dave Longmore, was from England, but grew up in New Zealand (Stokes Valley). Dave has confirmed with me that he has never played in a band in Australia. Some publications claim that he was with the Missing Links, as well as Chris Hall and the Torquays.

    George Barris, later of the Underdogs, Glyn Mason from the Roadrunners and Bruno Lawrence from Blerta were just some of the better known artists to pass through the band. Dave Orams had also been with the Breakaways and later the Underdogs. Ben Kaika had a stint with Sounds Unlimited and later joined the Joyful Crye, who took Australia by storm in the seventies as Compulsion. Peter Hall later became vocalist with Train, got into glam rock in the seventies and then played with Wellington band Trixx in the nineties.

    Bitter End (taken at Hidden Valley, Upper Hutt)
    Top L to R: Dave Orams, Alan Bateup and Peter Hall. Bottom is Dave Longmore.

    Only one single was recorded, this was in 1967 and was “Single Man”/”Too Much Monkey Business”. Peter Hall was the vocalist on the original composition “Single Man”. The other song was an excellent cover of a Yardbirds song.

    At Oriental Parade, Wellington.
    Top L to R: Alan Bateup, Peter Hall and Dave Longmore. Below Ben Kaika.

    The original line-up for the group consisted of Peter Hall on vocals, Peter Raxworthy on lead guitar, James Dwain on rhythm guitar, Roger Knox on bass guitar and Alan Bateup on drums. James Dwain left to join Spyce Of Life and was replaced by Dave Longmore. Roger Knox was replaced by Ben Kaika, and Peter Raxworthy was replaced by George Barris. Glyn Mason joined the band to assist George as dual lead guitarist and vocalist. Dave Orams later joined the group, playing keyboards on the recording, before switching to bass when Ben Kaika left. When Dave Orams and George Barris left for the Underdogs, Noel Koskella from the Roadrunners stepped in on bass.

    A later version with George Barris.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Bruno Lawrence


    “His first name conjures up so many memories that the surname is just about superfluous. From the 1960’s until his untimely death in 1995, Bruno was an enduring popular culture figure on both sides of the Tasman: from songs like ‘Dance All Around The World’; his band and theatre troupe Blerta; to films such as Smash Palace, Goodbye Pork Pie, The Quiet Earth; and the outstanding television series Frontline … the list goes on and on. Boundless energy, diverse talents, tremendous charm, a strong sense of fairness… these were just some of the qualities that made him so memorable.”
    Roger Booth “The Bruno Lawrence Story”

    Bruno Lawrence was born David Lawrence on 12th February 1941 in Brighton England. He emigrated to New Zealand with his parents and sister in 1946 at the age of five, settling in New Plymouth before relocating to Wellington in 1948.

    David’s interest in music developed when he was very young and during his school years his love for the drums became more pronounced. At Wellington College he was a regular at the lunchtime music room jam sessions in 1955. Some friends formed a Dixie band in 1956 and David made his first band appearance playing at teenage dances at the local church hall. It was while playing there that the “Bruno” tag was attained.

    After leaving school, some of his friends went to Victoria University and they revived the University Jazz Club. David preferred jazz as a musical direction and bluffed his way into University so that he could play at the club. When it was discovered that he was not eligible, he was banned from subjects, but still stayed with the club. There he mixed with a lot of talent and gained significant experience and musical education from 1958 to 1960.

    In 1961 jazz pianist Ronnie Smith set up a group to play at the “Sorrento” in Wellington. The group included Tommy Tamati on bass and a young Ricky May on drums and vocals. Dave was always in the audience and was given a chance to play the drums when Ricky got up to sing. He impressed Ronnie enough to become a regular with the group. They stayed together for about a year, even touring around the lower North Island area.

    1963 saw David being involved in a number of projects. He had weekend work at the “Pines” in Wellington, drumming for a semi-jazz combination which included Tommy Adderley as vocalist and Garth Young on piano. Garth used David for a number of recording sessions, as did Laurie Lewis, who had set up a recording sessions band called Blockbusters. This consisted of Dave Fraser on keyboards, Neil Harrap on guitar, Bill Evans on bass guitar, Terry Crayford on piano and David on drums. David was also involved in jazz recordings for radio programmes and formed a trio, which included Tommy Tamati, for this purpose. They even appeared on Television during the year.

    David had always considered himself a jazz drummer and had resisted the requests for him to play rock and roll. He had played with Neil Harrap in the Blockbusters, and in 1964 Neil was setting up a rock group and he wanted David as his drummer. David finally agreed only because regular work for the group had been obtained. They called themselves the Measles. On lead guitar was Neil, who had played in the Premiers, bass guitar was Puni Solomon, previously with Ray Columbus and the Invaders, and Paul Muggleston on rhythm guitar and vocals, who went on to play with the Secrets. The group stayed together for about a year.

    While resident with the Measles, David released a single called “Bruno Do That Thing” in 1965. It was a cover of “Bobo Do That Thing” by American Willie Bobo. The song sold reasonable well and even made the finals of the Loxene Golden Disc Awards. It was released under the name Bruno, so the name was now official.

    By mid 1965, Bruno was now with Ronnie Smith, Tommy Tamati and Dave Fraser, playing at Del Monico’s in Wellington, the jazz scene of the capital. He also pursued a young lady by the name of Veronica. By August 1966, the stint at Del Monico’s was over and Veronica found she was pregnant, so they decided it was time to discretely move on. Bruno left for Australia in October and Veronica followed early in the new year.

    The couple married in February 1966, with Ricky May accepting the honour of being best man. Ricky had moved to Sydney earlier and had begun his own series on television, and brought Bruno in occasionally to play drums with his resident television band. One session in the series featured Max Merritt and the Meteors, who were based in Sydney at the time. They were without a drummer, as they had just lost Jimmy Hill and Bill Fleming in quick succession. Ricky suggested Bruno fill in for the video clip, they liked what they saw, and signed him up.

    This line-up had Max on guitar, Billy Kristian on bass, Peter Williams on rhythm guitar and Bruno on drums. After a stint in Sydney, the band took up residence in Melbourne, playing at a number of different venues. Bruno stayed with Max for nearly two years, during which time his first child was born. The band had a lot of gigs and received numerous appearances on Australian television. In August 1966 they toured New Zealand and appeared on television’s “Let’s Go”. During that visit the single “Fanny Mae” was recorded. A gig aboard a pacific cruise ship ended Bruno’s association with the band when he jumped ship in Auckland.

    While in Auckland, Bruno played at the El Matador restaurant for a few months. The vocalist with the band there was Tommy Adderley. He also spent a short time with a group called the Brew. After this he moved back to Wellington to rejoin his family, to which a second child had arrived. He released a second single under his own name in 1967 called “Mandy Jones”/”I Don’t Care”.

    Back in Wellington, Bruno became involved in some minor film projects with some of his friends. He either appeared in them or directed some of them. This put a temporary hold on his music interests for a few months, but at the end of 1967 he made a very brief appearance on a tour with the Keil Isles. Billy Kristian was also in the line-up.

    In 1968, Claude Papesch, who had been an original member of the Devils, brought Bruno back to Sydney to join his band, the Electric Heap. The line-up included Dave Russell from the Invaders and Tim Piper from the Breakaways. Bruno didn’t stay long and moved back to New Zealand to replace Raice McLeod in Quincy Conserve. He stayed with them through 1969 and 1970, contributing to the band by writing one of their biggest hits, “Ride The Rain”, which made the finals of the 1970 Loxene Gold Disc Award.

    A more serious attempt at film acting took place while still with Quincy Conserve, with Bruno appearing in “Tank Busters”. A third child was born into the Lawrence household and he then played a role in a television documentary called “Time Out”. He did such a good job of it that he was awarded the 1970 Feltex Television Award for Best Actor. Further roles followed with a part in the television series “Pukemanu”.

    In June 1971, Bruno joined Fresh Air as a replacement drummer. (See Fresh Air). The venture only lasted six weeks, but was significant, as all members were later to end up playing with Bruno in Blerta.

    Bruno moved back home to greet a fourth child and do the odd gig. He was asked to back Corben Simpson at some recording sessions. Corben had been playing with a group called Movement, which included Tony Littlejohn, but the group folded and Corben was in need of a good drummer. So Bruno joined Corben and Tony in September 1971 to create a trio called Littlejohn. Alan Moon, ex Sons and Lovers, was added to play keyboards in October. Once again this venture didn’t last very long as Bruno was getting restless and starting to put together his ideas for a complete change in lifestyle. This change came about in the form of Blerta.

    For a full account of the Blerta days see Blerta.

    Bruno was involved with Blerta from 1971 to 1975 and then drummed with the Beaver Band in 1976. The Beaver Band consisted of Terry Crawford on keyboards, Bruce Robinson on guitar, Mark Hornibrook on bass and Beaver on vocals.

    After Blerta, Fane Flaws put together a group called Spats, with Tony Backhouse and Patrick Bleakley. On drums was Steve Garden, Peter Dasent on keyboards and Julie Needham as backup vocalist. Steve Garden didn’t stay long and before he knew it, Bruno was sitting in the seat playing drums. He stayed there for about six months, with Spats going on to play together for about eighteen months, unfortunately never recording any of their music.

    In 1978 an all-female band was put together in New Zealand called Wide Mouthed Frogs. Members were Tina Matthews on bass, Kate Brockie on lead vocals, Andrea Gilkison on guitar, Bronwyn Murray on keyboards and Sally Zwartz on drums. Also recruited was another vocalist named Jenny Morris. Bruno had been mastering the art of playing the saxophone over the last six months and was given the opportunity to try out the challenge of the new instrument with the girls by playing on gigs for a number of weeks. Peter Dasent, from the Spats, was musical director for the Wide Mouthed Frogs, so it was pretty obvious where Bruno’s opportunity came from.

    Meanwhile Fane Flaws, Tony Backhouse and Peter Dasent were putting together another band with bass player Mark Hornibrook. Bruno was on drums and they successfully attracted Jenny Morris as lead singer. They were called the Crocodiles and before really getting going, Hornibrook was replaced by Tina Matthews from Wide Mouthed Frogs.

    The Crocodiles gigged in Auckland and also performed at the 1980 Sweetwaters Festival, which ironically was the event that the Wide Mouthed Frogs last played together. An album called “Tears” was released in 1980 and from it the title track was released as a single. It and the album both reached number 17 on the national charts.

    After the Crocodiles, Bruno concentrated on the film side of his career, but did have a small stint playing in a jazz trio with Wilton Roger on saxophone and ex-Blerta bass player Bill Gruar, supporting the “State Of The Nation” tour by a group of poets sponsored by the Arts Council.

    Over the next fifteen years Bruno spent most of his time acting. There is a large number of feature films that he had an acting role in. They were Wild Man, Goodbye Pork Pie, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Race For The Yankee Zephyr, Battletruck, Carry Me Back, Smash Palace, Wild Horses, Prisoners, Pallet On The Floor, Lizzie, Utu, Death Warmed Up, Heart Of The Stag, Quiet Earth, An Indecent Obsession, Bridge To Nowhere, Initiation, As Time Goes By, Grievous Bodily Harm, Rikky and Pete, Delinquents, Spotswood, Jack Be Nimble, Gino, and Cosi. The last one Bruno did not complete.

    Throughout his acting career, Bruno still played drums whenever possible. Bruno loved drumming and always said that he did not become an actor by choice, drumming always was and remained his first creative love.

    Peter Dasent, ex-Crocodiles, who had been living in Australia for a while, came back to Wellington in 1985 to play a gig for a few weeks at the Oak Brasserie. Peter played keyboards and with him in the Combo were Jonathan Swartz on bass, and Jane Lindsay on vocals. He invited Bruno to join him on drums, and Bruno couldn’t resist. Another constant friend of Bruno’s was the Australian jazz singer Vince Jones. In 1985, at Bruno’s suggestion, Vince brought his saxophonist Dave Addis and his bass player Rolf Stube with him to New Zealand for some gigs. He linked up with Bruno and another of Bruno’s favourite musicians, talented young pianist Jonathan Crayford, for a short North Island tour.

    Bruno organised an event called “Jazz At St James” in 1989. He organised Larry Gales, from the USA, to play bass, ex-Blerta Bernie McGann on saxophone and Jonathan Crayford on piano. It was a remarkable show and in 1990 they did it again, this time with Vince Jones on vocals, Dave Addis on saxophone, Jonathan Crayford on piano, Rolf Stube on bass and added the New Zealand String Quartet. Drums obviously being provided by Bruno on each occasion. Bruno enjoyed playing with Jonathan and they soon formed a band called Jazzmin. Other members included Patrick Bleakley on bass, Georgio Quevedo on saxophone and percussion, Kim Paterson on trumpet and conga, and Geoff Hughes on guitar. They played on and off around Wellington from 1990 to 1993. Bruno’s last musical outing was in an outfit called Cracker, with Grant Winterburn on organ, Jeremy Jones on guitar, and Patrick Bleakley on bass and vocals.

    The other area that Bruno came to prominence in the public eye was when he took on the role of Brian Thompson, the Executive Producer on the ABC’s television series, Frontline. The first series was a huge success.

    At the same time Bruno was working on the movie Cosi, but he was not feeling too well. He was experiencing pain and was admitted to hospital. After extensive tests, it was found that Bruno was suffering from inoperable cancer and was only given a matter of weeks to live. Sadly, Bruno passed away on 10th June 1995.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Capell Hopkins Blues Dredge

    Gerald Bull (Lead Guitar)
    John Hannan (Keyboards / Vocals)
    Neil Hannan (Bass Guitar)
    Robin Clarkson (Drums)

    The Capell Hopkins Blues Dredge were a Wellington based group who formed in 1967. Gerald Bull and Neil Hannan had previously played together in a group called Jason Tory. Robin Clarkson was from a group called Chain Reaction.

    Their style of music at the beginning was very much doing covers of British blues groups, like John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac. After a little while they started also including a lot of their own material as part of their repertoire. They also played around with adaptations of old country blues standards. This came about with their association with blues supremos Midge Marsden and Bill Lake, both of whom appeared with them on many occasions.

    They used to appear regularly at the Montmartre for the Sunday afternoon blues club, and before long were one of the main bands responsible for promoting the growing following of blues fans from around the country to the Wellington blues scene.

    Although they never released any recordings of their own, they did actually record two songs in 1969 for inclusion on an ODE album called “In The Blue Vein”. The two songs were “Work Song” and “Kidman Blues”. On the album they also provided backing for Val Murphy. They had often worked with Val at the Blues Club.

    L to R: Gerald Bull, Val Murphy and Neil Hannan behind.

    Towards the end of their time, Gerald and Neil formed a band on the side called the KBA Band, (Keep The Blues Alive). Gerald was on lead guitar, with Neil playing bass. Midge Marsden joined in on rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals, while a friend of Neil’s, Dave Porter played drums.

    By the end of 1969 they had broken up. John, Neil and Robin then teamed up with ex Supernatural Blues Band lead guitarist John O’Connor, and Krissy Klocek, to form Mephisto. Neil Hannan was to later appear as a member of Coup D’Etat.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Cellophane

    L to R: Dave Wellington, Pam Potter, Ian Hewittson, Michael Hill and John Van Der Reyden.

    Dave Wellington (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Pam Potter (Organ)
    Ian Hewittson (Vocals)
    John Van Der Reyden (Drums)
    Michael Hill (Bass / Vocals)

    Cellophane were a Wellington based pop group formed around 1969. Dave Wellington and Michael Hill had previously been with the Intruders and they joined forces with Ian and John, who had been with the psychedelic group called Sebastian’s Floral Array. They added Pam to complete the line-up. This was Pam’s one and only outing, as she was also a schoolteacher during her time with the band. Cellophane recorded one single on the Pye label, called “Fire”/”Mind Patterns” and it was released in 1969. “Fire” was a slow version of Arthur Brown’s original.

    They entered the national Battle Of The Bands competition with “Fire” and won. The prize was a trip to Australia with guaranteed gigs, but they never made it, as line-up changes started to occur and this disrupted their plans.

    John left and he was replaced by Dave Kirkland and then Michael left and he was replaced by Robbie Mackie. Both Dave and Robbie were from Dunedin. They didn’t stay together very long after this and disbanded.

