decades

1970s

Artist entries...

  • 1860 Band

    The 1860 Band were named after the 1860 Tavern in Wellington, where they were the Saturday afternoon resident act. Formed by Rodger Fox (The Rodger Fox Big Band, Quincy Conserve) the band also included Dave Pearson and other Quincy Conserve members Peter Blake, Billy Brown, Geoff Culverwell and Martin Winch (Espresso Guitar).

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  • Aardvark

    Line-Up:
    John MacGibbon (Keyboards)
    John Trethewey (Bass)
    Mike Loader (Vocals)
    Bruce McKinnon (Drums)

    John wrote a protest song about the loss of houses for the building of Wellington’s new Motorway. Tree Records approached Aardvark in order to record it. They appeared on “Studio One” in 1972 and were regular performers at the James Cook Hotel, where they had been resident from when the hotel first opened, and also at the Settlement Cafe. As well as playing their own music and covers, they used to back visiting artists from out of town. One of the many visitors was Craig Scott.

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    Mike Loader, Bruce McKinnon, John MacGibbon, John Trethewey at James Cook Hotel 1972

     

    Aardvark started out with John Trethewey as their bass player in 1971. Between 1971 and 1974 the only personnel to change were their bass players. In 1972 Clint Brown replaced John Trethewey. Clint had been with Rebirth and went on to play with ‘Rockinghorse’ and more recently he has been in ‘The Warratahs’. 1973 saw Clint leave and Paul du Fresne take over. After Paul left, his place was taken by Peter Don.

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    Bruce McKinnon, John MacGibbon, Clint Brown, Mike Loader 1972

     

    Paul du Fresne was a former member of the Webb. He played on the only single Aardvark released, in 1973. It was the protest song “Motorway Madness” backed with “It’s Too Late”. Paul also played bass on Anderson and Wise’s song “Yo Yo Mac”.

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    From top left: Kevin Clark, John MacGibbon, Roger Fox, Cathy Saunders, Clint Brown. Bottom left: Dave Parsons, Mike Loader and Bruce McKinnon. Aardvark with friends at Mt Crawford Prison 1973

     

    These days Paul is still actively playing bass with dance and jazz bands in the Hawkes Bay area. Bruce McKinnon is now principal percussionist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Mike and John are no longer playing professionally. Peter Don moved on to a successful radio career in Sydney.

     

    You can listen to ‘Aardvark’s’ singles on the compilation: Kiwi made music. Volume two, 1972-1977 / various artists

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    John MacGibbon, Bruce McKinnon, Paul du Fresne, Mike Loader 1974

     

    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.

  • After Glo

    Line-Up:
    Steve Robinson (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Michael Robinson (Guitar / Vocals)
    Cornelius Wood (Guitar)
    Richard Campbell (Drums)
    Mary Ann Leslie (Vocals)

    After Glo were a Wellington teenage band that seldom performed live but had a big following with their In-Crowd. They made two singles for Tree Records before an accident brought plans to what turned out to be the end of the group. The two singles were “I Shall Be Released”/”When You Go Away” and “If I Were A Carpenter”/”Keep The Customer Satisfied” in 1971 and 1972.

    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.

  • Anderson and Wise

    Anderson and Wise were a Wellington pop vocal duo comprising of Ted Kaptiklis and Tony Kaye. Their first single for Ode Records was the self titled “Anderson and Wise” backed with “Yo Yo Mac” recorded in 1972. The “Yo Yo Mac” song featured Ted and Tony, with Paul Du Fresne from Aardvark on bass, Dave Fraser on drums and Midge Marsden of the Breakaways on harmonica.

    Their second single was “Boy From Dundee”/”Quiet Song” recorded in 1973.

    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.

  • Anna Leah

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    Anna Leah was from Birmingham, England where she sang in an all girl group, before emigrating to Wellington. She was quite a successful pop and jazz singer. Her first recorded output came in 1973 when she shared one side of a single on the Strange label with a song called “Broken Blossom”. That particular song also appeared on a compilation album called “Celebration Part 1” from Strange Records in 1975.

    In 1973 she switched to EMI and started to release a number of singles. Her first for EMI had been an entry in the 1973 Studio One Television competition. It was called “Love Bug” and back with “1-2-3-4-5” it was very popular as a kids song and reached number 3 on the National charts.

    The next two singles in 1973 didn’t do any good. They were “Christmas Birthday”/”Christmas Song” and “Blacksmith Blues”/”Mack The Knife”. She was back in the charts in May 1975 with a song called “Wahine” backed with “The Importance Of You”, making it to number 16. “Wahine” was a tribute song to one of New Zealand’s worst disasters. The ship “Wahine” sinking just inside the heads to Wellington Harbour during a severe storm, resulting in a large number of people drowning.

    The next single in 1975, “Silly Song”/”Wave The Banner” failed to chart. Two final singles came out in 1976 along with an album called Reborn”. The singles were “Climbing The Wall”/”Reborn” and “Be A Child Again”/”Brand New Day”.

    After that she moved to Australia.

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    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.

  • Arkastra

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    Arkastra at Wellington Opera House 1972
    L to R: Peter Blake, Dennis Mason, Harry Leki, Andy Anderson, Tom Swainson and Paul Read.

    Line-Up:
    Andy Anderson (Vocals)
    Peter Blake (Keyboards)
    Harry Leki (Guitar)
    Dennis Mason (Saxophone)
    Paul Read (Bass Guitar)
    Tom Swainson (Drums)

    Formed in February 1972, according to John Dix, Arkastra was a dangerous collection of hippyish hoons who, as much as anyone, were indicative of the rampant hedonism that prevailed. Keyboardist, Peter Blake and bassist Paul Read, were teenage trainees at the National Film Unit before joining the group. The other four members had enough credentials to give Arkastra a super-group appearance.

    Drummer Tom Swainson had just departed Farmyard, and saxophonist Dennis Mason came from the bust up that had recently occurred within Quincy Conserve. Guitarist Harry Leki had just returned from Sydney, after Simple Image folded, and singer Andy Anderson, was also returning from Sydney, after a two year stint with the musical “Hair”.

    Andy Anderson, real name Neville Anderson, was from Naenae in Wellington. He was a drummer and started out playing with Hutt Valley bands, Mike and the Beavers, the Skyrockets, and the Corvairs. In 1964, at age 16, he took his drum kit and headed for Sydney. Using the name Andy James, he reformed version two of the Australian band, the Missing Links. By now, it wasn’t his drums that provided him a living, it was his voice. By August 1966, they had burned themselves out, with Andy moving to Melbourne to form Running Jumping Standing Still. Andy quit this band in January 1967 and formed the short-lived Andy James Asylum. In 1968 he joined up with Action, who were now in Australia, for a short time. A brain haemorrhage in 1968 slowed Andy down, but he returned to performing when he took a part in the 1969 Sydney production of the American tribal-love rock musical “Hair”.

    It was a pretty wild Anderson, who arrived in Wellington in late 1971, and it was only the very daring who attempted to hold their own with Andy Anderson. Harry Leki was of the same mould, and with Mason and Swainson attempting to keep up, Blake and Read wondered what they had let themselves in for.

    Unsung, unrecorded and definitely underrated, Arkastra was one of the better Kiwi bands of the early 70’s. Not surprisingly, they didn’t last long but those converted to their high energy performances caught their every gig. Not the type of band to sit down and write their own songs, Arkastra merely took what they wanted and adapted it to their own purposes. There were few groups who boasted such an electric repertoire, featuring anything from 12-bar blues to Baby Huey to Frank Zappa.

    Harry Leki, his Fender Strat held together by string and sticky tape, had developed into an explosive guitarist since his last New Zealand gigs with Simple Image, and Dennis Mason was just beginning to show the traces of brilliance for which he would become renowned. Blake, a classically-trained pianist, was a rare find, and his mate Paul Read slotted in well with Tom Swainson’s drumming style, and over the top of it all howled the voice of Andy Anderson.

    Apart from a self-promoted and well attended Opera House concert and the occasional University gig, Arkastra only played at two venues in Wellington, Lucifer’s and the Downtown. They were offered a headlining appearance at a one-day festival at the Gore Racetrack. They followed this with a number of appearances at various gigs in the South Island before heading back to Wellington.

    Arkastra’s very next gig was at the Great Ngaruawahia music festival in January 1973. They secured a key Saturday night spot, which saw the band so far out of it that during White Trash’s “Fly Away”, Swainson flew away and played along to a totally different song. The audience didn’t seem to notice, responding with calls for an encore.

    When, in late February 1973, Lucifer’s finally closed its doors, Arkastra was offered a well-paid residency at the Downtown Club. The new proprietor had noted the huge turn-outs at Lucifer’s and believed this was the ideal band to boost his flagging patronage. They weren’t however, and just two weeks after moving to their new residence, Arkastra was out of work and decided to call it a day.

    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.

  • Beaver

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    Beaver singing with Blerta. Bruno Lawrence in the foreground.

    Beaver was born Beverley Morrison in 1950. She was the daughter of well-known piano accompanist, John Morrison and resided in the Hutt Valley. Bruno Lawrence first met her at the Wellington Musicians Club where she had been invited to sing on a few occasions. Although rather inexperienced, Bruno was impressed and he invited her to join Blerta as a singer. He wanted her to sing and dance and to also perform some numbers with Corben Simpson. Beverley was a bit overwhelmed by the offer and couldn’t resist in particular the idea of sing with Corben, a familiar singer on the hit-parades. Rather than use her real name she chose to become known as Beaver, her childhood nickname.

    Beaver was part of the Blerta experience from 1971 to 1973, but chose not to go on the Australian leg of the tour which lasted through to the end of 1974. During the last stages of Blerta in Australia, an album had been recorded in Sydney for EMI, with Renee Geyer providing lead vocals. When a single was released and began to attract interest, it was found that Renee had already signed for RCA, so the record had to be withdrawn from sale. When Blerta returned to New Zealand, EMI superimposed Beaver as the lead vocalist for a re-release. Despite Beaver’s vocal qualities, she was not a soul singer like Renee, and consequently record sales were not good.

    Beaver re-joined Blerta for their final tour of New Zealand during early 1975. After Blerta, Beaver formed the Beaver Band, and throughout 1976 and into 1977, Bruno drummed for her.

    Beaver spent most of her time as a session musician and backup vocalist for many leading stars. In 1975 a multi-media outfit in the tradition of Blerta was formed, called Red Mole. Beaver worked with them on various occasions. Around the same time, Midge Marsden formed a group called Country Flyers. In 1977 they teamed up with Red Mole to perform at the same venues. Both moved to Auckland in September 1977 and took up residency at the Ace Of Clubs. In the new year, Red Mole returned to Wellington, before heading to the US, but the Country Flyers stayed with Beaver as their guest vocalist. They released a single “Skin Deep”/”Say Master” in 1978 as Beaver and the Flyers. Members of the Flyers at various times consisted of Midge Marsden (Guitar/Vocals), Neil Hannan (Bass), Richard Kennedy (Guitar), Bud Hooper (Drums), Martin Hope (Guitar/Vocals), Jim Lawrie (Drums), Paul Clayton (Guitar), Rob Winch (Guitar) and Murray McNabb (Keyboards).

    In mid 1977 a band called Jimmy and the Jets had emerged. Its members were Jimmy Hill on drums and vocals, Ron Craig on guitar, Peter Woods on keyboards and Paul Woolright on bass. In 1978 they were joined by Josie Rika, but she was subsequently replaced by Beaver in July. Throughout 1978 and 1979 the band’s name was Woody, after their keyboard player. In 1980, Hill and Craig had moved on and they were replaced by Ricky Ball and Eddie Hansen. When Peter Woods left he was replaced by Paul Hewson, who had returned to New Zealand after a stint with Dragon. What the group now consisted of was three ex-members of Ticket, one from Dragon and Beaver. Internal clashes resulted in Eddie Hansen leaving and Dave McArtney, ex Hello Sailor coming in. With the band nearly settled down, Ricky Ball left and was replaced by Jim Lawrie, ex Street Talk. This new combination called themselves, the Pink Flamingos.