    Pam and Ian went to Australia anyway, but Pam was killed in an auto accident not long after arriving. Robbie Mackie and Dave Kirkland ended up as the rhythm section of Tapestry.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Cheshire Katt

    John Donoghue (Lead Guitar)
    Dennis Cleaver (Rhythm Guitar)
    Doug Reed (Bass)
    Tim Taylor (Drums)
    Keith Norgate (Keyboards)

    Wellington band Cheshire Katt emerged in 1967 from a line-up that started back in 1963 with the Crescendos, (not the Wanganui band Cresendos). From 1964 to 1966, they had changed their name to the Strangers, again, not to be confused with the Upper Hutt band around at the same time, called the Sensational Six – The Strangers. The Strangers consisted of Eddie McDonald (who would later join the Avengers, Steve McDonald (later to join Dizzy Limits), John Donoghue, and Steve Musphia.

    When the Strangers ended, John and Steve formed the short-lived Leaders with two others, Warren Willis (later to join Tom Thumb) and Brian McRae (later to feature as the washboard player in Bulldogs All-Star Goodtime Band, alongside John Donoghue). At the demise of the Leaders, John formed Cheshire Katt.

    Cheshire Katt made an attempt on the world record for non-stop playing, at the Karma Sutra Nite Club in Kilbirnie. They lasted two days, after which Tim called it quits and was replaced by Colin McRae on drums. Colin had previously played in a band called Catch Hands.

    In 1968 they entered the Wellington heat of the national Battle Of The Bands, and after an outstanding performance they placed third. Now with a need to establish themselves, they made a quick visit to Auckland, where they were received very well. On their return to Wellington, they decided that Auckland was the place to be, and relocated there, only to fold a short time after.

    Doug Reed then spent a short time with Roger Skinner’s Motivation and John returned to Wellington where he joined Dizzy Limits.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Christine Barnett


    Christine Barnett was a young singing sensation from Wellington. She began recording on the Lexian label in 1962 when she was 14 years old. During that year she released two singles, “I Listen To My Heart”/”Cry For You” and “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome”/”No One To Cry To”.

    In 1963 she released three more, “Teenage Queen”/”Overboard”, “Birthday Party”/”That’s Why I Love Him”, and “Walking Down The Road”/”Over The Mountain Across The Sea”.

    In 1962 Lexian produced an album called “New Zealand Hit Paraders”, which was actually a combination of a few songs by members of the Lexian stable, which included Lou Parun, later of the Librettos, Tommy Adderley, Sammy Rodgers and Rod Stone, also of the Librettos. Christine contributed two songs to the album.

    While Christine was in Australia in 1973 she ran into Bruno Lawrence and before long she became a member of Blerta for a short time.

    Christine’s older sister Lyn Barnett also had a recording career at the same time, but on a different label.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • City Derelicts

    Tim Croft (Lead Vocals)
    George Barris (Lead Guitar / Harmonica / Vocals)
    John McPherson (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Warwick White (Bass Guitar)
    Murray Walker (Drums)

    The City Derelicts started out in 1966 as a high school band, playing at school dances and local youth clubs around Wellington. At this early stage, public exposure was too much for John to take, so he resigned. It was decided that he should be replaced by an organ player, so Mike Brosnan was brought into the group. He had been with the Soul Sect. This caused a shuffle in the Soul Sect, with drummer Bruce Walker moving to bass guitar and enticing his younger brother Murray to leave the Derelicts and join him at Soul Sect on drums.

    Fortunately for the Derelicts, it just happened that the Roadrunners had been forced into a temporary hiatus while their guitarist Chaz Burke-Kennedy began to explore the delights of life as a recluse. This left their drummer Tim O’Connor free to join the Derelicts for a short time.

    By 1967 it was decided it was time to move on. Tim had returned to the Roadrunners, now that Chaz had decided to venture out into the wide world again. George moved on to the Dead Things.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Corvairs

    L to R: Rob, George, Alex, and David. Gerald is out of shot.

    Rob Crozier (Drums)
    David Leith (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    George Watson (Bass Guitar)
    Gerald Loesch (Keyboards)
    Alex Neill (Lead Guitar / Vocals)

    The Corvairs were a Wellington based group who formed around 1963. In their early days they played the local youth club scene, especially around the Hutt Valley region. At the beginning, Alex Neill played lead guitar and did the main vocals. After preferring to concentrate on the vocals, a new lead guitarist, Dale Wrightson, was added to the group. At about the same time Rob Crozier left and he was replaced by Peter Stallard on drums. Peter didn’t stay long and he was replaced by Andy Anderson, from the Dominos. Andy would later come to prominence in Australian band, the Missing Links, and later with Arkastra.

    The Corvairs only released one self-titled album in 1963, it was a private recording without a cover and probably only a dozen or so were produced.

    In the early part, while with the Corvairs, Alex Neill also pursued a solo career, but had finally left the group by 1965. He released four singles on the Philips label. The first in 1963 was “Tricky Dicky”/”The Ghost Of Gary” and on this recording he was backed by the Premiers. The second in 1964 was “I’m Gonna Love You Too”/”At The Hop”. Another in 1964 was also backed by the Premiers and was called “New Orleans”/”Where The Blue Of The Night Meets The Gold Of The Day”. His last single in 1965 was “Ya Gotta Believe Me”/”Everyday”.

    After Alex left, the rest of the band hired a manager and he got them into shape and started getting them more bookings around the country. They became a more refined and polished group and were quite popular wherever they played. By the time Alex’s solo career came to an end, he’d gone back to gigging with a band called Chapter Five, the Corvairs were still going quite strong on their own. But the usual problems facing most bands in those days was trying to juggle their jobs with the band alongside real outside jobs, and so like many of the bands around, this was too much and by the end of 1965 they had folded.

    David Leith went on to play with Rhythm and Brass, while Andy Anderson continued to play for a little while before pursuing an acting career in Australia, appearing on the “Sullivan’s” and quite a few other shows.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Dead Things

    L to R: Rick Squires, Jim Pullen, Jim Davidson and Charlie Horsham.

    Jim Hussey (Lead Guitar)
    Charlie Horsham (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Jim Pullen (Drums)

    The Dead Things started out in 1966 as a trio, but Jim Hussey left almost immediately and was replaced by Rick Squires, playing a Bo Diddley style guitar. Charlie Horsham was having difficulty playing bass and singing at the same time, so he took over as lead singer and harmonica player and they recruited Jim Davidson to play bass. With these four, Wellington saw one of the cult bands of the era.

    Audiences had never seen anything quite like this band. With Rick’s outrageous clothes and stage antics, and the sweat-house stage presence and hard-edged covers of material by the likes of the Pretty Things, the guys delivered the goods at brain-numbing, filling-rattling volume.

    George Barris joined the band, from the City Derelicts, on normal lead guitar, to augment Rick’s peculiar style of playing, but the band called it a day in 1967 when Charlie got married.

    George Barris joined the Bitter End, while Rick Squires, Jim Pullen and Jim Davidson reformed as the Psychedelic Train.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Dean Kellaway


    Dene Kellaway originated from Levin and moved to Wellington in 1965 and performed at several local dance halls. He started singing at places like “The Hideaway” and “Danceland” in 1966 and 1967. He also got involved in publishing “Pop Scene” and took over the editorship of “Teen Beat”. Later he created “Groove” Newspaper.

    He was approached to make a single for a new label. This he did in 1968 and the result was “I’m Going Nowhere”/”If I Didn’t Have A Dime” released on Apollo Records. In 1969 he became co-founder of “Tree” Records with Colin Morris. He made many demos over the years, one of which was called “Hot To Rock” and can be heard on volume two of “Kiwi Made Music” CD, a Tree anthology.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Dedikation


    Ray Mercer (Lead Guitar)
    Graeme Collins (Keyboards / Vocals)
    Graham Harvey (Bass Guitar)
    Michael Parlane (Drums)

    The Dedikation were originally formed in the Upper Hutt around 1967, with the original drummer Michael Parlane being replaced by Bruce Whitelaw when they turned professional.

    Their first single was released in 1969 and was a huge hit. It was “Wait For Me Maryanne”/”Sally Had A Party” and reached number 2 on the national charts. “Maryanne” was a far superior cover of the original song by the Marmalade from 1968. The Marmalade version lacks the depth of sound that the Dedikation managed to give it.

    The song was a monster and few bands are capable of following up such a hit with another smash. Their second single was “Hayride”/”Barefootin'” and didn’t even make the charts. The third single, a cover of the Rolling Stones did better. It was “Ruby Tuesday”/”Be A Woman” and reached number 12 on the national charts in 1970.

    One self-titled album was released in 1969 and by 1970 the Dedikation had called it quits.


    After their split, Graeme Collins went on to play with Human Instinct in 1971 and also was an original member of Dragon in 1972. Graham Harvey had a short time with another Wellington band, the Falcons.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Dizzy Limits


    Kelvin Diedrichs (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Steve McDonald (Drums / Lead Vocals)
    Frits Stigter (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Stu Johnstone (Keyboards / Vocals)

    Dizzy Limits were a very popular group in their hometown Wellington, but never really reached their full potential. They were formed in 1966 and in 1969 were one of the early signings to Ode Records, the catalogue numbers of their singles being 4, 5 and 7. Steve McDonald had previously played with his brother Eddie in a group from Wellington called the Strangers.

    Like a lot of ambitious groups, their first single was two originals, “Alone”/”Mare Tranquillity”. It failed to sell and reverting to the tried and tested formula their second single was a cover of the Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight” backed with “Be My Friend, Be My Lover”. It was released and on the radio before the Beatles version was released in New Zealand and it sold very well, reaching number 9 on the national charts in December 1969. Their third single “Wrote A Song For Everyone”/”Good Golly Miss Molly” couldn’t match the previous success.

    In July 1970, they got a playing job onboard the “Northern Star”, from New Zealand to England and returned doing the same aboard the “Southern Cross” five months later. Kelvin didn’t want to go on the trip so Steve recruited John Donoghue, also from the Wellington Strangers, and he went on the trip with them. Back in Wellington, they had changed their name to Timberjack. Meanwhile Kelvin had joined Random Thoughts.

    In 1971 they scored a big hit with the atmospheric litany “Come To The Sabbat” backed with “Epilogue”. It reached number 7 on the national charts and was a Loxene Golden Disc finalist, which caused outrage from staunch church-goers. With sales, no doubt, spurred on by the controversy, Timberjack seemed set for a full-scale attack on the country, but “Sabbat” was both highlight and swansong for the group. They split up before the year was out.


    John Donoghue then went by the name Timberjack-Donoghue in 1972 and released a single called “Dahli Mohammed”/”Song For Vanda”. This song was a finalist in the 1972 Loxene Golden Disc Awards. Also in 1972 John became a member of a four-piece Human Instinct variation. Another single, “Spirit Of Pelorus Jack”/”Be My Friend”, in 1973 under his own name and an album called “The Spirit Of Pelorus Jack” were followed in 1974 by a second single as Timberjack-Donoghue, “Requiem For Country Gaul”/”Regrets And Things”.


    1975 saw a single, “Insurance Man”/”Gypsy Lady” and a final album called “Donoghue”. In 1976 John combined with Steve McDonald to record a song called “Blueberry Hill”. This was released as a single and had a John only song “Turn On De Light” on the reverse.

    Steve McDonald was later a member of Taylor before recording solo and then under the name Spinfield. Frits Stigter later played with Quincy Conserve and Redeye.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Dominos

    John McLellan (Drums)
    Ken Fitzmorris (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Alan Anderson (Bass Guitar)
    Kevin Stent (Lead Guitar / Vocals)

    The Dominos came from the Upper Hutt region of Wellington and were formed in 1961, making them one of the first real rock and roll bands to emerge on the local scene.

    Their style was mainly based on the Shadows, but they also were influenced by the American stars of the day, such as Ricky Nelson and Marty Robbins.

    When John McLellan left the band, Alan Anderson got his younger brother Andy (whose real name was Neville) to step in on drums. But this was short-lived, as the band broke up soon after, when Kevin Stent was asked to join the Sensational Six – Strangers. Andy went on to join the Corvairs before moving to Australia in 1964, where he became a member of the Missing Links, using the name Andy James, and he eventually returned to New Zealand to take a place in Arkastra in the early seventies.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Douglas Lilburn

  • Falcons


    John McKenzie (Drums)
    Randal Gibson (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Robin Page (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Blake Thomson (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Bill Trott (Vocals)

    The Falcons were around the Wellington scene from 1965 through to 1969. They had a residency at the Sheridan in Herbert Street. They were not a full blown pop or rock group, preferring to stick to the standards and throw in a bit of Shadows and Ventures material.

    The Falcons had a number of line-up changes during their time. Randal Gibson was the first to depart, with the group not replacing him immediately. Eventually they took in Doug Harvey, who could play rhythm guitar and also play the trumpet and sing. John McKenzie then left to go to Australia, and his place was taken by Maurice Butterworth, who stayed with the band virtually till the end. At about the same time, they added Nigel Keith as second trumpet player. With this additional brass they now adopted a style similar to Herb Alpert, and this proved very popular with the slightly older audiences that they attracted. When Doug Harvey retired, his replacement was Dave Lakeman on saxophone.

    They also did a stint on a cruise liner to Australia and the Pacific Islands, that proved to be very successful, before returning to their residency.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Fourmyula


    Martin Hope (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Wayne Mason (Rhythm Guitar / Organ / Vocals)
    Ali Richardson (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Chris Parry (Drums)

    The story of the Fourmyula begins with songwriter Wayne Mason. He was born in New Plymouth in 1949, and lived in Rotorua for a period in the 50’s before moving to Upper Hutt in 1958. There he began to take piano lessons. Although serious, he would break into a bit of boogie-woogie whenever there were a few spare minutes at lessons. In 1962 his father bought him a guitar and he formed his first band with classmates from Heretaunga College. Calling themselves the Southern Auroras, they consisted of Frank Stevenson on vocals, Martin Hope on lead guitar, Les Gruebner on bass, Jim McEwan on drums, and Wayne on rhythm guitar and piano.

    As a group they never really got going, but it was a sufficient experience to learn their musical basics. In September 1963, they changed their name to the Sine Waves. They got regular work playing at Saturday night dances, but in 1964 Jim McEwan had to pull out of the group as his parents objected to his late nights. His place was taken by another school friend, Chris Parry.

    Insect 1966, Martin Hope, Wayne Mason, Ron Gascoigne and Chris Parry.

    With Parry now in the group, they decided on another name change, calling themselves the Insect. For the next two years they played the Hutt Valley circuit of high school dances, youth clubs, social functions and bible classes, gaining a considerable reputation for themselves. The Hutt Valley produced some very reputable bands during the 60’s, and by the mid-60’s the better ones were the Bitter End, the Roadrunners, the Dedikation and the Insect.

    By mid-1966 Frank Stevenson left the group to begin his cabaret career as Frankie Stevens. A reshuffle of the group took place with Martin Hope taking over lead vocals, and Wayne Mason moving to keyboards. Les Gruebner also left and his position was taken by Ron Gascoigne, but Ron stayed less than six months and by the end of 1966 he had left to join the Simple Image. A new bass player was required and he was Alistair Richardson. Time for a new name and the Fourmyula was born, consisting of Hope, Mason, Richardson and Parry.

    Fourmyula 1967 Richardson, Mason, Parry and Hope.

    The Fourmyula debuted at an Upper Hutt dance on March 11, 1967, and the more they played the stronger their popularity became. They invested all their spare cash into new equipment and clothes to perform in. They entered a “National Battle of the Sounds” competition in September 1967 and won the Wellington heat. In January 1968, the finals were held in the Lower Hutt and the winners of other regional heats included the Hi-Revving Tongues and the In-Betweens. Supported by a home audience, the Fourmyula easily won the final and the prize that went with it was a trip to Britain aboard a Sitmar liner.

    While the band had been rehearsing for the competition, they made a demo tape which they gave to HMV’s Howard Gable. He liked what he heard, but felt they needed a stronger lead singer. Meanwhile they set off for their first tour of the South Island. Their booking agent found a new vocalist and he caught up with the band in Dunedin in March 1968. His name was Carl Evenson, and he had been vocalist with the Kal-Q-Lated Risk.

    1968, Mason, Evenson, Richardson, Hope and Parry.

    While they were traveling, Richardson and Mason began writing a song. The result was “Come With Me”, which they took to their first recording session. The group wanted to release it as their first single, but Howard Gable already had a song by Martha and the Vandellas, “Honey Chile”, lined up. The boys persisted and a compromise was reached by putting “Come With Me” as the B-side of the single. When the single was released by HMV in July 1968, it was only “Come With Me” that received the attention of DJs and the public. It spent three weeks at number two on the national charts and stayed on the charts for three months.

    The Fourmyula had become New Zealand’s top band overnight. Television appearances, radio interviews and newspaper articles followed. Mason and Richardson continued writing new songs and in October 1968, HMV made the unusual move of releasing the next two singles at the same time. They were “Alice Is There”/”I Dig Your Act” and “I Know Why”/”It’s Only Make Believe”. The two singles reached number 4 and 7 respectively on the charts. They also released their self-titled debut album in time for the Christmas market.

    fourmyula greenbholiday

    At this stage they still hadn’t taken their prize for winning the “Battle of the Sounds” competition, so in January 1969 they recorded their second album, “Green B Holiday” and three more singles to be released while they took their trip. They were “Start By Giving To Me”/”If I Had The Time”, “Home”/”Tell Me No Lies” and “Forever”/”Mr Whippy”.

    1969, Richardson, Parry, Mason, Evenson and Hope.

    On February 8, 1969, the Fourmyula sailed to England on the Fairsky. Once there, they were soon faced with the realities of international rock’n’roll. With very little work available for them, they spent a lot of time watching some of the major acts that were performing at the time. They did get a few poor-paying gigs, and after a lot of pestering to Decca, they had a recording session at Abbey Road. The result was a cover of Hans Poulsen’s “Lady Scorpio” and it was released in New Zealand in August and reached number 7 on the charts. An EP of four hits was subsequently released, called “Four Hits Of The Fourmyula”.


    While they were in England they realised there was new music around and that they were out of touch with current trends. They stayed in England for four months and returned to New Zealand with the best musical equipment available, their hair longer, their music louder and themselves a lot wiser.

    In England 1969.

    Their first gig back in New Zealand was at the Astoria Ballroom in Palmerston North. The venue was packed, but the crowd was in for a big surprise. This was a totally different band to the one that left New Zealand six months earlier. Their clothes were different, they looked different, but when they plugged into their massive stack of equipment, heads jerked back as they opened with a version of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times”. What followed was a set of covers from what they had heard in England and by the time they had finished, the audience just stood in total disbelief and silence. It wasn’t what the audience wanted and bowing to their pressure they had to revert to the style they had become famous for.

    Back from England 1969.

    They went back to the studio and worked with Peter Dawkins to record their next two singles and an album for release in the new year. The first single, “I’ll Sing You A Song”/”Mill Stream” was released in October 1969. This was the last of the Mason-Richardson compositions. From this point on, the songwriting role was left to Mason alone. The single reached number 3 on the charts.

    The Fourmyula spent most of October and November touring the country, trying to earn as much income as they could, so that they could return to England and have a decent go at making it big on the international circuit. They left in December, knowing perfectly well what lay ahead of them, and vowing not to return to New Zealand unless they returned in triumph.

    The second of the two singles was released in December 1969. It was a composition Mason had put together while they were in the studio recording their album. The group had forgotten about it, but Peter Dawkins saw great potential in it, which was evident by the amount of work he put into the production. The single was “Nature”/”Home” and in the first few weeks of January 1970 it had reached number 1 on the national charts. “Nature” also won Wayne the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Award. Their third album they had recorded before departure was also released. It was called “Creation”.

    fcreation fcreation1

    When the boys received the news of the success of their single in New Zealand, they didn’t really care as that part of their life was behind them, as was the style of music that “Nature” represented. They were now free from audience demand and could concentrate their efforts on a more aggressive sound. They did however use their New Zealand success status to keep the pressure on Decca. A follow-up single, “Make Me Happy”/”Lord, I’m Coming Home”, struggled on the charts, only making it to number 19. HMV released a fourth album called “The Fourmyula Live (With Special Guest Star Shane)”.


    Throughout 1970, Fourmyula performed extensively around Britain and Europe, proving very popular in Scandinavia. Their sound became heavier, but with Mason’s melodic touches, they could not be branded heavy metal.

    In mid-1970, Decca took a gamble and allowed the group to record an album. Out of those sessions came a track called “Otaki”. It was released in August 1970, with “Which Way Did She Go” on the reverse. It would rate as their heaviest single and made it to number 15. That was the last time the Fourmyula made it onto the New Zealand charts. Two more singles, “Turn Your Back On The Wind”/”Believe In Love” and “Lullaby”/”Molly”, were released and both failed miserably.

    To avoid confusion with a similar named group, Fourmyula renamed themselves Pipp (a Danish word meaning ‘mad’) for the release of “Otaki” in Britain. It received no airplay and sold very few copies. Decca’s interest in the band waned and they kept postponing the release of the album, eventually advising the group that it would not be released at all.

    At that point enthusiasm in the band died. Wayne Mason was the first to leave. He was replaced by Canadian Paul Pryde in October 1970. The group continued as Pipp for a little while, but without success they slowly disbanded.

    1970 with Paul Pryde at far left.

    In 1974 an album was released by Axis, called “A Portrait Of The Fourmyula”. It was basically a collection of their greatest hits. In 1992 EMI released “The Most Of The Fourmyula”. It contained all of their singles and some of the better album cuts.


    Martin Hope later joined a version of Human Instinct in 1972. Wayne Mason and Carl Evenson became original members of Rockinghorse after their return from England in 1973. Chris Parry ended up in a plum position in the music industry in England. He signed the Jam to Polygram, managed the Cure and formed Fiction Records. Whilst in England, Wayne Mason formed a band called Flinders, consisting of Wayne on bass, Bruce Robinson on guitar, Carl Evenson on vocals and Richard Burgess on drums, and they released one single on Parlophone called “Riverboat Song”/”I Know” in 1972. Carl Evenson had a solo single in 1974 called “Green River Dam”/”Slow Roaming Man”.

    Wayne Mason was also a member of the Romney Army and the Warratahs, after which he went solo, releasing his first album, “Between Frames” at the end of 1995. A new version of his song “Nature” was released in 1992 by the Muttonbirds. It reached number 4 on the national charts.

    A further best of CD was released in 1999 by EMI and called “The Very Best Of The Fourmyula”.


    In 2002, to mark the 75th Anniversary of APRA, many hundreds of APRA members and an invited academy of one hundred people, voted on their favourite New Zealand songs of the last 75 years, from a list of 900 songs. “Nature” was voted the most popular song from the list.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Freshwater

    Murray Partridge (Guitar / Vocals)
    Darryl Jacobs (Drums)
    Phil Jacobs (Flute / Vocals)
    George Limbidis (Bass Guitar)
    Milton Parker (Guitar / Vocals)

    Freshwater were formed in late 1968 in Wellington by Murray Partridge. Milton Parker had previously been with the Relics. Freshwater were predominately a blues band who very early in their life decided that Australia was the place to be. In May 1969 they landed in Australia. George didn’t stay long and over the next few months three other New Zealand bass players were used, they being Paul Reid, Peter Roberts and Bill Ryland.

    Peter Sheehan joined the group at the end of 1969 and by 1970 the line-up was as follows. Murray Partridge on guitar and vocals, Ian Johnson on vocals, Al Johns on guitar, Peter Sheehan on organ and vocals, Dallas McDermott on bass and Joe Vella on drums. Milton Parker had returned to New Zealand to join Farmyard.

    They issued their first single in August 1969 called “It’s In Your Power”/”Together Till The End Of Time” and followed it up with “Son Of A Loving Man”/”People Got To Live Together” in October. After these singles, Freshwater took a different approach and started to play a more progressive style of music along the lines of Cream, Traffic and Blood Sweat and Tears.

    In May 1970, the single “Satan”/”Satan’s Woman” was released. Sheehan and Partridge each wrote a side of the single. It was based around the Manson Family murder of actress Sharon Tate. Controversial as it was and with calls to have it banned, the single still did well and managed to chart at number 28 on the local Sydney charts.

    At the end of 1970, Peter Roberts left the group to join the La De Da’s as bass player. This caused a bit of a problem in the group and they had to cancel a planned Queensland tour that was scheduled.

    At the start of 1971, Alison McCallum joined as lead vocalist and by September, the line-up had changed again to feature Partridge, McCallum, David Fooks on keyboards, Rod Coe on bass and Tony Bolton on drums. This line-up released one single in November 1971 called “I Ain’t Got The Time”/”Hello Sunshine” and it reached number 19 on the Sydney charts.

    By the end of the year Freshwater had broken up. McCallum went solo and scored a big hit with a cover of Vanda and Young’s “Superman” in 1972. Partridge went on to form Wolfe with Andrew Parata on guitar and vocals, Norm Roue on slide guitar, Bill Ryland on bass and Steve Webb on drums. This group was short-lived and by the end of 1972, Webb had joined Duck and Roue was with Band Of Light, while Partridge returned to New Zealand where he joined Living Force.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Gaynotes

    Myra Wineera
    Rangi Parker
    Manu Elkington

    The Gaynotes consisted of three Maori girls from Porirua, Wellington. They were a popular vocal trio, releasing one single on the Kiwi label in 1967. The single was “I Got Rhythm”/”Raindrops” and they were backed by the Soundells on this recording.

    The following year, the group evolved into the Shevelles, after which Rangi Parker went solo.

    Kiwi records released an EP of the Gaynotes in 1969 called “Sweet Sound Of Maori Song”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Get the Picture: 1964-1972

    Jayrem Legenz compilation, 1992, featuring mostly Wellington artists from 1964-1972. Hits from the sixties, including tracks from The Fourmuyla, The Quincy Conserve, Bruno Lawrence and others.

    Complete artist/tracklist from Discogs here.

    Down the road apiece — I’m happy too — Single man — Get the picture — Got love — My mama George — Treat her right — Hallelujah — I’ve got my mojo working — I’m a boy — The trouble — The grooviest girl in the world — Sally, I do — Mona — LSD — I’m a dog — Tough enough — Baby the world really turns — Lipstick traces — I don’t need that kind of lovin’ — Richard Cory — Find her — Midnight rider — Bare footin’ — Dahil Mohammed — Come on down girl — Bruno do that thing.

    When you click on the link ‘Albums by this artist’ below, you will then need to change the search type under ‘New Search’ to ‘Keyword’ to pull the access this item on our catalogue.

  • Gutbucket

    L to R: Bill Lake, Lawrence Cooper, Steve Hemmens, Rick Bryant and Bernard Schmidt. Mike Fullerton is obscured back left.

    Steve Hemmens (Bass Guitar)
    Lawrence Cooper (Guitar / Vocals)
    Bernard Schmidt (Lead Guitar)
    Mike Fullerton (Drums)
    Rick Bryant (Vocals)

    Gutbucket were a Wellington blues band. They evolved from New Plymouth’s Revised Edition, who consisted of Owen Christiansen on vocals, John Fahy and Bernard Schmidt on guitar, Steve Hemmens on bass and Mike Fullerton on drums. Revised Edition had quickly established themselves as being New Plymouth’s top blues band. In late 1968, Hemmens and Fullerton enrolled at Wellington’s Polytech, so the group disbanded. Christiansen moved to Auckland where he joined the Challenge. Fahy was unfortunately killed in an auto accident in Australia, during a holiday.

    While at the Polytech, Hemmens and Fullerton teamed up with Lawrence Cooper and then asked Bernard Schmidt to join them to complete the line-up of their new group, which they called Gutbucket. They only gigged occasionally but did build up a fanatical following. Boasting a particularly vicious twin-guitar attack, and with a tight rhythm section in support, the only thing lacking was a strong vocalist and in mid 1969 that situation was resolved when Rick Bryant would sometimes join them after the demise of his current group, Original Sin.

    Gutbucket’s repertoire was mainly culled from the bluesmen of Chicago and they proved very popular around the lower North Island. As is the very nature of blues, most of the time whenever Gutbucket played, they were just jamming. Often found when Rick was singing, would be Bill Lake huffing and puffing on an assortment of mouth-organs.

    L to R: Mike, Steve, Lawrence and Bernard.

    They recorded one single for the Tree label in 1970 called “Wild About You”/”Spanish Blues”. The two tracks from this single later appeared on an EP called “Blues” in 1972, which also contained songs by the Supernatural Blues Band.

    Gutbucket called it a day in mid 1970. Rick Bryant and Mike Fullerton went on to join Mammal. By 1972 Steve Hemmens had also joined them.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Gwynn Owen


    Gwynn Owen was a pop vocalist from Wellington, regarded by many as the best woman singer of the sixties in that part of the country. She had a very powerful voice that could manage a wide vocal range, as was evidenced by the singles she released.

    Gwynn recorded for HMV releasing two singles in 1966 called “In My Room”/”Treat Him As I Would” and “That’s When Happiness Began”/”Take A Look”. One more single came in 1967 called “This Place”/”Hard Lovin’ Loser”. Her first two singles featured well in the Wellington local charts.

    In 1966 Gwynn was also invited to play a part in the local movie “Don’t Let It Get You” that starred Howard Morrison.

    After her third single in 1967 she moved to Auckland to settle and raise a family. Gwynn did release one more single in 1969 on the Sounds Of Now label called “Games People Play”/”Son Of A Preacher Man”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Hogsnort Rupert

    L to R: Alec Wishart, Dave Luther, Billy Such, Ian Terry and Frank Boardman.

    Alec Wishart (Percussion / Vocals)
    Dave Luther (Rhythm Guitar / Harmonica / Vocals)
    Ian Terry (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Frank Boardman (Tea Chest Bass / Bass Guitar)
    Billy Such (Drums / Washboard)

    Hogsnort Rupert were originally called Hogsnort Rupert’s Original Flagon Band and first came into the public eye when they entered the 1969 Studio One New Faces series on television. They were made for television and made the finals. In 1969 they released an album called “All Our Own Work” under their original name. From this album came their first two singles, “When I Was Young”/”Maggie Maggie” and “All Our Own Work”/”Photograph”.


    The next two singles were not as successful. The first at the end of 1970 was “Aunty Alice (Bought Us This)”/”Something Old Something New” and the other at the beginning of 1971, “Little Bird”/”Coming Back To You”.

    Musical differences led to John Newton and Graham Brown leaving, so Alec, Dave and John Reilly remained a three-piece, adding a drummer and bass player whenever they needed it.

    Dave, Alec and John

    A third album, “Ways Of Making You Laugh” came out in early 1971, from which two more singles were released. The first “Monday”/”Act Naturally” didn’t make the charts, but was good enough to make the finals of the 1971 Loxene Golden Disc Awards. The other was “Charlie Was A Good Man”/”Digging My Potatoes”, but by now the public had tired of them. The novelty had worn off and they disbanded in June 1971.


    In 1975 Axis released a best of album called “A Portrait Of Hogsnort Rupert”.


    In 1973 Alec Wishart released two singles. The first was with the Jelly Roll Revival and was called “Taking Wine With Lil”/”Have A Cuppa Tea”, while the second was with the Society Jazzmen and called “Grandad’s Piano”/”Champs Elysees”.

    1976 saw Dave Luther playing in a group called the Jo Michat Group, who were resident at Wellington’s Burma Motor Lodge. Another person who was in that group was David Curtis.

    Sadly John Reilly died in 1979. In 1981, Wishart and Luther reformed the group as a duo and in 1982 released a new album called “It’s Hogsnort Rupert”. From it came two singles “Tokyo Rose”/”Hey Good Looking” and “Don’t Make Me”/”Little Ukulele”.


    They didn’t last long, so they disbanded and Dave Luther formed another group called Dave and the Dynamos, a trio with Dave, Kevin Findlater and Bernie Reber. They had three singles, the best being “Life Begins At Forty” in 1983, which was also a national number one hit.

    Dave and the Dynamos

    1985 saw their sixth album, on which they contributed five tracks. The album was called “Something Old, Something New” and was shared with Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band, Dave and the Dynamos, and Alec Wishart.


    Since their first recording sessions with HMV in 1969, they have released only six albums, that’s roughly one every five years. So it didn’t take much convincing for them to decide to record another. With the approaching millennium it seemed like a good enough reason and so late in 1998 they entered Marmalade Studios with slight trepidation, do they record an album of new tracks, or one of old tracks from their stage act? In the end they compromised with a mixture, four brand new songs, two previously recorded originals reworked, including “Pretty Girl”, and five favourites from their live performances. The resultant album was “Hypnotic”, released in 1999. The line-up for this album was Alec Wishart, Dave Luther, Neil Worboys, originally from Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band, Kevin Findlater, Dean Ruscoe and Graeme Luther.


    In 2001 EMI released a compilation CD called “The Very Best Of Hogsnort Rupert”.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Jigsaw

    jigsawgeorge jigsawtony jigsawglyn jigsawchaz
    Jigsaw live at the Galaxie: Top Row L to R: George Barris, Tony Walton. Bottom Row L to R: Glyn Mason, Chaz Burke-Kennedy.