    With line-up now intact there was still one problem. Like many seasoned professional singers, Beaver suffered node problems. These tiny growths on the vocal chords are generally more of an irritation than a serious health threat, but following medical advice, Beaver decided to have them removed, a supposedly simple operation. She was advised to take just one month off work. Six months later she could still barely speak, let alone sing, and by the time she was able to return, the Pink Flamingos had forged on without her. Now New Zealand’s number one band, Beaver had missed the Flamingos’ flight to the top.

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    Beaver at the front with the All-Stars.

    Beaver teamed up with Hammond Gamble for a short while, until Auckland promoter Paul Walker put together a make-shift band, in 1984, that played at the Windsor Castle and called them the All-Stars. It included a number of veteran rockers, including Beaver.

    In 1987 she released an album called “Live At Ronnie Scott’s” and as Beaver Storm a single called “Theme From Gloss” in 1988.

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    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.

  • Blerta

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    Original Line-Up:
    Bruno Lawrence (Drums)
    Corben Simpson (Guitar / Vocals)
    Kemp Turirangi (Guitar)
    Tony Littlejohn (Bass)
    Alan Moon (Organ)
    Chris Seresin (Keyboards)
    Beaver (Vocals)
    Eric Foley (Saxophone)
    Geoff Murphy (Trumpet)

    For events leading up to the formation of Blerta, see Bruno Lawrence.

    Blerta, short for the Bruno Lawrence Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition, was formed in October 1971. The concept was to have a travelling band of musicians, actors, light show operators, movie people and friends on a relaxing holiday-type tour of New Zealand, to get away from the high pressure show business scene.

    Bruno put together a group of people which included Corben Simpson, Alan Moon and Tony Littlejohn, all from Bruno’s previous involvement with Littlejohn. Alan Moon had originally played with Sons and Lovers and Bruno lured another ex-Sons and Lovers player, Kemp Turirangi. Bruno acquired the bus that Kemp and Alan had previously used for tours. Also added to the group was Chris Seresin, the young keyboard player who had impressed Bruno during his stint in Fresh Air. Geoff Murphy, and his family, a friend Bruno had made from his very early days also joined. Bruno wanted a woman vocalist as well and invited Beverley Morrison along. Beverley soon became known by her nickname “Beaver”. A late addition was Eric Foley, to play saxophone.

    The group was now ready and on 30 October 1971 Blerta left Wellington on the first of two pre-tour trips to the Wairarapa. They played to small audiences, but found if they sent an advance party to put up posters and generally create an interest, more people were attracted. The trip was not a financial success, but showed that it was possible to continue with the concept.

    South Island Tour Line-Up Changes:
    Eric Foley departed
    Don Burke (Guitar) added
    Bill Stalker (Actor)
    Bill Gruar (Actor)

    On 22 November, the Blerta entourage boarded the inter-island ferry to take them on a tour of the South Island. Changes involved Eric Foley leaving and Don Burke being added on guitar. Bill Stalker from “Pukemanu” and Bill Gruar from “Tank Busters” were added to increase the acting potential. Added in were more wives, girlfriends and roadies. There were four other vehicles as well as the bus that made the trip. They didn’t get very far before Corben found that there were drugs on the bus and he was having no part of it. He quit on the spot and made his own way back to Wellington.

    They first played to a small audience in Blenheim and then moved on to Christchurch. There they did some extensive promotions, which paid off when an audience of over five hundred turned up to see an extraordinary show which left them knowing they had certainly experienced something, but were unclear as to exactly what that had been.

    From there it was on to Timaru, and they were pleasantly surprised when Corben showed up during their performance. The troupe were happy to have him back. Shows at Dunedin and Alexandra were more polished and well attended, and by the time the group arrived at Queenstown, public awareness was growing. After a struggle for acceptance with the locals, the troupe finally won their hearts after performing free shows for the kids. The dances were well supported and Blerta were even invited to play in Queenstown on new years eve, a time when the population of the town traditionally swells. This event resulted in an astounding success.

    From Queenstown, the troupe worked its way back up the west coast, playing at each town, in order to earn enough to feed them and get them to the next town. They finally made it back to Wellington in February 1972.

    Whilst back in Wellington, Blerta had their first recording session at HMV studios. From this session came the single “Dance Around The World”. Geoff Murphy wrote the lyrics and Corben Simpson put them to music while they were on their South Island tour. Corben sings the lead and Bill Stalker does the voice-over part. The flip-side, “Freedom St Mary’s”, was written by Chris Seresin and Bruno.

    Tony Littlejohn left the troupe at this point. They were about to head off again up the North Island. Don Burke also decided to stay behind and Kemp indicated he would be leaving shortly. The bus made it all the way to Kaitaia, the band receiving mixed receptions along the way. News reached them that “Dance Around The World” was a recording success, so they headed straight back to Wellington.

    In May 1972 “Dance Around The World” peaked at number 13 on the National Charts. With its success HMV naturally wanted a follow-up single, but Blerta were without available musicians or a suitable original composition. A lead guitarist was needed, so Bruno organised Chaz Burke-Kennedy, who Bruno had played with in Fresh Air. The composition they chose was a song Bruno and Corben put together called “Aunty Ada”. It was one of the weirdest singles ever released by a major New Zealand company. The flip-side was written and sung by Bruno and called “Everybody Has Their Way”. This song had previously been recorded by Quincy Conserve while Bruno had been with them. When the single was released in July, it disappeared without a trace. A third single released in November 1972 suffered a similar fate. It was a Geoff Murphy composition called “Hullo Hullo” with Bruno on lead vocals. It was backed with “Blerta Jam and Pudding”. Again the single was ignored by radio and failed to sell.