    George Barris (Bass Guitar)
    Tony Walton (Drums)
    Glyn Mason (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Chaz Burke-Kennedy (Lead Guitar)

    Chaz Burke-Kennedy, George Barris and Glyn Mason all came from Wellington and Chaz and Glyn had been members of the Roadrunners. Barris and Mason also passed through another Wellington R&B group the Bitter End after the demise of the Roadrunners. After Dave Orams left the Underdogs, George Barris was called in to take his place. George didn’t stay there too long, and he and Underdogs drummer Tony Walton, decided to form their own soul band called Jigsaw in 1968.

    Glyn Mason and Chaz Burke-Kennedy were called in. The source for their repertoire came from Walton’s large collection of soul 45’s. They became resident band at Auckland’s Galaxie and Club Bo-Peep, playing their soul music with blues overtones.

    Jigsaw had a wide repertoire, mainly soul, r and b, but it was an unique band in that it not only could play loud, with such songs as Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” and the Rolling Stones’ “Jumping Jack Flash”, but also play quietly, Hank Marvin’s “Nivram” or Spencer Davis’ “Georgia”. It was all good dance music that they used to play. A performing night would involve playing to a huge teen dance club from 8pm to midnight and then they would go down the road to the Bo-Peep where they had a smaller second set of equipment and played more quietly until 3 or 5am. The Bo-Peep only had a small dance floor and was more adult orientated.

    L to R: George Barris, Chaz Burke-Kennedy, Tony Walton and Glyn Mason.

    The photo above was taken for a “Galaxie Newsletter” very early in the group’s life. Chaz had just arrived in Auckland at very short notice with next to nothing and is wearing Tony’s jacket and George’s sweatshirt. Chaz didn’t even have any equipment of his own and played Glyn’s guitar most of the time he was in Jigsaw.

    In 1968, Mason left the group to replace Larry Morris as lead singer of the Rebels. Meanwhile Chaz Burke-Kennedy replaced Lou Rawnsley in the Underdogs and Tony Walton went to the Bob Jackson Trio, who were playing at the Embers Club. Chaz Burke-Kennedy later joined the Bob Jackson Trio also, and after Bob himself left, George joined, and that band evolved into Fresh Air.

    Jigsaw never recorded any material for release and are really only known by those people lucky enough to have seen them perform live at the clubs.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Jill Thomas

    Jill Thomas

    Jill Thomas was a pop vocalist based in Wellington in the early sixties. The height of her career was in 1961 and 1962 when she was signed up by HMV and recorded four singles for them. The first in 1961 was “Big Daddy” / “A Thousand Stars”. The other three were released in 1962 and were “The Cure” / “With Plenty Of Money And You”, “I Can’t Hold Your Letters” / “Barefoot Boy”, and “When It Comes To Love” / “Believe Me I’m No Fool”. Her backing group for the recordings were the Blockbusters, who comprised of Dave Fraser on keyboards, Neil Harrap on guitar, Bill Evans on bass, Bruno Lawrence on drums, and Terry Crayford on piano.

    In 1964 she also recorded a duet with Jim McNaught called “This Can’t Be Love”. This became the flipside of Jim’s “Long Tall Texan” single.

    When not recording, Jill was constantly performing live around Wellington. She worked with the Nick Smith Combo who played the Sorrento, and at the Pines with Tommy Adderley, and also the Keil Isles, the Quin Tikis, and Howard Morrison Quartet. Her stage performance was perfection and she had the most amazing wardrobe.

    Another regular venue for Jill was the Caltex Lounge in Wellington. She also sang a lot with Tony and the Initials. Jill also hosted Helen Shapiro while she was on her New Zealand tour in 1962.


    Jill on stage at the Caltex Lounge

    My sincere thanks to Jill Thomas’s number one fan, Jill Lorraine for supplying me with the photos.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Jim McNaught


    Jim McNaught was a Wellington pop vocalist who started out playing drums for a group called the Mana Quintet. This group evolved into the Supersonics around 1960. Jim left this group at the end of 1962 to pursue a very successful solo career as a vocalist.

    He was signed to HMV, the same label the Supersonics recorded on. His first release was a duet with Pauline Bramley called “Swinging On A Star”/”Old Smokey Locomotion”.

    Jim released a total of 11 singles from 1963 to 1966, of which two more were duets in 1964, one with Rochelle Vinsen and the other with Jill Thomas.

    He also had one EP called “Along Came James” in 1963, followed by his first album, “Meet Jim McNaught” in 1964.


    One of his better known songs from that period was “Long Tall Texan”. In 1964, Jim was a regular guest on Johnny Cooper’s talent shows along with people like Tommy Adderley and Lew Pryme. During these performances, the Blue Diamonds provided the backing. Bruno Lawrence also provided the drumming on some of Jim’s early recordings.

    Jim had a three year break from recording, with his next release being in 1969, when he released the single “Hammer and Nails”/”Till The End”. After that there were only three more singles, two in 1969 and one in 1971. In late 1969 Jim was performing at the Beefeaters Arms and one of these shows was recorded for release in 1970 as “Live At The Beefeaters Arms”.


    Sadly Jim McNaught died in 1972 aged a very young 37 years. An album called “A Tribute”, that consisted of many of his single releases and tracks from his first album, was released in 1977. Side two of this album contained the entire “Live At The Beefeaters Arm” album.


    Not much of Jim’s recordings have made it on to CD. His “Hammer and Nails” is on “New Zealand Favourites” and “Long Tall Texan” and his duet with Rochelle Vinsen, “I Like Your Kind Of Love” are both on “Kiwi Nostalgia of the 60’s”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Kal-Q-Lated Risk


    Carl Evenson (Vocals)
    Phil Hope (Lead Guitar)
    Bernie Carey (Organ / Vocals)
    Dave Cameron (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Barry Rushton (Drums)

    The Kal-Q-Lated Risk originated from Featherston, in the Wairarapa district in 1967. Within six months of forming, Carl Evenson had been lured away to front the Fourmyula. He was replaced by Ian Taylor.

    By 1969 Kal-Q-Lated Risk was well established in the lower North Island, but little known elsewhere. A move to Wellington and a contract with HMV turned them into a national success. Their first single “I’ll Be Home (In A Day Or So)”/”Rachel, Rachel” was released in 1970. It gained enough airplay for “I’ll Be Home” to be nominated for the 1970 Loxene Golden Disk Awards, for which it made the finals.

    The second single, “What Makes A Man”/”Julia” wasn’t as successful, but their third in 1971, “Angelina”/”Love Child”, got them into the finals again with “Angelina” in 1971. The song also made it to number 16 on the national charts. The follow up to this single did even better, making it to number 14. It was called “Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl”/”Pixie Rock”.

    The group entered 1972 beaming with confidence and continued to release good singles. “Touching Me Touching You”/”Hold On”, “Lady One and Only”/”Misty Eyes” and “Waiting On You”/”Down Inside Me”. Ian Taylor left during this time and was replaced by Willie Davidson. The third of these singles was actually released as Willie Davidson and the Kal-Q-Lated Risk. 1972 also saw the release of their only album “Holding Our Own”.


    The next single gave them an honour, few others have achieved, and that is making it to the Loxene Golden Disk Awards, three years in a row. The single for 1972 was “Lazy River”/”Rock’n’Roll Gypsy’s”.

    Unfortunately greater success eluded the band and at the beginning of 1973, Dave Cameron and Barry Rushton left the group. They were replaced by Steve Hudson and Bob Coulter respectively. Bob had been previously with Abdullah’s Regime in 1968. They also shortened the group name to Risk and released two singles in 1973, “21st Birthday Party”/”River Road” and “Clap Your Hands”/”Nikki Hoi”. A final single “Soul Singing Lady”/”Bye Bye” came out in 1974 before the group called it quits and disbanded.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Kiwi Made Music, Vol. 1: 1968-72

    Title: Kiwi made music. Volume one, 1968-1972 / various artists.
    Publisher: Tree 1996.

    The Tree Records Singles collection. A slice of Kiwi music as recorded in Wellington in the period covering 1968-1972.

    The trouble (Random Thoughts) — People in the night (The Group) — Red beach (Supernatural Blues Band) — Mississippi paddleboat (Lianne & The Wedge) — If I didn’t have a dime (Dene Kellaway) — Spanish blues (Gutbucket) — Melody fayre (Random Thoughts) — My love is for you (Lianne & The Wedge) — Wild about you (full version) (Gutbucket) — Colour blind (The Group) — Out in the cold (full version) (Supernatural Blues Band) — I shall be released (After-Glo) — Don’t wake me in the morning (Newton [ie. Roger Hartly Newton Mason]) — Only living boy in N.Y. (Random Thoughts).

    When you click on the link ‘Albums by this artist’ below, you will then need to change the search type under ‘New Search’ to ‘Keyword’ to pull the access this item on our catalogue.

  • Latter Rain

    The Latter Rain (L to R): Brian, John, Paul and Kerry

    John Te Kira (Lead Guitar / Lead Vocals)
    Paul Brunton (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Brian Bushby (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Kerry Willard (Drums / Vocals)

    The Latter Rain formed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1967. They comprised of guitarist John Te Kira, who played a 12 String Guitar and provided the lead vocals. He was accompanied on Rhythm Guitar by Paul Brunton. The engine section of the band was produced by Brian Bushby on Bass Guitar and Kerry Willard behind the Drums. Paul, Brian and Kerry provided back-up vocals, while Kerry would occasionally supply lead vocals.

    L to R: Brian, Kerry, John and Paul

    The Latter Rain developed out of the young teenage friendships in the Porirua and Paremata localities of Wellington between Brian, Kerry and Paul. Being close to beaches and sand dunes, the boys grew up together during their wonderful youthful periods as lads riding madly on bicycles, being beach bums and College friends, through to owning first cars and later even becoming workmates. A strong and passionate interest in music developed independently in each of them which is still extremely evident to this day. Paul and Brian leaned toward pop, rock and instrumental music (being heavily influenced by the Shadows group) while Kerry followed a traditional folk path. When some other local friends formed a covers group called the Survivors, Brian and Paul were stimulated to consider creating their own band. They excitedly ran the idea past Kerry who was so enthusiastic that the band immediately became a very real project. The first task was to decide which role each member would play. As Kerry was forever tapping out beats with pens, rulers, combs etc. on any available hard surface, his position was self-evident. Paul was already a very promising rhythm player so his role was easy to place. Brian had a penchant for bass sounds or anything which had a musical thump so his choice of the bass guitar was a simple decision. It was not until the roles had been established that the question arose where and how to obtain some good quality electric instruments and a set of superior drums. The guitars and amplifiers were purchased on a drip-feed plan through the helpful retailer Shand-Miller, and as luck would have it, a musician friend named Dave Duffel was selling a beautiful Ludwig drum kit.

    L to R: John, Brian, Paul and Kerry

    The trio were now in business and it was time for some serious practice. It was immediately noticed from the very first get-together that there were some large gaps in the line-up. A lead guitarist and lead vocalist would be necessary if they wanted to sound loud and prominent. Also at this time and after much discussion, the name No Thoroughfare was chosen for the fledgling band. Brian placed an advertisement in the daily newspaper seeking the additional much-needed band members. An interesting array of applicants stepped forward and were auditioned but either they did not shine or they did not have their own transport. The ability to carry one’s own gear from gig to gig was very important at this stage as no band member owned a sufficiently large vehicle. The results were disappointing. Undaunted the band kept rehearsing and began to obtain a number of additional necessary items such as microphones, cables, spare guitar strings and power leads.

    The Latter Rain on stage. Note the shared use of drum kit.

    After about three months the trio became aware of another Paremata based guitarist and approaches were made for him to attend the next practice session. His name was John Te Kira and he arrived with an electric 12 string guitar and a batch of songs, both covers and originals, plus the exceptional bonus of possessing a very good singing voice. Brian, Kerry and Paul were enthralled with the Byrds style 12 string sound and liked it so much that John was immediately offered to join the band as a permanent member. No Thoroughfare was now a group which was intending to stamp its mark on the Wellington music scene. John’s musical interests mainly lay in rhythm and blues, so together with the pop, rock and folk of Brian, Kerry and Paul, an incredibly large range of music was available from which the band could draw inspiration. The first priority was to create a repertoire large enough to last an entire evening without any repeats (except for fan’s requests). This was no mean feat and many hours of practice were necessary. Not to mention the amount of time needed to arrange the set-list in a pleasant listenable order. Once all the basics were completed they searched for practice and performance venues. It was not long at all before local Clubs and dances were offering work and the band was willing to accept any and every opportunity. Practice often took place in the Paremata and Plimmerton Boating Clubs and they made themselves a regular haven in the bach of a friendly neighbour of the Bushby family. The bach was extremely useful for trying out new material in complete privacy while the clubs and halls were better for trialling the music in public as many locals would call in once they heard the band start playing.

    LatterRainBrian LatterRainJohn
    Brian and John

    An unexpected interest came from local Churches of varying denominations for the band to play at early evening services aimed at attracting the young people. This is precisely what happened as the services drew considerably large numbers of attendees often with standing-room only. It also took the band quite some time to vacate the premises due to the many requests for autographs. The band enjoyed this aspect and searched for a new name which would reflect there wide repertoire. One day Kerry and Brian were browsing through an eclectic collection of reading material during morning tea at their place of work when Kerry came across the term “The Latter Rain” and put it forward as a new name. Apparently the expression meant “rejoice” in Christian-speak and seemed to fit what the band was trying to achieve. The name also sounded different, easily remembered and hinted at the psychedelic, which was the music style of the day. After gaining approval from Paul and John, the name was adopted.

    LatterRainKerry LatterRainPaul
    Kerry and Paul

    Additionally, the Latter Rain played at many Wellington youth clubs and dances often sharing the stage with their friends, the Survivors (who were now known as the Spyce Of Lyfe) and many other bands. Of particular enjoyment were the dances promoted as Jamborees. These were dances where four or five bands would take turns playing during the evening and it was an excellent time to see what other bands were doing. The Latter Rain were very popular and would usually play during the later shifts. They were often the only band who would intersperse cover tunes with their own originals and this assisted the band to gain more popularity than their competitors, especially with the fan base who would follow the band from venue to venue. While the band mostly always played for a fee so that their instruments could be paid off they would also gladly play for free where it was deemed appropriate. After one particular dance one of the patrons asked the band if they would play for the patients and nurses at the local Psychiatric Hospital for a fee of one dollar per tune. In the sixties one dollar was a good deal of money and the band excitedly anticipated playing all night and becoming instantly wealthy. It was already quite late in the evening and after only about five songs the patients began to fall asleep so the evening was cancelled. Excitement soon turned to dejection but such is the life for budding rock stars.


    The Latter Rain also had difficulties with the equipment at some of the old village halls, particularly one time at a hall in Paekakariki, where the band regularly blew all the fuses each time they stirred up the tempo leaving the venue constantly in total darkness. The many girls in the audience would youthfully squeal and scream in the dark but it was the boys who had appreciative beaming smiles on their faces once the lights came back on. The band’s popularity grew rapidly which was mainly due to the excellent responses they received for their original material. They were one of only a few bands throughout New Zealand who were producing and playing a large number of self-composed tunes. Brian believed that they should have some of their own songs professionally recorded so that they could gain an impression of what their fans were truly hearing. This would provide a good foundation for further advancement. He hired HMV Recording Studios (now EMI) for two nights and secured their most experienced and successful recording engineer, Mr Frank Douglas, to capture their unique sound. The band recorded approximately fourteen songs over the two nights which was probably a production record in its own right. They were so well-rehearsed that almost no changes were made to the tunes at all. They are presented exactly as they would be at any of the Latter Rain’s personal appearances. Among the unreleased tracks that were recorded at His Masters Voice Recording Studios (now EMI) in Wellington during 1968 by the esteemed recording engineer Frank Douglas, were “Julie”, “62nd Street”, “You Look So Beautiful”, “You Take Me For A Fool”, “Mrs Goofy” and “The Sun Shines In The Valley”. The tune “62nd Street” so impressed the management at HMV that they sent their A&R manager, Mr Howard Gable, to offer the band a deal. HMV had a certain song available to them which they believed would win New Zealand’s coveted Loxene Golden Disc Award for 1968, and were looking for the right band to record it.


    Howard and the band got together at a nearby cafe and he explained HMV’s position. He then offered the Latter Rain an opportunity to record the song. This caused enormous excitement for the lads who promptly verbally agreed to participate. Howard returned to his company and advised his management that the Latter Rain would record their highly promising song. HMV personnel then immediately devised a detailed plan which Howard soon presented to the band. Unfortunately, from the band’s viewpoint, the plan had one major flaw which would need to be overcome if at all possible. As HMV would be investing a great deal of time and finance in producing and promoting the record, they demanded full rights and insisted that the band turn professional and give up their day work. John was fortunate to be in a position where he could probably agree to the proposal but it was a very different story for Brian, Paul and Kerry. Brian and Kerry were midway through five year apprenticeships and had already achieved some of the requisite trade examinations while Paul held an envied position with a large national banking group. After much discussion and seeking the advice of families and friends, the gut-wrenching and heart-breaking decision was made to turn the HMV offer down.


    The beliefs and aspirations of the sixties was to “get a trade behind you” or to try to get a job in a bank or with a Government Department where you would be “set-up for life” The boys felt that ultimately this was the advice that they should follow. HMV subsequently sought the services of an alternative band and they enjoyed considerable success. The decision was particularly difficult for John who was personally affected even though he was fully prepared to accept the challenge. This event caused great disappointment within the band and gradually the bond of friendship and enthusiasm was reduced to a point where some members began supporting other local artists. The Latter Rain eventually disbanded, but if the band had simply possessed a little more self-belief as to their musical and song-writing abilities, they would certainly have chosen an alternative path. No doubt their individual decisions still evoke a sad memory amongst their many, many wonderful reminiscences. Long reign the Latter Rain and thankyou for the music.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Lianne


    Lianne was the name that Patricia Anne Deacon used for her only recording. She was born in New Plymouth and later moved to Wellington. She was discovered and helped by ‘Sunday Times’ columnist Barry Duncan (of Vicky & Dicky fame), his write-ups brought her to Tree’s attention. At the age of 19 she recorded one single on the Tree label in 1969. It was “Mississippi Paddleboat”/”My Love Is For You”. The Wedge, playing at the Downtown Club, backed her on the recording, helping produce Tree’s third biggest selling single of 1969.

    In 1970 she moved to Auckland and no further recordings were made. While in Wellington she appeared at Ali Baba’s and the Downtown Club, with both the Quincy Conserve and the Wedge. She also performed at the Hastings ‘Blossom Festival’ and ‘Labour Day Open-Air Pop Convention’, the latter as a special guest along with the Fourmyula.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Lost Souls

    Alan Stephenson (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Steve Adams (Guitar / Vocals)
    David Feehan (Bass / Vocals)
    Peter Kennedy (Drums)
    Wayne Feehan (Keyboards / Vocals)

    The Lost Souls evolved in Wellington in 1965 after the band David Feehan was in, Dave and the Downlyners, folded. David, along with Alan, Steve and Peter, formed the Lost Souls. Early in 1966, David added his younger brother Wayne to the group to give the line-up listed above. After a while Steve Adams decided to leave, so Peter Kennedy switched to guitar and Rod Veale came in as the new drummer.

    In 1968, Alan Stephenson left the group to pursue a solo career performing under the name Steve Allen. Peter Kennedy left about the same time to join Original Sin, and was replaced by Derek Archer from Stacey Grove. The group continued as a quartet from this point.

    The group was used by HMV to sing backup vocals for many artists who recorded at their Wellington studios, among them Allison Durbin and Mr Lee Grant. Even after doing numerous demos for HMV and providing them with backups, they were unable to secure a recording contract for themselves, so they started their own label, Climax Records, in 1969 and released their own original composition. The single was “Take A Load And Lay Me Down”/”Julie Gonna Join The World Tomorrow” and was released in 1969.

    In the later stages of the group, there were a few more line-up changes. Derek Archer was replaced by Lawrence Cooper. The drummers seat changed hands a few times with Kim Priest and Graham McFarlane doing stints.

    In 1970, the band evolved into Tapestry, a popular club band.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Lynne Pike

    Lynne Pike was a pop singer from Wellington who was around for a short time at the end of the sixties. She recorded four singles on the Phread label, two in 1969 and two in 1970. They were “Trying To Win”/”Sweet Loving Baby”, “Colour Of Crimson”/”Steal It”, “Given Time”/”See You Later Baby Blues” and “I Think I Just Lost Out”/”I Shall Be Released”.

  • Mike and the Beavers

    L to R: Richard Nicholson, John Croot, Dave Duffel, and Mike Reilly.

    John Reilly (Lead Guitar)
    Mike Reilly (Rhythm Guitar)
    John Fox (Drums)
    Allan Duffel (Bass Guitar)

    Mike and the Beavers were formed in 1961 in Wellington. They were mostly seen around the youth club circuit of the Hutt Valley and Wellington. The early days saw a number of line-up changes, mainly with the bass guitar and drum positions. John Fox was the first to go and he was replaced by a Gary, (his surname has not been recorded), and he was subsequently replaced by Dave Duffel on drums. Allan Duffel left and was replaced by Mac Anderson, and then Richard Nicholson on bass guitar.

    In 1964, the group changed its name to the Big Four, and at the same time John Reilly left, to be replaced by John Croot on lead guitar and vocals. Late in 1966, Mike Reilly left and was replaced by Graham Bishop on keyboards. Forever looking for a better sound, Ray Hewlett was added on sax, but with the line-up not really working, Richard Nicholson left, to be replaced by Jim Cooper on bass.

    Once again it didn’t really work, so the band folded at the end of 1966. Dave Duffel then had a short stint with the Survivors.

    Out of all the combinations came Dave Duffel, Richard Nicholson, John Croot and Graham Bishop, whom formed a band called The Group in 1967.

    John Reilly later joined Hogsnort Rupert in the late sixties.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Murray Marsden

    Murray Marsden was a pop vocalist from Wellington. His real name was Murray McGough and he used to be the bass player for a group called the Countdowns. He changed his name and went solo in 1966, releasing two singles that year for HMV. The singles were called “Lipstick Traces”/”Hucklebuck Shoes” and “It’s A Crying Shame”/”She’s Everything”.

  • Original Sin

    Simon Morris (Guitar)
    Rick Bryant (Vocals)
    Rod Bryant (Harmonica)
    Aff Fraser (Bass Guitar)
    Norm McPherson (Drums)

    Simon Morris formed Original Sin when he arrived at Wellington’s Victoria University in 1967. Original Sin was a new group formed after an earlier group, Changing Times, which had been formed while Simon was at Onslow College in 1965, folded. At one of the Changing Times performances, Rick Bryant climbed on stage to sing “Hang On Sloopy”. He wasn’t invited up again. Changing Times didn’t amount to much and when college finished at the end of 1966, so did the group.

    With Original Sin, Simon had invited Rick, who had now improved as a singer, to join him. Rick’s brother Rod came along to play harmonica. Although enthusiastic, his harmonica abilities were somewhat lacking. After about three months of their formation, Rick met a recently-arrived 20 year old Australian draft dodger named Bill Lake, a guitarist. He was a blues and folk enthusiast, but had never played in an electric band. He joined the band and his immediate role was to relieve Rod of his harmonica duties. Rod banged a tambourine for a few more gigs before departing the music scene.

    The group got a residency at the Mystic in Wellington during 1968, playing their blues-based music, but while they never really became a major drawcard, it did prove a good training ground for Bryant, Lake and Morris.

    During their time, McPherson was replaced by Jeff Kennedy, and a number of bass players passed through, including Tony Backhouse, Steve Robinson and Lindsay Field.

    Original Sin weren’t consistent enough to hit the big time. Rick Bryant had discovered the music of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, and soul classics began to sit uneasily alongside the band’s long-time blues and R&B repertoire. As a result, Original Sin split up in mid-1969. Even though most of the members had been university students, the group never actually played on campus, even though they had a good reputation as being a ‘varsity band’.

    Whilst he was playing with Original Sin, Bill Lake formed a trio, with the intention of only doing a one-off performance at the National Folk Festival held in Wellington at Easter 1968. He had fronted a similar outfit named Garden City Strugglers while in Canberra, before leaving Australia. He called this trio, Windy City Strugglers and consisted of himself on mandolin, and the Rashbrooke brothers, Mike on jug and Jeff on piano. Never a full-time outfit and seldom having the same line-up twice, Bill would periodically surface this group over the next ten years.

    When Original Sin split up, Rick Bryant joined Gutbucket as their vocalist. Simon Morris and Bill Lake formed another trio, which was the beginning of Mammal, a group that Rick would also soon join.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Out from the Cold: 1964-1972

    Jayrem Legenz compilation, 1992, featuring mostly Wellington artists from 1964-1972. Tracks by Gutbucket, Bari and the Breakaways, The Quincy Conserve and others.

    Complete artist/tracklist from Discogs here.

    Contents :
    Needle in the haystack — People in the night — Stoney — When I was young — A travelled man — Out in the cold — Too much monkey business — Hanky panky — Take a load (and lay me down) — Alone — The only living boy in New York — Pickin’ white gold — Yo yo mac — Spanish blues — Wild about you — Highway of love — Great balls of fire — I can’t explain — Get out of my life — Bo Diddley — Down in the mine — Ride the rain — The girl can’t help it — Good morning Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll.

    When you click on the link ‘Albums by this artist’ below, you will then need to change the search type under ‘New Search’ to ‘Keyword’ to pull the access this item on our catalogue.

  • Pauline Bramley


    Pauline Bramley was a pop vocalist from Wellington. She had a very short recording career, only releasing four singles, all on HMV. Her first two in 1962 were released as Pauline Bramley and the Blockbusters, and were “When My Dreamboat Comes Home”/”Build A Big Fence”, “Don’t Be Shy”/”By Hook Or By Crook”.

    She teamed up with Jim McNaught for her third single in late 1962, early 1963, and released “Swinging On A Star”/”Old Smokey Locomotion”. Her last single in 1963 was “Rockin’ Robin”/”I Love My Baby”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Peter Caulton


    Peter Caulton is a seasoned entertainer who’s done it all, P&O cruises, folk and country shows, TV’s “Country Touch”, “Happen Inn” and Studio One”, and served his time with such bands as the Country Flyers, Stage Door Trio and Good News.

    He recorded “Six Days On The Road”/”Truck Drivin’ Son Of A Gun” in 1967 for Viking and then two singles for Tree. The first was “Diddle Diddle Dumpling”/”Everybody Wants To Be Somebody Else” in 1971, recorded as Peter Caulton with Rosemary and Friends. The second was “Pickin’ White Gold”/”My World Keeps Changin’ ” with Midge Marsden in 1972. The two Tree singles were also combined onto an EP in 1972 called “Pickin’ White Gold”. Midge Marsden had previously been a member of Bari and the Breakaways.

    In 1983, Peter formed a group in Wellington called PC Caulton and the Pickups. It consisted of Peter on guitar and vocals, Martin Hope on guitar and vocals, Andrew Forrer on bass, and Gary Young on drums. Martin Hope is best remembered from his time with the Fourmyula, while Andrew Forrer had previously been with Beech and in Australia in 1979 with 33° South. PC Caulton and the Pickups released one single in 1983 called “Take Me To The Cricket”. During their time Gary Young was replaced by Dave Williams, who in turn was replaced by Nick Pittman. Other members were Suzie Dickinson on vocals and Craig Reeves on guitar and keyboards.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Pleasers

    Max Thompson, Brian Layton, Roger Skinner and Kevin Walsh.

    Roger Skinner (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Brian Layton (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Kevin Walsh (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Max Thompson (Drums)

    Roger Skinner had served his apprenticeship well, by the time he formed the Pleasers in January 1964. Roger began his career back in 1957 with a skiffle group he formed, called the Kool Kats. With him in that group were Jimmy Elliot, later of the Premiers and the Dallas Four, Peter White on tea-chest bass and Lance Whittington on drums.

    After the Kool Kats, Roger formed the Top Hats, who consisted of Graham Gibson, Geoff Land, Neville Findlay, Ian Goldwater, Neil Harvey and Roger. They used to play at RSA dances for several months until Goldwater and Harvey left. This was in 1960 and the remaining members renamed themselves the Versatones. Basing themselves as a Shadows type band, they secured regular paying gigs on the social circuits of Auckland City, playing regularly until disbanding at the end of 1963.

    The Pleasers was his next outing, formed with Brian, Kevin and Max. They were inspired by the Beatles and managed to get a residency at the Beatle Inn, taking over from the Merseymen. Building their own group of fans, they were also giving a guest spot on television’s “In The Groove”, where they came to the attention of the producers of the Wellington based TV music show “Let’s Go”. They were offered a contract to be the shows resident band until the end of 1964.

    This required a move to Wellington, and as soon as they got there they were also offered residencies at Teenarama and at the Petone Youth Club. The Pleasers replaced the Librettos at Teenarama and also as resident band on “Let’s Go”, after they had gone to Australia.

    A recording contract was also secured with Red Rooster, a subsidiary of Viking Records. Their first single was “Ain’t Gonna Kiss You”/”Move It”. It was a cover of the Searchers song and when released in 1964, the Pleasers used the TV show to help promote it. The follow-up single is their best known one, “Yes My Darling”/”For Ever”. It also came out in 1964 and was included on an EP called “The Pleasers” and an album called “Let’s Go with Pete Sinclair and the Pleasers” that was released in early 1965. Their third single was “Lovely Lovely”/”Let’s Go” and was actually cut with host Pete Sinclair.

    Pete Sinclair, Kevin Walsh, Max Thompson, Brian Layton and Roger Skinner.

    They were one of the most visible pop groups in the country, working steadily on the club circuit as well. In 1965 they took the support role on the Dave Clark Five tour along with Lew Pryme and Ray Columbus and the Invaders. During 1965 they returned to Auckland and its club scene, making frequent appearances on the TV music show “Teen Scene”.

    A second EP called “The Pleasers Again” was released along with one final single, “Justine”/”I Saw You There”, before the group disbanded in 1966.

    Roger Skinner joined the last Keil Isles line-up for their residency on the “C’Mon” TV show before forming yet another band in 1968 called Motivation.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Premiers

    Neil Harrap (Lead Guitar)
    Mike Shackleton (Guitar)
    Peter Hindmarsh (Bass Guitar)
    Barry Millage (Piano)
    Ken Cooper (Bongos)
    Andy Shackleton (Drums)

    The Premiers were a rock and roll group from Wellington, whose beginnings were back in 1958 as the Swamp Dwellers. They changed to the Premiers and enjoyed a successful career in the Wellington area up until 1963. Neil Harrap was a highly accomplished lead guitarist for the band.

    In 1961 they provided backing for Teddy Bennett’s first single and again in 1962, backing for Lou Parun’s second single, but the band wasn’t happy being a backing group and they recognised that if they were going to further their careers, the band needed to relocate to Auckland. This they did in 1963, but Neil decided not to go. Instead he joined the Measles in a residency at Wellington’s Sorrento Coffee Lounge, and worked as a session guitarist with studio band, the Blockbusters, before heading off to live in the USA in 1965.

    The rest of the Premiers headed to Auckland with a new lead guitarist, Jimmy Elliot in tow. Jimmy had been in a skiffle group formed back in 1957 called the Kool Kats, formed by Roger Skinner. The Premiers took up a residency at the Top 20 Club, where they worked a very grueling schedule, but still found themselves doing backing work when they backed Alex Neill from the Corvairs on a couple of his singles in 1963 and 1964.

    It occurred again when Johnny England, who had been an original member of the Librettos, left them early in the piece and went on to release a single under the name, Johnny England and the Titans. The Titans were actually the Premiers in disguise. The single was “Jezebel”/”Linda Lu”, released in 1965.

    One of the highlights for bass player Peter Hindmarsh was that he wrote the song “Down In The Mine”, successfully recorded by Peter Nelson and the Castaways and it became their best known song.

    The Premiers only managed to release half a single during their time. This is quite surprising, considering the group had some very proficient musicians in its ranks. The release was “Top Twenty Theme” on the Red Rooster label in 1964. The other side of the single was a song called “Every Time” by “Ribs” Parkinson.

    The group had folded by the end of 1965, with Jimmy Elliot taking Chris Young’s place on keyboards with the Dallas Four, while Andy Shackleton joined the original version of Ray Woolf’s Avengers in 1967. Peter Hindmarsh worked on several sessions for the Viking label, supporting a number of solo acts. He eventually relocated to his home in Christchurch.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Quincy Conserve

    1970: L to R, top to bottom: Rufus Rehu, Dennis Mason, Johnny McCormick,
    Bruno Lawrence, Kevin Furey, Malcolm Hayman and Dave Orams.