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

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    North Island Tour Line-Up Changes:

    Departed Don Burke, Kemp Turirangi, Tony Littlejohn, Alan Moon, Bill Gruar.
    Added
    Chaz Burke-Kennedy (Lead Guitar)
    George Barris (Bass)
    Fane Flaws (Guitar)
    Billy Williams (Bass)
    Dick Wyeth (Sax)
    Greg Taylor (Sax)
    Ian Watkin (Actor)
    Grant McFarland (Actor)
    Tony Barry (Actor)

    Before departing on the next tour, Bruno recruited some new musicians and actors to bolster the ranks. Bruno and Chris Seresin were the only surviving full-time musicians from the original Blerta. Corben’s involvement was now only part-time as he had his own solo career to deal with. Chaz Burke-Kennedy took on the role of lead guitar. George Barris, who was also from Fresh Air, would join the tour on bass, but until he arrived, Billy Williams filled in. Dick Wyeth also joined on saxophone. Bill Stalker was still with them and three new actors were added. They were Ian Watkin, Grant McFarland and Tony Barry. Two other new musicians joined, Greg Taylor on saxophone and Mike Flaws, who would become known as Fane Flaws, on guitar.

    In November 1972 Blerta made the finals of the Loxene Golden Disc Awards with “Dance Around The World” and in January 1973 they appeared at New Zealand’s first large scale festival at Ngaruawahia. While at the festival, Bruno met Trevor Stone from Australia, who was looking for talent to appear at a Nimbin festival in Australia. The idea of Australia excited Bruno and he started making plans for a larger worldwide adventure. While waiting to go to Australia, a fourth single, “Joy Joy” was released, featuring guest vocals by Rick Bryant from Mammal.

    Before heading to Australia they concluded their North Island tour with performances at the Ngaruawahia Festival.

    Australian Tour Line-Up Changes:

    Departed Bill Stalker, Beaver, Grant McFarland, Chaz Burke-Kennedy, George Barris and Corben Simpson.
    Kemp Turirangi (Guitar) rejoined.
    Patrick Bleakley (Bass).

    A number of the band and actors didn’t want to go to Australia and departed. Bruno managed to get Kemp Turirangi to rejoin and also added Patrick Bleakley, who had been playing with Mammal, on bass.

    In May 1973, the members of Blerta appeared at the Nimbin Festival. Nimbin is in New South Wales, sixty kilometres south of the Queensland border. The festival attracted hippies and people of alternative lifestyles. Although the facilities were primitive, Bruno was in his element. From Nimbin they did a few concerts at various universities, the first being at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. From there they performed at the Australian State University in Canberra. In Sydney, they acquired some accommodation at Ultimo and performed three small concerts there. Work was running out so they each started looking for jobs to help survive. Kemp and his wife and baby left and went back to New Zealand. The loss of their lead guitarist was a serious blow for the band. Chris Seresin had also become a victim of drugs and he too had to return to New Zealand for treatment.

    In Sydney, Bruno ran into Christine Barnett, an experienced vocalist originally from Wellington. Christine and her sister Lyn Barnett had each been vocalists, recording a number of singles each during 1962 and 1963. This Australian version of Blerta lacked a genuine vocalist, so Christine joined. After one memorable concert at the Paddington Town Hall, the entourage headed to Melbourne. Work their was not much better, Fane got sick and returned to New Zealand. Bruno managed to recruit Tim Piper to replace him. Bruno had previously played with Tim in Electric Heap. After six months in Melbourne, Bruno decided that they would return to Sydney.

    On the way they stopped at Canberra and put on a kids show outside Parliament House. They were so impressive that a proposal was put to them by the Arts Council to do two more shows for the school children in the area. They had two thousand kids at the first show and four thousand at the second. This was one of the highlights of their Australian tour.

    Back in Sydney, not much happened. The band was disintegrating and Bruno found a few gigs for himself doing session work. He had gigs and a small tour playing with Renee Geyer and her band, Mother Earth. Corben Simpson arrived for a short stay getting a few gigs in Sydney, but after eighteen months in Australia the tour was over.

    Before departing, an album was recorded for EMI. It was entitled “This Is The Life” and the sixteen tracks were produced by Bruno, Blerta and G Wayne Thomas. The featured vocalist was Renee Geyer. When the title track was released as a single, RCA, whom Renee had already signed up with, decided to take legal action, so the record was immediately withdrawn. Back in New Zealand, EMI superimposed Beaver as the lead vocalist, but sales were affected by the confused status of the recording.

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    Back in New Zealand, Bruno organised the tour to end all tours for the first few months of 1975. Added to the ranks were Sydney based musicians Mick Liber on guitar and Bernie McGann on saxophone. Fane rejoined on guitar and Greg Taylor was still there also on sax along with Geoff Murphy on trumpet, Roy Murphy on trombone and Patrick Bleakley on bass. Others to boost the musical ranks on occasions were John Charles (keyboards), Dave Fraser (keyboards), Gary Girvan (saxophone), Arnold Tahima (congas), Mark Hornibrook (bass) and Beaver (vocals). A final addition to the ranks was that of Rick Bryant on vocals. He had previously been with Mammal.

    The acting ranks were also strong with Tony Barry and Ian Watkin still there. Bill Stalker returned and added was Martyn Sanderson. They began the tour with a large concert in the St James theatre in Wellington. They performed at several north island venues before heading south as far as Invercargill. The final part of their tour involved visiting the campus of six universities in a two week period, were they experienced large audiences.

    At the end of this tour the Blerta experience was over. A final fling involved a six-part Blerta television series, which was shown in May 1976 and collected a Feltex Award. An album was also recorded and later released as “Wild Man”. During 1976 and into 1977 Bruno drummed with the Beaver Band and although he often talked about getting the troupe back together, Blerta failed to re-emerge.

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    In 2001 a CD has been released to accompany the movie “Blerta The Return Trip”. It contains a number of single and album tracks from their early releases.

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    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.

    Radio New Zealand’s ‘The Blerta Years’ from 2011

    Part 1: BLERTA is coming
    In the summer of 1971 the nation was plastered with brightly coloured posters announcing ‘BLERTA is coming’. Who or what was BLERTA ?

    Part 2: Chaos in Christchurch
    BLERTA, a madcap merging of rock and jazz musicians, actors, film makers and cultural revolutionaries was determined to bring its music & message to the whole nation…

    Part 3: Dance All Around the World
    With ‘Dance All Around the World’ becoming a Kiwi anthem, and the hippy entourage of musicians, actors, movie makers and cultural revolutionaries touring the country, the BLERTA phenomenon was well established…

    Part 4: This is the Life
    After a two year break from New Zealand BLERTA, headed home to the Waimarama commune to prepare for their final tours…

  • Bruce Aitken

    Bruce Aitken is a good example of a person who has dedicated his life to the music industry, completed his apprenticeship in New Zealand with many groups, played countless clubs until the small hours, mixed with all the big names, wrote songs, released a few long forgotten recordings, and played behind the best, but as an excellent drummer, was never in the right seat at the right time to gain the recognition in New Zealand music history he probably deserved. So who is he ??