    Malcolm Hayman (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Dave Orams (Bass Guitar)
    Rufus Rehu (Keyboards)
    Johnny McCormick (Saxophone)
    Dennis Mason (Saxophone)
    Brian Beauchamp (Drums)

    The Quincy Conserve was formed in Wellington in late 1967 by Malcolm Hayman. Malcolm was an extremely talented musician who had already been on the music scene for twelve years by that stage. Hayman was only 15 years old when he arrived in Wellington in 1955 as a member of the Maori Hi Fives showband. The following year the singer-guitarist formed the Trademarks, long-time residents at the Mexicali, a popular nightspot owned by American expatriate Harry Booth. The Trademarks were very popular, and after four years of constant playing, queues formed to see them every time they played. Over the years, 30-odd musicians passed through the ranks of the Trademarks, before Malcolm disbanded the group in 1961. The Trademarks owed more than a little to the Maori showband tradition, where Hayman had learnt his licks, but the group gave Wellingtonians their first taste of rock’n’roll. One member of the Trademarks was Rodney “Dody” Potter, who was later a member of the Keil Isles and Dallas Four.

    Following the demise of the Trademarks, Malcolm spent 18 months at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, followed by two years on the Australian-Pacific cabaret circuit with a variety of bands. Malcolm was a severe diabetic and in 1965, during a residency in New Caledonia, he came down with tuberculosis, spending the next 14 months in a Noumea hospital. He returned to Wellington in the middle of 1966 and formed a new band called the Soundells.

    The Soundells had a residency at the Downtown Club in Wellington and at the end of 1967 they were enticed to go to Auckland to play there. They accepted the offer, but Malcolm decided not to go. Now without a resident band at the Downtown Club, owner Roy Young had enough faith in Malcolm to give him a budget to recruit, equip and rehearse a new band for his club. Malcolm immediately tried the rhythm section of Sounds Unlimited, who had just dissolved, but at rehearsals found that they were not appropriate. He then started scouring the countryside, looking for the best musicians, with a promise of a regular gig and a steady wage.

    Malcolm recruited bass player Dave Orams from the Underdogs, keyboardist Rufus Rehu from the Quin Tikis, another previous member of Sounds Unlimited, saxophonist Johnny McCormick, and an inexperienced saxophonist, Dennis Mason. On drums was Bryan Beauchamp, from Bari and the Breakaways, but he was quickly replaced by another former Quin Tikis, Earl Anderson.

    Rehearsals over, the Quincy Conserve debuted at the Downtown Club in February 1968. They were one of the most talented and professional groups to appear on the New Zealand music scene in the late sixties. They were Wellington’s first ‘supergroup’. Ria Kerekere returned from the Soundells to provide some vocals for a little while, and not long after they got going, Earl Anderson came down with hepatitis and was replaced by Raice McLeod.

    Malcolm Hayman 1969.

    Word spread fast about this group and Roy Young soon recouped his investment. Patrons got their money’s worth from the entertainment and the club even featured floorshows from the top soloists in the country. It was a top-class venue , which kept out riff-raff by strictly adhering to stringent dress regulations and an over 18 age restriction. Producer Howard Gable visited the venue and was impressed enough to sign the group to EMI, not only as artists but also as a studio band, to record backing’s for the large roster of talent recording for the company, including Allison Durbin.

    Releasing on the HMV label, their first single “I’m So Proud”/”I’ve Been Loving You Baby” came out in June 1968. This was followed in 1969 with “Hallelujah”/”Here’s To The Next Time” and “Lovin’ Look”/”Soul Thing”. These records got very good revues, but that wasn’t reflected in the sales. Unless you were from Wellington, no-one really knew anything about the group. This was rectified slightly when in December 1968, the group backed Allison Durbin on a national tour. This was the first time they had played outside their Downtown Club residency.

    Kevin Furey, who had previously played with Top Shelf, joined the group on both guitar and trumpet in 1970. Two months after Kevin joined, Raice McLeod left and he was replaced by Bruno Lawrence, who had been playing drums in Sydney with Electric Heap.

    The true story of Bruno’s introduction to Quincy Conserve was explained to me by Raice McLeod himself. Raice had put a couple of feelers out to some friends in Australia to see if there was a gig available over there. While he really enjoyed playing with Malcolm and the guys, he was intrigued at the opportunity to travel. He had also mentioned this to some of the musos in Auckland, and it was a bass player from Auckland, John Coker, who called one night from Sydney. He had just accepted a gig with Ricky May to play a residency at a hotel in Surfers Paradise, and they needed a drummer. Ricky, who Raice had never met, wanted a Kiwi if possible. Within a day or two, Bruno called and said that Ricky had offered him the job, but he wanted to get back to NZ, and did Raice think Bruno could have the Quincy Conserve gig if he took the Ricky job. It sounded like an “OK” arrangement to Raice, but when he laid this all out to Malcolm, he was not happy. He never wanted to hold Raice back from new opportunities, considering that Raice was fairly new to the music industry, but he felt that Quincy Conserve was good the way it was, and he knew that Bruno, though brilliant, could be trouble. Raice always got on very well with Malcolm and didn’t want to do anything that might damage the group, so they agreed that Bruno would have to audition. If everybody, including Roy Young, who owned the Downtown Club and thus controlled the band’s residency, was happy with the way Bruno played the audition, the deal could go down.

    Well, Bruno came in and impressed of course. He was way more experienced than Raice, and it showed. Raice loved the way he played. Malcolm’s point was that he had complete respect for Bruno’s musical ability, but he didn’t think that Bruno would last in the very structured format of the Quincy Conserve. Right after Bruno auditioned, Malcolm and Roy took Raice into the back room at the Downtown. Roy said, “Bruno plays great, but Malcolm has concerns. I’ve been happy to have you in the band, but it’s your decision. If you want to go, good luck. If you want to stay, this gig is still yours.” Raice couldn’t ask for fairer deal than that. After a day of thinking about it, Raice called and accepted the Ricky gig and went on to Australia. The way his resignation from Quincy Conserve was handled by Malcolm and Roy was just one of the reasons he always liked and respected them both.

    Bruno had an immediate impact on the group. He wrote a song that was included on the group’s first album, and the song became their biggest hit. The album released in 1970 was “Listen To The Band” and the single was “Ride The Rain”/”I Feel Good”. The single was also released in Australia. Bruno’s “Ride The Rain” became a finalist in the 1970 Loxene Golden Disc Awards. The second single from the album was “Everybody Has Their Way”/”Purple Frustration”.


    A second album “Epitaph” was released in 1971. It contained a number of excellent songs and from it came three singles, “Aire Of Good Feeling”/”Don’t Arrange Me”, “Alright In The City”/”Somebody Stole My Thunder” and “Going Back To The Garden”/”My Michelle Chan”.


    The Quincy Conserve was always Malcolm Hayman’s band and he was a perfectionist and a strong disciplinarian. His rigid control of the group always went down well with venue owners, but didn’t always sit too well with band members. It caused the unit to be unhappy at times and the band members resentment eventually tore the group apart. Bruno was always a hard person to manage and he treated Malcolm with casual disdain. Even though Bruno was good value to the group, his irreverence caused him to be fired by Malcolm. In February 1971, a new drummer Richard Burgess was acquired. Bruno was undeterred and moved on to form Blerta.

    Not long after Richard joined, Kevin Furey left to form Tanglefoot, and he was replaced by a new trumpet player Barry Brown-Sharpe.

    Pressure within the group exploded towards the end of 1971 when Malcolm fired Dave Orams during a rehearsal session. Dennis Mason took exception to this and an argument took place, basically with everybody being sick of being in a band where they had absolutely no say. Dennis said if Dave goes, so do I, and Barry Brown-Sharpe and Johnny McCormick both agreed. The result of the argument was the group was four members less. Hayman decided that there was no point continuing with the group, so he officially disbanded it. Putting their grievances aside, they did get together to do a farewell performance at the Downtown Club on October 30, 1971. Dennis Mason went on to become a member of Arkastra.

    Malcolm then joined Furey at Tanglefoot, but before the end of 1971, Roy Young was concerned at the drop of patronage at the Downtown Club, and started putting pressure on Malcolm to form a new band.

    Malcolm swallowed his pride and put together a new Quincy Conserve, promising that it would be a more democratic outfit. From the first version remained Malcolm and Rufus Rehu. Malcolm convinced Johnny McCormick and Dave Orams to return and they added Mike Conway on drums and two temporary members, Australian Peter Cross on trumpet and Harry Leki on guitar.

    1972 L to R: Mike Conway, Dave Orams, Kevin Furey, Johnny McCormick,
    Barry Brown-Sharpe, Malcolm Hayman and Rufus Rehu.

    At the beginning of 1972 they were back at the Downtown Club, just as popular as before and as if they had never left. After just a month, Peter Cross and Harry Leki had gone and back from the original version were Barry Brown-Sharpe and Kevin Furey. Dave Orams also went and was replaced by Frits Stigter on bass guitar. Now with the band members having more say, they musical direction moved towards a more jazz-rock style.

    Two new singles were released in 1972, “Somebody Somewhere Help Me”/”Tango Boo Gonk” and “Roundhouse”/”You Can Take Your Love”.

    In November 1972, EMI promoted a concert at the James Hay Theatre in Christchurch. Quincy Conserve performed there along with Blerta, Lutha and Desna Sisarich. The event was recorded and released early in 1973 as an album called “Live”. They contributed three tracks to the album.


    By the end of 1972, Quincy Conserve were no longer resident at the Downtown Club. In 1973 the breweries had begun to recognise the value of live music in their taverns. Lion Breweries opened a rock venue in the Spectrum Room at the Lion Tavern. Their second venue was at the Cornhill Tavern and Quincy Conserve were installed as residents. They also held a residency at the Speakeasy Bar in Manners Street.

    In 1973 their third album was released. It was called “Tasteful” and came with a 7″ EP called “Extra Tasteful”. Two singles were released from the album, “Keep On Pushing”/”Lady Listen” and “Slut”/”Keep On Playing That Rock’n’Roll”.


    A deal with Lion Breweries was signed in 1974, and the group spent most of the next year constantly touring the country. They spent on average a week in each town and during that time musicians came and went. By 1975 the group found that their most appreciative audiences were found at jazz festivals. By this stage the line-up consisted of Hayman, Paul Clayton on lead guitar, Peter Blake on keyboards, Rodger Fox on trombone, Geoff Culverwell on trumpet, Murray Loveridge on bass and Billy Brown on drums. Geoff Culverwell had previously been with the Wedge. This combination recorded the group’s last album called “The Quincy Conserve” in 1975 for the Ode label and also released two singles, “Song For The Man”/”Epistolary” and “Rockin’ Chair”/”Super Strut”.


    In September 1975, Jack Cooper, manager of Wellington’s newly opened 1860 Tavern, invited Rodger Fox to form a jazz band for Saturday afternoon entertainment. He created the 1860 Band, and it comprised Fox, Blake, Brown and Culverwell from Quincy Conserve, plus bassist Dave Pearson. By the end of 1975, the 1860 Band had greater pulling power than Quincy Conserve themselves, so it became a full-time venture in the new year, officially putting an end to Quincy Conserve for good. Hayman and Loveridge went on to form a pub band called Captain Custard.

    Rodger Fox went on to form the Rodger Fox Big Band in the late seventies. They recorded a number of albums and included quite a few respected musicians within their ranks over the years. They included Geoff Culverwell from Quincy Conserve and David Feehan from Lost Souls and Tapestry.

    Malcolm continued playing for a number of years, but finally his diabetes caught up with him and he died as a result of complications on the 5th November 1988.

    Quincy Conserve were never a true pop group, they were more of a musicians band, with Malcolm Hayman possessing one of the most distinctive voices in Kiwi Rock.

    In 2001 EMI released a CD called “The Very Best Of Quincy Conserve”, which contained most of their singles and some good album tracks.



    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Random Thoughts


    Harry Mouton (Lead Guitar)
    Ian Cowie (Organ)
    Kevin Leong (Bass Guitar)
    Brian Mouton (Drums / Vocals)

    Random Thoughts were a Wellington pop group formed in 1968, using borrowed equipment. Kevin Leong had previously played with the Mustangs, and Harry Mouton was in a band called Chapter Two in Australia in 1965. They entered the Wellington “Battle Of The Bands” competition in 1968, although not placing, their popularity started to grow. In 1969, now with their own equipment, they entered again, this time placing third.

    A recording contract was secured with the new Tree label, and in 1969 they released “The Trouble”/”Out Of Your Mind”. After this single, Harry moved to Auckland and he was replaced by Kelvin Diedrichs, from Dizzy Limits.

    The group released a second single in 1970 called “The Only Living Boy In New York”/”Melody Fayre”. “The Only Living Boy In New York” was also entered into the 1970 Loxene Gold Disc Awards, but was not a finalist.

    Late in 1970, Ian Cowie had decided to go overseas, so the group disbanded. Tree Records released an EP “The Only Living Boy In New York” by the group in 1972, which contained both of their singles.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Relics

    Milton Parker (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Rick White (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    David Jenkinson (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Alan Beamsley (Drums)

    The Relics were a Wellington pop group formed in 1964, while Rick White was still at school. When he left school in 1966 at age 17, the Relics were already well established on the Wellington scene, playing regularly, every weekend at local school and community halls, around the suburbs of Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

    In 1966 they recorded their one and only single, “Hanky Panky”/”Jambalaya” for Viking. Musical differences within the group forced a break up immediately after the single. There was a brief outing by some of the members in a group called Suburban Mudd in 1967, but the best was still to come, with Rick White going on to form Tom Thumb and Milton Parker joining the Wedge, then Phil Jacobs Combo and Freshwater. In the seventies he moved on to Tangent.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Renays

    The Renays were a female pop vocal group from Wellington. They released only one single in their time and that was “Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now”/”Have You Ever Been Lonely” for HMV in 1963.

  • Retaliation

    Nick Bagnall (Bass Guitar)
    Mike Darby (Drums)
    Barry Leef (Vocals)
    Phil Pritchard (Guitar)

    The Retaliation were a Wellington based pop group around for a very short time in 1969. Phil Pritchard had spent the later part of the sixties in Australia and when he returned to his hometown, Wellington in late-1969, he had a very short stint with this group, before deciding to form an underground band, to play original material, called Highway. Barry Leef had recently been with the Simple Image.

    They only released one single during their short time and that was “If You Think You’re Groovy”/”Morning Dew” for HMV in 1969.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Rick Bryant

    Cover image



















    Rick Bryant first hit the Wellington live scene in 1968, rhythm and blues band Original Sin and Chicago-blues act Gutbucket. He would shift his musical focus towards Soul/R&B and go on to form the bands Mammal in the 1970s, including a collaboration with poet Sam Hunt, and Rough Justice, as well as performing with BLERTA. Relocating to Auckland’s thriving live circuit, in 1980 he joined the short-lived Top Scientists, and ‘The Neighbours’, who released a couple of singles and an EP, in mid-1983. In 1983 he formed Rick Bryant and The Jive Bombers, whose mix of originals and classic soul covers by the likes of Bobby Bland, Al Green and James Brown, quickly made them pub favourites. In 1984 they released a part-studio, part-live album called ‘When I’m With You’, recorded at Radio NZ’s Wellington studios and at Wellington Town Hall. The Jive Bombers

    Too Funky

    In 1985 Bryant shared the mic with Chris Knox and Don McGlashan as part of a collaborative protest against the proposed 1985 All Black tour of South Africa. Under the name Right, Left and Centre, they released a protest song which peaked at No.2 in March 1985 and stayed in the NZ Singles Chart for nine weeks. In the early 1990s he sang in ‘The Skills’ and ‘The Rick Bryant Trio’, and ‘The Jive Bombers’ reunited later in the 1990s. Moments Like These: Rick Bryant – NZ Musician, Oct/Nov, 2012 (Vol:17, No:3) The long-lived ‘Windy City Strugglers’, who first got together in the late 1960s but parted ways with Bryant in 1975, resumed in the mid-1980s, would go on to release over six albums. The line-up includes Bryant’s long-term musical allies Bill Lake (Gutbucket, Mammal, The Pelicans) and Nick Bollinger (also from Rough Justice). Feature guest on RNZs ‘Nine To Noon’, 2009 The Jive Bombers recorded again in 2012 and continue to perform, and Bryant remains a member of the Jubilation gospel choir in Auckland. Rough Justice reformed for a one-off in 2014. RNZ’s Trevor Reekie catches up with Rick Bryant, collaborator Gordon Spittle and producer Ed Cake on the release of The Jive Bombers new album ‘The Blacksoap from Monkeyburg’…

    Some compilation CDs featuring Rick Bryant:

    Out from the cold (1964-72) Cover image






    Big water: the best of Wellington blues Cover image

    Rick Bryant performs Pain In My Heart in typically impassioned style in front of a club audience on a NZ-televised special in 1986. The Jive Bombers performing The Trammps soul standard Hold Back The Night from the first set of their album launch gig at Galatos in Auckland on Saturday 8th June 2013. The title track from the Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers album “Time”. Recorded on 8 track tape by Johnny Kempt at the Green door Bookshop, Auckland Photo courtsey of Bruce Sergent. Profile summary courtesy of Audioculture. Used with permission.