    Bruce’s story started in Invercargill in 1964 when he met Roger McLachlan and formed a duo called Rogers Dodgers. Playing mostly Beatles covers, in 1965 they added Lyall Baron on bass and Barry Withington on guitar. With this combination they started winning talent contests in the Southland area, including the Southland Talent Show. This led to bookings every weekend all over Southland playing mainly at dances. At that time they were also playing alongside other groups like Dave Kennedy and the Answer. Dave made his name a number of years later as a key member of Chapta and Link. When other touring New Zealand groups, such as the La De Da’s and Lou and Simon, ventured into the area, they got to play as support. This led the Southland Times to do an article and dub them “New Zealand’s Youngest Beat Group”. Roger McLachlan went on to later become the original bass player in Australia’s Little River Band in 1975.

    The next band Bruce formed was called Sambuka, but this was hard for people to remember, so it was changed to Copyrite. Members included Graham and Keith Perkins and Al Johnston on keyboards. At this time Bruce got friendly with Murray Burns and they jammed together a bit. Murray later became a member of Mi-Sex.

    In 1969 Bruce shifted to Wellington to finish his schooling and after that headed back to Invercargill where he formed a three-piece group called Savage. With Russel Knipe on guitar and Tony Ross on bass, they started writing songs and had a big following at Invercargill’s ‘Mini-Club’.

    He returned to Wellington in 1972 and joined a heavy rock band called Heathen Grace. Members of that group were Richie Waitai on keyboards and saxophone, Paul Waitai on guitar, Wayne Tairoa on bass and vocals, and Evan MacGreggor on guitar, and Bruce on drums. They entered the Wellington Battle of the Bands competition that year and were successful winners. Venturing to Auckland to do the same, they weren’t quite as successful. Back in Wellington they were offered the residency vacated by the Quincy Conserve at the Downtown Club. The group stayed in residency there until they broke up.

    Out of the remnants of that group, a new one was formed, called Boothill. Members were Richie Waitai on saxophone, Cyril Tibbles on keyboards, Tony Wiarea on saxophone, Harry Kamaru on guitar, Wayne Tairoa on bass and Bruce on drums. They mainly played around the clubs and pubs in Wellington and the Hutt Valley. They got the job of backing the many touring solo artists at the time. These included Howard Morrison, Anna Leah, Ray Columbus, Ray Woolf, Maria Dallas, John Hore and several others. At this time Richard Waitai and Bruce were writing songs that the band played, along with the usual covers of the day.

    In 1975 Bruce joined a band from Christchurch, who had relocated themselves to Wellington. They were called Gratis Kinetic and the members were John MaCrae on vocals, Greg Mooney on guitar, Steve Galvin on bass, Murray Watts on organ and Bruce Aitken on drums. They signed up with Pye Records and released one single on the Family Label called “Takin’ All”/”Turn To Stone” in 1975. The group toured up and down the country for about a year, playing mostly at pubs and clubs. They were very popular in Palmerston North, playing often at the Awapuni Hotel. They also had a large following in Napier, New Plymouth and Christchurch.

    In 1976 Bruce moved to Queenstown for a few months to play drums for the Bill Whiting Band at the Skyline Restaurant. Following this he moved back to Wellington where he formed Wellington’s first jazz rock band called Raz, short for rock ‘n jazz. This group consisted of Bruce on drums and lead vocals, Paul Waitai on guitar, Neil Inwood on keyboards, Alan Burdon on percussion, Roland Farmer, who had previously been with the In-Betweens, on bass, and two backing vocalists, Peta and Olivia. They worked a residency at the Royal Tavern, sharing it with Malcolm Hayman’s Captain Custard. (Malcolm was ex-Quincy Conserve). Bruce and Neil Inwood wrote eight songs and Raz recorded them at Miramar Studios, but they were never released. Several more of Bruce’s songs were also recorded at Sausage Studios in Wellington and these also remain in the can.

    Bruce was asked to go to Australia in 1979 to play once more with the Bill Whiting Band, who had moved over there. They did several recordings of Bill’s material, but nothing came of it so the band folded. Bruce, staying in Australia, then moved on to work with underground band Banana Republic, but this was short lived. They also recorded lots of material but nothing ever surfaced.

    During the mid-eighties through to the early nineties Bruce played in mainly cabaret bands backing lots of recording artists and jamming with lots of his friends. One such band he played with was called Daddyo and they released a single called “Twenty Flight Rock”/”Don’t Pass Me By” that got its share of airplay. Daddyo consisted of Bruce on drums, also Jim Lawery on drums, Dieter Burmester on bass, Billy Hood on vocals and Blair Allen on guitar.

    After Bruce left Daddyo, he and Dieter Burmester formed a song writing partnership and recorded several songs. One of the songs, “Don’t Take My Monkey” was used by an independent film maker for a short documentary on bungy jumping. They also released “Tango Night” under the name Fat Cat, a group that consisted of Bruce and Dieter, Blair Allen from Daddyo on guitar, Annabelle Lentle on vocals, Peter Allison on keyboards and Greg Christiansen on backing vocals. The song had been recorded in Wellington and received a lot of airplay around New Zealand as well as in Dieter’s home land of Germany. They were invited to tour Germany, but by this time Annabelle Lentle had become Jordan Reyne and she was not interested.

    Bruce shifted to Melbourne in 1993 and shortly afterwards joined the Rosicrusians, who recorded a CD called “Skinny”. Bruce also appeared on one track of their second CD. After that he joined up with a legendary name in Australian rock, Lobby Loyde, to form Fish Tree Mother. They recorded several songs in Lobby’s home studio, but again nothing has surfaced.

    In 1998 Bruce moved to Canada, taking up residence at Cape Breton Island, where he is still playing with the cream of the islands top players. He is still recording and teaching drums. He has become the founder and organiser of the Cape Breton International Drum Festival, the largest of its type in Eastern Canada.