  • Rising Sons

    Dennis O’Brien (Vocals)

    The Rising Sons were a ‘garage band’ of the late sixties. They were from Brooklyn in Wellington and made a ‘private pressing’ that was never released, until its inclusion on the “Get The Picture” CD from Legenz. The song was “I’m A Boy”.

    Dennis O’Brien became a member of Triangle and the Dennis O’Brien Band in New Zealand and the UK through the seventies and eighties.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Roadrunners

    L to R: Tim, Chaz, Noel and Glyn.

    Chaz Burke-Kennedy (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Glyn Mason (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Noel Koskella (Bass Guitar)
    Tim O’Connor (Drums)

    The Roadrunners were from the Lower Hutt, just north of Wellington and formed in 1964. With an average age of sixteen, they were a sensational live r&b band. During 1965 they had a residency at the Intermezzo Coffee Lounge for a short while. The Roadrunners were managed by their friend Jim Pilcher, who later went to the UK in a similar role with the Fourmyula.

    This band was the starting point for Chaz Burke-Kennedy and Glyn Mason, who both went on to larger things. Chaz was a member of the Underdogs, Jigsaw and Fresh Air, while Glyn was with the Bitter End and Jigsaw, before replacing Larry Morris in the Rebels. Glyn eventually moved to Australia, and joined Chain in 1970. After a spell in England, he came back to Australia, where he joined Ariel in 1975 and later the Stockley See Mason Band. In 1966, it just happened that the Roadrunners were forced into a temporary hiatus while guitarist Chaz Burke-Kennedy began to explore the delights of life as a recluse. This left drummer Tim O’Connor free to join the Derelicts for a short time, returning when Chaz decided to venture out into the wide world again.

    The group never recorded, but did do a demo session. This session contained a song called “LSD”, which has been located and can be heard on the CD “Get The Picture” from the Legenz series, produced by Jayrem Records. Another track from the session was “Get Out Of My Life Woman” and can be found on the other CD in the series, “Out From The Cold”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Rochelle Vinsen

  • Sapphires

    Kevin Croon (Lead Guitar)
    Garry Bai (Rhythm Guitar)
    Leo Austin (Bass Guitar)
    Paddy Byrne (Drums)
    Sharon Lee (Vocals)
    Johnny Stevenson (Vocals)

    The Sapphires were a Wellington based pop group formed around 1961. They released one single in 1961 for HMV called “Johnny Gunslinger”/”Oh Oh Rosie”. During their time, Leo Austin was replaced by Darryl Florence and Paddy Byrne was replaced by Ron Orchard.

    In 1962, Johnny Stevenson went solo. His first single was “Swanee River”/”A Penny A Kiss, A Penny A Hug” for HMV. He was actually backed by the Sapphires on this single. After that he moved to Auckland and had another single in 1963 called “Mean Woman”/”The Fool”. His last single in 1964 was “Individuality”/”Knockin’ On Wood”.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Selected Few

    Peter Robertson (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Geoff Dixon (Guitar / Vocals)
    Kevin Pollitt (Bass Guitar)
    Bruce Robertson (Vocals)
    Paul Moynihan (Drums)

    The Selected Few were a young Wellington pop group who formed in 1966. Most of its members were still at high school throughout their career. They were regular performers in the Hutt Valley and on the Wellington youth club circuit. They released a single, “Get The Picture”/”Understand” on HMV in 1966. “Get The Picture” was a good cover of the Pretty Things song and was released to cash-in on the then big R&B boom. Their second single in 1967 was “Needle In A Haystack”/”The Other Side Of Life”.

    The group disbanded in 1968 as a result of parental pressure to get real jobs.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Sensational Six

    Roger Whiteman (Guitar)
    Francis Walsh (Bass Guitar)
    Ivan Langdon (Vocals)
    Colin Doughty (Lead Guitar)
    Bob Crozier (Drums)

    The Sensational Six were a Wellington based rock and roll band heavily influenced by the music of the Shadows and the Ventures. They changed their name to the Strangers in 1960 and became a popular band on the Hutt Valley circuit. This Strangers was a different group to the Christchurch band of the same name, formed in 1963.

    In 1962 the Strangers were a support act at a concert featuring Ray Columbus and the Invaders and Max Merritt and the Meteors, playing well enough to secure more live work.

    When Bob Crozier left, he was replaced by Ted Stacey on drums and at the same time Trevor Geale joined the group on saxophone. In early 1963, Roger Whiteman left and he was replaced by Kevin Stent, who played guitar and also added vocals, which was handy as shortly afterwards, vocalist Ivan Langdon left to get married. The group continued on until 1964, at which time they disbanded.

    In the early sixties, the group recorded a single called “Isle Of Capri Rock”/”I’ve Still Got You” for EMI, but it was never released.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Shevelles


    Myra Wineera
    Rangi Parker
    Harriet ‘Toots’ McAnneny

    The Shevelles were a Maori female vocal trio from Porirua, Wellington. They evolved from the Gaynotes in 1968, when Manu Elkington left and was replaced by Harriet.

    They were New Zealand’s answer to the Supremes. Signed to Polydor, they released one single in 1968, “Beat The Clock”/”Hawaiian Wedding Song” and four in 1969. They were “One Man Band”/”Silver Bells”, “Pretty Shade Of Blue”/”Help Me To Love You”, “Joey”/”Goin’ Out Of My Head-Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Long Haired Boy”/”Fare Thee Well”. Piano backing was provided for the group by Dalvanius Prime.

    “Beat The Clock” reached number 15 on the National charts and “One Man Band” made it to number 17.


    In 1969, the Shevelles crossed the Tasman and Dalvanius went with them. They were popular on the Australian cabaret scene, where Dalvanius formed his own soul group, Dalvanius and the Fascinations.

    Rangi Parker was to later make a name for herself in the early 70’s as a soloist.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Simple Image

    L to R: Harry Leki, Ron Gascoigne, Gordon Wylie and Barry Leef.

    Harry Leki (Lead Guitar)
    Barry Leef (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Ron Gascoigne (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Allan Gordon (Drums)

    The original line-up of the Simple Image is as listed above, but Allan Gordon didn’t stay very long and he was replaced by Gordon Wylie on drums. Barry, Harry and Gordon were all employees of Todd Motors in Wellington when they first started playing together. Harry had been around the music scene for a while, originally starting out in a group called the Young Ones, which after Harry left, went on to eventually become Larry’s Rebels. Ron Gascoigne had originally played with South Island band, the Termites, before joining the Insect for six months. He left them at the end of 1966 to join the Simple Image. The Insect eventually evolved into the Fourmyula. Original drummer Allan also came from a South Island band called the Vaqueros.

    Much of Simple Image’s initial repertoire was strictly middle-of-the-road, and able to cross the age barrier, they soon proved popular on the wedding reception trail, while at the same time appearing in the Pantomime, Dick Whittington. After accepting an offer as ship’s band, they then spent a month touring the islands aboard Arcadia before their road to fame began when booking agent Tom McDonald added the group to his booking agent roster. With him they began to get plum gigs. National support tours with Maria Dallas and Gerry Merito followed and in 1968 they signed a five year recording contract with HMV.

    Their first single was “Two Kinds Of Lovers”/”Summer Wine”, and released with little fanfare, it spent four weeks in the national charts in March 1968, peaking at number 11. It was their second single which really established Simple Image outside their hometown. Producer Howard Gable used a phasing technique in the mix and it gave the song a very distinctive sound. “Spinning Spinning Spinning”/”Shy Boy” climbed to number one on the charts and spent two weeks in that position in July 1968. “Spinning” was entered into the 1968 Loxene Gold Disc Awards and narrowly missed winning the top spot.

    The follow-up single showed they weren’t a one-hit wonder, as “Little Bell That Cried”/”I Wanna Go To Heaven” also made the top 10, peaking at number 9. A self-titled album was also released and sold very well. It had some very striking artwork on its cover.


    Another single was released from the album, called “Hold Me Tight”/”Tomorrow Is Another Day” it didn’t feature on the charts.

    The group adopted a very ‘mod’ image, with their stage uniform always consisting of navy blue capes with pink lining, floral shirts, bell-bottomed trousers and Cuban-heel boots.

    L to R: Gordon Wylie, Barry Leef, Ron Gascoigne and Harry Leki.

    Moving into 1969 they released another huge single. This was “Grooviest Girl In The World”/”Make Time Stand Still” and it made it to number 3 on the charts. Bruce Walker, formerly from a group called Soul Sect, was added to the line-up on organ. The next single was “Ulla”/”Tomorrow Today”, but it didn’t make the charts.

    Barry Leef left the group in June 1969 and had a short spell in a group called Retaliation, before he headed to Australia. He joined up with fellow Kiwis, Jack Stradwick, Mike Wilson and Mike Darby to form Straw Patch. They had a minor hit with a song called “Send Me No More Flowers”. Barry’s replacement in the Simple Image was Doug Smith and with him they chose to do a cover of a song by the Equals called “Michael and the Slipper Tree”. Backed with “Mean So Much”, the single was another top 10 hit, reaching number 7 in September. It was the last time the group featured on the charts.

    The Simple Image won the “Group Award” at the 1969 NEBOA Entertainer Of The Year Awards. Also in 1969 the group released an EP called “Four Hits From The Simple Image” and it contained “Michael and the Slipper Tree”, “Ulla”, “Spinning Spinning Spinning” and “Grooviest Girl In The World”.


    At the end of 1969 they decided to make an assault on the Australian market. They accepted a residency at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, a prestigious venue that they inherited from the now defunct Avengers. They had only been there a few weeks when Barry Leef rejoined them in place of Doug, but despite their popularity, they were unable to find a single to break them into the Australian charts.

    Over the next two years they went through a number of dramatic musical changes to meet the demands of the Whiskey clientele. They also found a liking to some artificial stimulants and as a result, Harry Leki’s behaviour became quite bizarre and this eventually led to the group’s demise in late 1971. Before disbanding, one final single called “Goodbye Birds”/”Send Me No More Letters” was released in 1971.

    Harry Leki returned to New Zealand and joined Arkastra. He also had a very short spell with Quincy Conserve. Barry Leef joined West Australian band Bakery as lead singer. He also formed the Barry Leef Band, which included Billy Williams, Steve Hopes, Mick Kenny, and Tim Partridge. They released one single in 1976 called “To Be Back Home”/”What Do You Wanna Do”. Over the next twelve years he released four more solo singles, and was also a member of a jazz group called Crossfire in the eighties. Erana Clarke became a member of that group and by the end of the eighties her and Barry had married.

    In 2001 EMI released a CD called “Spinning Spinning Spinning – The Complete Simple Image” which, using the cover from their original album, contains the entire album, plus every single they did and two previously unreleased songs.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Soundells

    Soundells in Auckland without Malcolm Hayman.
    L to R: Garth Wall, Warren Potter, Jackie Pou, Leo George, Lani Love and Ria Kerekere.

    Malcolm Hayman (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Lani Love (Bass Guitar)
    Jackie Pou (Saxophone)
    Warren Potter (Organ / Saxophone)
    Ria Kerekere (Guitar / Vocals)
    Leo George (Drums)
    Betty Katae (Vocals)

    The Soundells were formed in Wellington in 1966 by Malcolm Hayman. Malcolm had previously been in the Trademarks from 1956 to 1961, before traveling to Australia and the Pacific region for a few years. There was plenty of experience in the Soundells, with Lani Love having previously played with the Cascados and also the Diplomats with Jackie Pou and vocalist Betty Katae. Ria Kerekere was from Gisbourne where he played in a band called Who’s Who.

    They were a brassy rock band who had a residence at the Downtown Club in Wellington. During 1967 they released a single on HMV called “I’m In Love With A Stranger”/”Take Me Where The Music’s Playing”. In late 1967, Phil Warren visited the club and was impressed enough with the group to offer them a well-paid gig at the Oriental Ballroom in Auckland.

    The group accepted the offer, with the exception of Malcolm who stayed in Wellington. The rest of them shifted to Auckland and Malcolm put together the beginnings of Quincy Conserve.

    Garth Wall was brought in to replace Malcolm, and eventually Garth was replaced by Bob Wynyard, who had been with the Sundowners. Ria Kerekere left the group to return to Wellington where he rejoined Malcolm Hayman in Quincy Conserve. Ria was replaced by Maurice Watene.

    The Soundells without Malcolm Hayman was just not the same and they never really won over their Auckland audiences. By 1969 they had disbanded.

    Warren Potter, the brother of Rodney “Dody” Potter of the Dallas Four, died of a drug overdose and sadly Jackie Pou was killed in a car accident. Maurice Watene joined the Herbs in the eighties.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Steve Allen













    Steve Allen (real name Alan Stephenson) was a member of the Wellington group the Lost Souls, where he handled lead guitar and vocals.

    In 1968, he left the Lost Souls to work on a solo career. The Lost Souls recorded one single in 1969, “Take A Load And Lay Me Down”, and in 1970 the band then evolved into Tapestry, a popular club band.

    As Stevie Allen, he recorded one single for HMV in 1969, “This Old Man”/”Just You Wait”, but it wasn’t until 1972 that his solo career took off, recording, as Steve Allen, a dozen singles for Viking through to 1976. Some were reasonable covers of overseas artists. He did quite a good version of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” in 1972 and the Carpenters “Top Of The World” in 1973.













    His most successful song was “Join Together” in 1973. This was the theme song for the 1974 Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch. The song reached number 2 on the national charts in August 1973. Two albums were also recorded for Viking, “That Go Well Feeling” in 1972 and “The Greatest Show On Earth” in 1973.

    At the RATA Awards in 1973 Steve was awarded “Top Male Vocal Performance”. He was a regular member of the “Happen Inn” television series.

    One final album was released on Ode in 1982 called “The Kids Collection Vol 1”.













    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Supersonics

    Bob Southee (Lead Guitar)
    Phil Campbell (Guitar)
    Pat Southee (Piano)
    Richard Cooper (Double Bass)
    Barry Walden (Guitar / Vocals / Piano)
    Jim McNaught (Drums)

    The Supersonics were a Wellington rock and roll group, who originally formed as the Mana Quintet. They released four singles on HMV, the first three in 1960 and the last in 1961. They were “Walk Don’t Run”/”Guitar Boogie”, “Perfidia”/”Hard Boiled Boogie”, “The Huhu Bug”/”Waikanae”, and “Frightened City”/”Detour”. The “Huhu Bug” single was released with Bas Tubert as the Tubes.

    Drummer Jim McNaught left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Bryan Miller, from the Cascados.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Survivors


    Bob McKay (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Brian Hayes (Rhythm Guitar)
    Dennis Hayes (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Tom Swainson (Drums)
    Dave Duffel (Lead Vocals)

    The Survivors formed in 1966 and came from the Porirua/Titahi Bay area out of Wellington. Although they were only around for about a year, they featured regularly at the John Bosco Youth Club, as well as spending a great deal of time playing in Nelson.

    The only experienced member amongst them was Dave Duffel. He had previously been with Mike and the Beavers and the Big Four. He only stayed with the group for a short time, before he ended up with The Group.

    The Survivors were essentially a pop group who played covers of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Beach Boys, all the sort of stuff that the young people going to the youth clubs could dance to. They never recorded and by 1967 they were no more. Bob, Dennis and Tom continued as the Spyce Of Lyfe.

    Tom Swainson was the only member to go on to have a full musical career. He played with Tom Thumb in 1968, Farmyard in 1970, Arkastra in 1972 and Redeye in 1976.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • Teddy Bennett

    Teddy Bennett was born in Hastings, in the Hawkes Bay in 1941. During his secondary years at Napier Boys High School he excelled at sport, especially rugby and athletics. He journeyed south to Wellington to attend University and with some friends formed Teddy and the Bears. The group recorded three singles for the Pacific label in 1960. They were “My Home Town”/”Telling Lies”, “You Are My Girl”/”Pipeliner” and “You Talk Too Much”/”Three Nights A Week”. John Walker was guitarist for this group. He later went on to form the Johnny and the Contacts in 1960.

    In 1961 Teddy entered and won a major talent contest with the prize including a recording audition with HMV. The company liked what they heard and a recording session was held. With backing provided by the Premiers, his first single for HMV was “Wimoweh”/”Clap Your Hands”.