    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.

  • Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band

    bulldog2

    Line-Up:
    Neil Worboys (Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Kazoo)
    Tony Hooper (Vocals, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar)
    Kevin Findlater (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar)
    Brian Hayward (Bass Guitar, Tea Chest Bass)
    Richard Egan (Vocals, Jug, Percussion)
    Danny Shaw (Drums, Washboard)

    The Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band was formed in late 1972 by a bunch of Victoria University students. Their instruments included kazoo, tea chest bass and washboard. Their first gig of any note was at the Ngaruawahia Music Festival in 1973, but it took their 1973 ‘New Faces’ appearance, where they were finalists, to really kick off their career. With their ridiculous stage costumes, infectious humour, bouncy songs and Worboys’ foghorn voice, they couldn’t miss.

    In November 1973 they scored two massive hits for EMI, “Miss September” and “Everybody Knows” reaching number 2 and 3 respectively on the national charts. An album, “Bulldoggin” was released in June 1974 but it failed to sell, as did subsequent singles “Baby Get Out” and “Day In The Sun”.

    bulldog

    Brian McRae, from the Leaders, and Paul Curtiss, were also members of the group during its time.

    At year’s end they recruited songwriter John Donoghue, but the Bulldog’s time had already passed.

    In 1985 an album appeared, on which they contributed three tracks. The album was called “Something Old, Something New” and was shared with Hogsnort Rupert, Dave and the Dynamos, and Alec Wishart.

    somethingold

    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.

  • Corben Simpson

    Corben Simpson was a rather eccentric pop singer / songwriter who originated from Wellington. In 1971 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. Bruno Lawrence, having just completed a stint with Fresh Air, was asked to back Corben at some recording sessions. 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. The group was primarily formed as a vehicle for Corben. They released some singles in 1971, and one song “Have You Heard A Man Cry” won Corben the 1971 APRA Silver Scroll, and in 1975 it also won a Golden Scroll for the best New Zealand composition of the previous 10 years. Littlejohn didn’t last too long as Bruno left to form Blerta, a group that all the members of Littlejohn ended up in.

    In the early seventies Corben spread his time between Littlejohn, doing some solo work and Blerta. In 1971 he released two solo singles on the Strange label called “Moondance”/”Up On The Roof” and “In The Summertime”/”Jean”. These two singles were included on his first self-titled album that came out in early 1972.

    strangerecords

    In the meantime he had become a founding member of Blerta and with them released a single called “Sailing”/”Misty Roses” in 1971. He had two more singles in 1972 by himself called “The Sky Is Falling”/”I Only know That I Love You” and “Caravan”/”Mystery Lady”.

    Corben performed at the 1973 Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival. He was the opening act and grabbed the headlines with a naked romp. In 1973 he released his second album on the Harvest label called “Get Up With The Sun”.

    getupwiththesun

    From this album came the single “Running To The Sea”/”Kimberley (Song For Baby)”. After that he all but disappeared from the music scene, only to return in 1985 when Ode released a single of “Have You Heard A Man Cry”/”Mystery Lady”.

    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.

  • Creation

    creation

    Line-Up:
    Greg Christiansen (Vocals)
    Paul Jeffares (Guitar)
    John Maloney (Keyboards)
    Neil Mickleson (Bass)
    Mike Phillips (Drums)

    Tom McDonald was responsible for discovering the Creation. He signed them to his own UBA Records label. They formed in Blenheim in 1970 but soon based themselves out of Wellington. Other groups and artists that Tom looked after in Wellington from 1962 to 1974, and there were many, included the Simple Image and Barry and the Breakaways.

    The Creation’s first single “Carolina”/Here In My Heart” was released in May 1972 and by June had peaked at number 7 on the National charts. “Carolina” was entered into the 1972 Loxene Golden Disk Awards where it won the group award. A follow-up single “Can’t Help Myself”/”Pearl” was not successful, not even getting a look at the charts. A self-titled album was also released in 1972.

    creationx

    Little more was heard from the group until September 1973, when they released a remake of the old classic “Tell Laura I Love Her” with “Blind Boy” on the reverse. For some reason the song was even more successful than “Carolina”, reaching number 3 on the National charts.

    Three more singles were released during 1974, but none of them made the charts. They were “Teeny Bopper”/”Windy City”, “24 Sycamore Street”/”Eloise” and “Start Again”/”If I Ever Dreamed I Hurt You”.

    That wasn’t quite the end of Creation. Radio stations in Sydney started playing “Tell Laura I Love Her” and in August 1974, almost a year after being released in New Zealand, the song had reached number 4 on the Sydney charts and number 20 on the Australian charts. The group was rushed over to Australia by Tom Robinson, but unfortunately there had been that many line-up changes since the song was recorded, there were no original members who had performed on the recording left.

    Creation spent three months in Sydney, playing to very small crowds, before returning home and splitting up.

    Greg Christiansen went on to record three solo singles between 1977 and 1980. The first two were on the Vertigo label and were “Marie”/”The Good Guys and The Bad Guys” in 1977 and “Smiley”/”Windy City” in 1978. In 1980 his last single was on EMI and called “Baby I Like It”/”If You See My Baby”. 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.

  • David Curtis

    davidcurtis

    David Curtis stands out as being one of the youngest hit makers New Zealand has produced. He came to the attention of producer Alan Galbraith 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 “Wheel Of Fortune”/”When The Stars Begin To Fall” was released on the New Zealand market in October 1970. The result was an instant smash hit and a gold record. The single reached number 5 on the national charts, selling over 17,000 copies. This made David the youngest artist ever to feature on the New Zealand Top Twenty. “Wheel Of Fortune” also made it to the finals of the 1970 Loxene Gold Disk Awards.

    Over the next year he released two albums, the first self titled and the second called “Album Two”. From these albums, a number of singles were released, including “The Wedding”, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” and “Someone To Love Me”. All of these did well locally but did not make the national charts. His next best success came in 1971 with a song that David composed the music for, while his mother provided the lyrics, “Take Your Leave”. The song won first prize in the song-writing section on TV’s Studio One competition and reached number 4 nationally. David also took the song to Japan where he represented New Zealand at the Yamaha World Popular Song Contest in Tokyo, winning one of the major prizes. Following this success and at the request of EMI in Japan, “Take Your Leave” was specially recorded in Japanese.

    davidcurtis1 davidcurtis2

    As always happens eventually with boy soprano’s, David’s voice broke and he quietly disappeared from the recording scene. In 1974 EMI released an album as part of their Portrait series, which contained songs from his two albums.

    In 1976 David showed up as a member of the Jo Michat Group, who were resident at Wellington’s Burma Motor Lodge. Another interesting name in that group was Dave Luther from Hogsnort Rupert.

    His love for performing made him determined to continue on a musical path, so after leaving school he attended a full time course at Wellington’s Polytechnic Institute, for three years studying arranging, composing and singing, but it would not be until 1983 that the name David Curtis would be heard again as he made a move to Auckland, joined the Lew Pryme Management Company, and sang on some radio jingles while also performing in several musicals, including Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar.

    In 1985 David left New Zealand for England and remained there until 1993, entertaining in various clubs and pubs while also studying singing with top London Theatre vocal coach, Ian Adam, and touring in the show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

    A decision was made in 1994 to return to New Zealand where David, now a committed Christian, lives with his family, consisting of wife Pauline, and sons Michael, Matthew and Jesse. David continues to perform at top Auckland clubs and hotels, and has set up a home recording studio so he can continue to pursue a song-writing career.

    In 2003 EMI released a Very Best Of CD, which also contains the Japanese version of “Take Your Leave”.

    davidcurtis-verybestof

    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.

  • Dennis O’Brien

  • Desna Sisarich

    desnasisarich

    Desna Sisarich was one of New Zealand’s first singer / songwriters. She originated from New Plymouth before relocating to Wellington. While in New Plymouth she was the vocalist in a group called the Nitelites, taking over the spot vacated by Lew Pryme.

    Desna appeared on television’s “Studio One” and sang her own composition, a blues-type ballad called “Season Of Sorrow”. In 1972 she released a single on HMV called “Thought He Was A Friend Of Mine”/”Something In The Morning” and followed this in 1973 with a single on ODE called “Take My Life”/”Lay My Weary Head”.

    She didn’t record much material, but was particularly popular as a live performer. In November 1972, EMI promoted a concert at the James Hay Theatre in Christchurch. Desna performed there along with Blerta, Quincy Conserve and Lutha. The event was recorded and released early in 1973 as an album called “Live”. Desna contributed three tracks to the album.

    luthalive

    Her only other solo recorded output was the A-side of a single for Philips in 1976 called “You’re Our Way – Naturally New Zealand”. She did join in on a single called “I Believe In Music”/”Brand New Day” with Corben Simpson, Anna Leah and Robin Simenauer in 1973.

    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.

  • Ebony

    ebonypic

    Line-Up:
    Stefan Brown
    Don Wilson

    Ebony were a Wellington pop duo consisting of Stefan Brown and Don Wilson. There first single on Philips was “The Fool” in 1973. It was an entry on “Studio One Hits” that year. Switching to Polydor the next single, also 1973, was “Big Norm”/”Tavern Girl”. The song “Big Norm” was written about Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk, an extremely popular leader and a big man with a big heart. The single peaked at number 4 on the National charts in January 1974.

    In 1974 a self-titled album was released and from it came two singles, “Laze In The Morning Sun”/”P-A-R-T-Y” and “Everyone’s Heart Gets Broken”/”Colours Of The World”.

    ebony

    They later evolved into a group by adding Simon Morris on bass, Kerry Jacobsen on drums and Steve Robinson on guitar. 1976 saw their last single on Ode, “Don’t Boogie Mr Tango”/”Slacker”. Kerry was then to soon show up in Dragon.

    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.

  • Farmyard

    Line-Up:
    Rick White (Rhythm Guitar / Vocals)
    Tom Swainson (Drums)
    Milton Parker (Lead Guitar)
    Andy Stevens (Saxophone)
    Paul Curtis (Bass Guitar)

    Farmyard were a Wellington group who were around only for a short time from 1970 to 1971. Rick White, previously of the Relics and Tom Thumb, started with the group but was later replaced by Bernard Lee.

    Their first single for Polydor in 1970 was “Learnin’ ’bout Living”/”Da Woirks”. It was successful enough to gain entry in to the 1971 Loxene Gold Disk Awards. A self-titled album was also released and came in a plastic bag with a poster.

    farmyardfarmyard1st

    A second single “Nothing’s Happening Here”/”Me, The Dog, Ma And Dear Ol’ Dad” also came out in 1970 and was included on their second album called “Back To Fronting” released in 1971. Their third and last single was “Which Way Confusion Part 1″/”Which Way Confusion Part 2”, taken from their first album and appeared during 1971.

    backtofronting

    Both of their albums were repackaged in 1991 into a double album called “Looking For A Place” on the Little Wing label. That album appears below.

    lookingforaplace

    After Farmyard disbanded, Tom Swainson joined Wellington underground band Arkastra in February 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.

  • Heartbreakers

    Line-Up:
    Don Wilson (Guitar / Vocals)
    Steve Robinson (Guitar / Vocals)
    Simon Morris (Guitar)
    Nick Theobald (Bass Guitar)
    Danny Shaw (Drums)
    Tony Hooper (Guitar)

    The Heartbreakers were a Wellington pop group, who along with a number of others, predominately played the hotel circuit during the mid seventies. During their time Tony Hooper was replaced by Bill Beare.

    Unlike most of their pub circuit contemporaries, the Heartbreakers also did some recording and released five singles on the Vertigo label between 1975 and 1977. They were “Beachcomber”/”Heartbreak”, “Computer Man”/”Holding On”, “Just Like Romeo and Juliet”/”Move Over Casanova”, Lightening Strikes”/”Down By The Bay” and “No Scene At All”/”Heartbreak”.

    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.

  • Highway

    highway2
    Highway in 1970, clockwise from top left, Jim Lawrie, Phil Pritchard, George Limbidis and Bruce Sontgen.