    For his second single, backing was provided by the Blockbusters, and it was “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)”/”Baby Face”, also in 1961. That same year, his only album “Where Were You On Our Wedding Day” was released. From it came the single “Where Were You On Our Wedding Day”/”Buona Sera”.


    Another single, not from the album was released at the end of 1961. It was “Let’s All Twist Tonight”/”Oh Me Oh My”. This single was also released in Australia, with “A Shanty In Old Shanty Town” on the reverse. His final single was in 1962 and this was “That Ring”/”The Life I Lead”, and it was also released in Australia.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • The Avengers

    Cover image









    Avengers at Ali Baba’s: L to R: Dave Brown, Hank Davis, Eddie McDonald and Clive Cockburn.

    Ian (Hank) Davis (Drums)
    Eddie McDonald (Bass)
    Dave Brown (Rhythm Guitar)
    Clive Cockburn (Lead Guitar/Organ)

    Formed in 1966 in Wellington, this Avengers should not be confused with the band of the same name, in which Ray Woolf was a member. His group was formed around the same time, and became known as Ray Woolf and the Avengers, hailing out of Auckland.

    The Wellington Avengers were put together by promoter Ken Cooper, who was looking for a band to play at his new night club, The Place. They debuted there in June 1966 and their early repertoire was mainly covers of Beatles songs and other British groups, but as time went on they closely followed the likes of Cream and Traffic.

    Ken Cooper, himself an ex-member of the Swamp Dwellers, brought together the four talented young musicians from a number of Wellington groups. Clive Cockburn was from the Mustangs, Dave Brown was from the Wanderers, Ian “Hank” Davis was from Napier band the Epics, and Dave Diver from the Countdowns. Before they even got started, Dave Diver decided to move back to Christchurch, so Ken brought in Eddie McDonald from the Strangers.

    L to R: Eddie, Hank, Clive and Dave.

    Hank, Dave, Eddie and Clive

    The Avengers were in the studio preparing for their debut when they were asked to provide backing for another recording artist Val Murphy. They did this and her single, “Lovers Of The World Unite”/”There’s A Scarlet River Running” was released under the name Valeria Vengers.

    The Avengers became very popular in Wellington during their first year and their debut single, “Everyone’s Gonna Wonder”/”Take My Hand” got to number 7 on the NZ Hit Parade in September 1967. Close behind this was “Only Once In My Life”/”Waterpipe” which reached number 10 in January 1968.














    The hits kept coming with “1941”/”What Price Love” peaking at number 6 in May 1968, but it was their classic “Love Hate Revenge” b/w “Only Last Night” that they are best remembered by. This was their biggest hit, making it to number 2 in August 1968. It was an obscure song from England’s Episode Six. They only hit the charts once more with “Days Of Pearly Spencer”/”Daniel The Postman” in December of 1968, making it to number 4.

    Their first album was called “Electric Recording” and was released May 1968.


    When it was actually released, the Avengers were in Australia, building up a following and checking out the local Sydney scene. They returned in August 1968 and being one of the highest profile bands on the New Zealand scene, they were invited to open the new Ali Baba’s club in Cuba Street, Wellington, in October. The occasion was captured on a live album called “Dial Triple A, Alive! Avengers in Action”.






    The “Love Hate Revenge” song was a finalist for the 1968 Loxene Gold Disc Awards and also the lead-off track of their second studio album called “Medallion”. Another song from the album, “Out Of Sight Out Of Mind” won the 1969 APRA Silver Scroll for composer Dave Jordan.







    With the experiences of New Zealand behind them they ventured back to Australia in early 1969 for a more serious assault. This time they were known as the New Zealand Avengers, to avoid confusion with a Brisbane group of the same name. They played a number of gigs around Australia, but didn’t achieve the same level of success they had enjoyed in New Zealand. For a very short time. while Dave Brown was hospitalised for a hernia operation, Melbourne-based guitarist John Pugh, from the James Taylor Move, came in to the group as a temporary replacement.

    In July 1969 they called it a day, with Dave and Clive returning home, while Hank and Eddie headed to Perth to play in the underground band Bakery.

    In 2001 EMI released a CD called “Electric Recording” which included all the songs from their two studio albums, except “Love Is Blue”, along with their singles and one song from the Live album.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

    For RNZs ‘Musical Chairs’ Keith Newmand interviews Hank Davis of ‘The Avengers..

    Cover sourced from Amplifier.

  • The Group

    John Croot (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Dave Duffel (Drums)
    Richard Nicholson (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Graham Bishop (Organ / Trumpet)

    The Group were a Wellington pop group who grew out of two earlier Hutt Valley bands, Mike and the Beavers from 1961-1963 and the Big Four from 1964-1966. Changing their name to The Group, they played their way around the socials and club scene in Wellington. They signed to indie label Tree Records and recorded one original single in 1969 called “People In The Night”/”Colour Blind”. The songs were written by Richard and John.

    The Group later changed their name to the Pisces People and re-released the same single under that name in 1972.

    Richard Nicholson and Dave Duffel went on to join forces with Midge Marsden in the seventies as the Country Flyers. Richard also appeared in the band Good News.

    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

  • The Librettos

    Lou Parun, Dave Diver, Brian Peacock and Rod Stone.

    Roger Simpson (Vocals and Piano)
    Rod Stone (Guitar)
    Paul Griffin (Bass)
    Gordon Jenkins (Drums)
    Johnny England (Guitar)

    The Librettos were formed in 1962 while attending Rongotai College in Wellington. They played at several venues in Wellington before landing the residency at Teenarama. This club was to become the leading venue during the 60’s. After building up a huge following during 1963, they were noticed by television producer Kevan Moore, and in 1964 the Librettos were engaged as resident band on his “Let’s Go” pop show.

    Before this occurred, Gordon Jenkins departed in December 1963, and was replaced by an opportunistic Christchurch drummer, Dave Diver. Johnny England was the next to leave, as he didn’t want to be involved full-time at that stage. He did actually release a single a year later as Johnny England and the Titans. The Titans were actually the Premiers in disguise. The single was “Jezebel”/”Linda Lu”, released in 1965.

    His place in the Librettos was taken by Lou Parun, who himself had released four singles on the Lexian label in 1962 and 1963. Lou was playing music in the late fifties with Dave Brown of the Avengers in a schoolboy band called the Vampires. He went solo at the beginning of the sixties and released his first single “You Know What I Mean”/”One Last Kiss” in 1962. “You Know What I Mean” was a cover of an English recording, written by somebody called Peacock, not the future Libretto, Brian Peacock. On his second single of 1962, “Why Little Girl”/”It’s You”, he was backed by the Premiers. This was followed in 1963 by “A World I Can’t Live In”/”Outsider” on which he was backed by the Librettos. He did one more single in 1963, “Lonely Boy”/”Like I Love You” before joining the Librettos on rhythm guitar and vocals. Lou also contributed four tracks from his singles to the “New Zealand Hit Paraders” album that Lexian put out in 1962.

    Paul Griffin also left and he was replaced by Brian Peacock on bass. Brian had previously played with Nelson’s Downbeats. Roger Simpson left and was not replaced. Roger released a single on the Lexian label in 1962 called “Somebody To Love”/”Sleepless Nights” under the name Sammy Rodgers. With his departure, this only left Rod Stone from the original line-up. Rod had also released a solo single on the Lexian label in 1962 called “Skye Boat Song”/”Friendly Persuasion”. With this line-up in place, their sound now became a combination of beat and R&B.


    In 1964 the group was signed to HMV Records and soon the singles started coming. The first was “Funny Things”/”I’ll Send It Your Way” in 1964. It was closely followed by “Young Blood”/”That’s Alright With Me”, “Baby It’s Love”/”Great Balls Of Fire”, and “It’s Alright”/”Walkin’ The Dog”.

    In 1964 they also released their only album, “Let’s Go With The Librettos”. It contains the song “Let’s Go”, which interestingly is probably their best known song and was never released as a single.


    In 1965 they were offered another season with the TV show, but turned it down in favour of going to Australia, like most other New Zealand groups of the time. The Librettos relocated to Sydney in March. The going was extremely tough as they were suddenly competing with hundreds of other similar groups over there. Dave Diver called it quits in September and returned to New Zealand, where he was quickly snapped up by the Countdowns.

    HMV released an Australian only single in 1965 “Great Balls Of Fire”/”Twilight Time”, while in New Zealand they released “Ella Speed”/”I Want Your Love”, which was recorded in Sydney in September.

    Dave Diver was replaced by an Australian drummer, Craig Collinge. By November 1965 they were starting to make some impact in the Sydney region and began getting regular work. They returned to New Zealand over the Christmas period and did a small tour to packed houses. They were acknowledged as being New Zealand’s best group in 1965.


    Returning to Australia they were offered an opportunity to record on Ivan Dayman’s Sunshine label. The first single was “I Cry”/”She’s A Go-Go” and this was followed by “Rescue Me”/”What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For”. Both singles flopped and at that point Lou Parun decided that it was time to quit. In April 1966 he returned to New Zealand and retired from the music industry for good.

    The remaining three looked around for a replacement, but in the end decided to stay as a three piece and relocated to Melbourne. There they recorded another single, “Kicks”/”Whatcha Gonna Do About It”. This was their last released single and although it received good airplay in Melbourne, it didn’t sell well.

    When Normie Rowe, who was also with the Sunshine stable, asked Brian Peacock and Rod Stone to join his backing band, the Playboys, for an assault on the British scene, the Librettos ceased to be. In August 1966, they made their last recording, “It’s Loving Time”, but this remained unreleased until 1997.

    Normie Rowe’s assault was unsuccessful and Rod Stone returned to Australia and joined up with another New Zealander, Peter Williams, from Max Merritt and the Meteors, to form the Groove, while Peacock went on to co-found Procession in 1967 and then had a stint with Gerry and the Joy Band in 1971. These two groups endured reasonable success in Australia during the sixties. Rod Stone is still actively involved in the music industry. Check out his own wonderful web page and CD’s at Rod Stone.

    In 1997 EMI released a CD compilation using the same cover as their only LP, which contained the entire “Let’s Go With The Librettos” album and all of their singles except for one. The only one not there is the “Rescue Me”/”What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For” single.


    Grateful acknowledgement is made to Bruce Sergent for letting us use this material from his great discographical site New Zealand Music of the 60’s, 70’s and a bit of 80’s.

    Some CDs from our collection with music by ‘The Librettos’…

    Cover imageOut from the cold (1964-72)





    Cover imageWhat did you do in the beat era… Daddy? : the Kiwi Beat music scene 1963-1966.





    Cover imageHow was the air up there?





    Images from the filming of “Let’s Go”, the first live rock ‘n’ roll television program filmed locally by WNTV-1, in 1964. ‘Let’s Go’ showcased leading New Zealand artists supported by resident band The Librettos.

  • Tom Thumb

    Tom Thumb began life in two of Wellington’s top clubs, The Place and Ali Baba’s, pounding out their own brand of music to packed audiences.

    They were the first real rock band that Wellington produced. Why they were never able to achieve national stardom is a mystery, their music was good enough, but perhaps it was to do with the “bad boy” image they were trying to portray.

    The Tom Thumb story began in 1964 with a school band called the Electrons. This group included Rick White on rhythm guitar and also Onny Parun, later to find fame as one of New Zealand’s better tennis players, on bass guitar. After a number of personnel changes, this group evolved into the Relics.

    The Relics went their separate ways in 1966, but Rick was determined to stick with rock music and set about forming a new band. He recruited Graeme Thompson as lead guitarist, Warren Willis as organist and Sammy Shaw on drums. David Chappell was the first bass player, but within a few months he had left the line-up and was replaced by Paul Newton. Rick called the group Tom Thumb Music, but soon shortened it to just Tom Thumb. Both Shaw and Newton had musical experience from Great Britain, before relocating to Wellington.

    In late 1966, word of Tom Thumb’s crowd pleasing performances reached the ear of record producer Howard Gable, and he offered them a contract with La Gloria Records. The first single released was Respect, an Otis Redding classic, backed with Midnight Snack. The record saw very little chart action, but was an acceptable first outing for the band. Undaunted by the lack of an immediate hit, Tom Thumb continued to work the club scene, steadily gathering new fans and toughening up their sound.

    In 1967 they released their second single, Whatcha Gonna Do About It, a cover of the Small Faces song, backed with You’re Gonna Miss Me. Again, local radio stations chose to ignore the single. It was the third single, also in 1967, that got all the attention, but for all the wrong reasons. The A-Side featured their first original composition, I Need You, but it was the B-Side Got Love that was banned by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation because of its “unsuitable lyric content”.

    From around this time there was a constant flow of different bass players in the group. Dave Orams took over from Paul Newton, and then Dave left, to be replaced by the late Mark Tretheway, then Paul Reid, followed by Noel Koskello. After Noel left, out of sheer frustration, Rick took over the bass duties himself, and the group ran as a four piece for several months before stopping. The other members went their own ways, and Rick kept the Tom Thumb name and set about recruiting a new line-up.

    In came Bruce Sontgen in July 1968, from Auckland’s Layabouts, Boddys and Apple, as lead singer. Lead guitarist was Mike Farrell and drummer Tom Swainson, both previous members of Spyce Of Life. This was the most stable line-up, lasting almost right through to the end.

    They retained their residencies at The Place and Ali Baba’s, and before long they had gained a new legion of fans with their full-on performances. They favoured shoulder length hair and regency style clothes. There were no “pop” cover versions for these guys, they took album tracks from British bands like The Move, Traffic and The Faces and turned them into their own.

    In late 1968, HMV producer Peter Dawkins offered them a recording deal, and their first release came as a complete surprise to their live audience, it was nothing like anything from their live act. Witchi Tai To, a North American Indian love chant, is a strange choice for a heavy outfit such as Tom Thumb were, but it became one of their biggest selling singles. It was backed with Meet On The Ledge.

    Next up was a solid cover of the Beatles Hey Bulldog, much closer to what you would expect if you saw them live. It was backed with Everybody Sing A Song. It charted locally, but didn’t make much of a dent in the National charts. In an effort to gain better recognition, the band toured further afield and appeared on the top TV shows of the day, C’mon and Happen Inn. Heartened by the rave reviews their act got from the critics and fans alike, they lost no time in getting back into the studio to record their follow-up single, If I Were A Carpenter/Stoney. Once again they only managed to score on the local charts.

    In an effort to make the band more commercially acceptable, Dawkins had them record a ballad next, complete with string section. The single was When The First Tear Shows/Still As Stone.

    These recorded songs were nothing like the image they portrayed on stage. On stage they thundered out their music and assumed the mantle of being the bad boys of the Wellington scene. They revelled in this image, playing up to their audiences all the time. Maybe it was because of this image and having a different recorded sound that stopped them gaining national recognition.

    Frustrations began to emerge within the group and in late 1969, Mike Farrell left to form his own group, the Rebirth, and later he would join Red Hot Peppers. Mike was replaced by two musicians, both from Christchurch band Retaliation (not to be confused with the Wellington version). They were Brian Mason on lead guitar and Kevin Frewer on organ.

    With this new line-up, the sound began to drift toward the psychedelic and they began to attract a more underground following who dug being able to trip out on the mind numbing loud and interminably long explorations of musical themes the band was now favouring. Yet their next record release was back to more of the same unsuccessful stuff, a cover of Buddy Holly’s Heartbeat backed with an old Cliff Richard song It’ll Be Me. Sometimes you have to question the wisdom of the record producers who think that record buyers are only those who like syrupy pop hits.

    Their swan song is the Ludgate Hill EP. The Deep Purple influence on the band had been apparent to audiences for some time now, and on this session the guys threw caution to the wind and went all out for the biggest, most overpowering sounds that they could cram onto magnetic tape. Inspired, apparently, by the Great Fire Of London, the EP was presented as a concert pop concerto. It was probably ahead of its time, ten minutes of screaming Hammond organ and wailing, searing guitars with Sontgen’s husky vocals, was too much for most DJ’s to cope with. It stands as one of the best local efforts by a band to catch up with what was happening overseas, and is today much sought after by collectors. Sadly, its failure to sell signalled the demise of a great rock band.

    Tom Swainson went on to join Quincy Conserve in 1970, and Bruce Sontgen joined Highway. Rick White joined Farmyard for a short time before becoming part of Taylor.

    In 1992 Jayrem Records, through Festival, released a CD which contained all eight of their singles (both A and B sides) as well as the Ludgate Hill EP, and as a bonus, it contains five previously unreleased tracks which were discovered in the vaults of Viking Records.