    Line-Up:
    Phil Pritchard (Guitar)
    George Limbidis (Bass Guitar)
    Jim Lawrie (Drums)
    Bruce Sontgen (Vocals)
    George Barris (Guitar)

    George Limbidis and Phil Pritchard had spent the later part of the sixties in Australia and when they returned to their hometown, Wellington in late-1969, Phil had a very short stint with a group called Retaliation, before George and Phil decided to form an underground band, to play original material. A friend of Pritchard’s, Jim Lawry joined them. Jim was previously playing with Serenity Fair from Northland. They began serious rehearsals as a band and at the beginning of 1970 they added Bruce Sontgen as their vocalist. Bruce was currently the vocalist for Tom Thumb and had previously been with the Boddys, the Layabouts and Apple.

    They called themselves Highway and after continuing their serious rehearsals for another six months they finally made their debut at the Mickey Mouse Club in Wellington in August 1970. This was followed a week later with a headlining performance at the University Arts Festival concert at the Paramount Theatre. They went across very well to the capacity crowd and with that performance they became the hottest band in town. They took up a residency at Lucifer’s for the next few months. In January 1971 they took a two month break and headed to a farm in the Wairarapa to put together a new repertoire of songs. On their return they had added a new member to their line-up. He was George Barris, who had a strong background, having played with the Bitter End, the Underdogs, Jigsaw, Fresh Air and Troubled Mind.

    This new line-up debuted at Victoria University in March and released a single for HMV called “The Time Is The Time”/”What You’re Doing To Me”. The Universities Arts Council then organised a national tour of Universities. This was the first tour by a New Zealand band and was a huge success. They then moved back to Lucifer’s and performed to packed audiences every time. In August 1971 came the University Arts Festival in Palmerston North, where Highway filled the support slot to Australia’s Daddy Cool. Ross Wilson from Daddy Cool loved them and suggested that they should try Australia.

    Before going to Australia, the band spent time in the studio and produced a self-titled album which was released around October 1971. The album, while good, was only a representation of the music they were doing at that time. No sooner had they recorded it and they were working on a new batch of songs ready to play in Australia.

    highway

    Highway flew to Melbourne at the end of the year and found a manager almost immediately. He was Michael Gudinski, who was well placed in the Melbourne music industry. He was the same Michael Gudinski who would later go on to form Mushroom Records. He organised some good gigs and they were soon playing to large audiences at the Myponga and Sunbury festivals. They continued to play well, but their style of music was different to most of the other groups that were playing at the same time. While they did manage to gather a small following of fans, it wasn’t enough, and Gudinski was unable to secure them a recording contract. Always on the road with little time for rehearsal and songwriting, they soon began to lose interest. Highway disbanded in mid-1972.

    The group did reform in Wellington towards the end of 1972, but without Barris and Sontgen. They did add Dave Brown on saxophone, but lacking a strong vocalist, they ended up being basically an instrumental outfit. In 1973 they changed their name to Danny Douche and the Pelicans, which was a 50’s rock and roll covers band. While extremely different from their roots, it did give them more work than they were getting. They only lasted a short time and with the members not really being happy, soon broke up for good.

    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.

  • Kevin Clark

  • Kiwi Made Music, Vol. 2: 1972-77

    Title: Kiwi made music. Volume two, 1972-1977 / various artists.
    Publisher: Tree 1996.

    The Tree Records Singles collection. A slice of Kiwi music as recorded in Wellington in the period covering 1972-1977.

    Contents:
    Motorway madness (Aardvark) — Pickin’ white gold (Peter Caulton & Midge Marsden) — If I were a carpenter (After Glo) — A moving silence (Newton [ie. Roger Hartly Newton Mayson]) — Diddle, diddle, dumplin’ (Peter Caulton, Rosemary & friends) — Get on the line (Harlequins & Talismen Dance Band) — Bright boy (Haystack) — It’s too late (Aardvark) — My world keeps changin’ (Peter Caulton) — Nigel (Haystack) — When you go away (After Glo) — Hurry on home (Harlequins & Talismen Dance Band) — Ebenezer (Haystack) — Everybody wants to be somebody else (Peter Caulton, Rosemary & friends) — Leave me, free me (Haystack) — Hot to rock (dance version) (Dene Kellaway).

    Note:
    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.

  • Littlejohn

    Line-Up:
    Bruno Lawrence (Drums)
    Tony Littlejohn (Bass Guitar)
    Alan Moon (Keyboards)
    Corben Simpson (Guitar / Vocals)

    In 1971 Bruno Lawrence, having just completed a stint with Fresh Air, 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.

    The group was primarily formed as a vehicle for singer / songwriter Corben Simpson. They released a single on Zodiac called “Dead and Gone”/”Turning Onto Rock’n’Roll” in 1971, before moving to Alan Dunnage’s Sonic Label to record three more singles, also in 1971. The singles were “Everybody Knows”/”Social Smoker”, “Have You Heard A Man Cry”/”Nice and Easy” and “Why Did You Leave Me”/”Bloodsucker”. The song “Have You Heard A Man Cry” won Corben the 1971 APRA Silver Scroll, and in 1975 it also won a Golden Scroll for the best New Zealand composition of the previous 10 years.

    Littlejohn didn’t last very long as a group because 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. Before disbanding Littlejohn, they did release an album called “Littlejohn” at the beginning of 1972. Kemp Turirangi was added to the line-up for the album.

    littlejohn

    All the members of Littlejohn, including Kemp, ended up in Bruno’s Blerta.

    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.

  • Mammal

    mammal
    Mammal in 1973: L to R Tony Backhouse, Julie Needham, Kerry Jacobsen, Mark Hornibrook, Robert Taylor and Rick Bryant.

    Line-Up:
    Bill Lake (Guitar / Harmonica / Vocals)
    Tony Backhouse (Bass Guitar / Keyboards)
    Simon Morris (Guitar / Vocals)
    Mark Hansen (Drums)

    In December 1969, after Original Sin had folded, Simon Morris and Bill Lake, from that group, teamed up with Tony Backhouse to form an acoustic trio called Mammal. Early in 1970, with Backhouse playing bass guitar, Mark Hansen, who had previously played with Abdullah’s Regime, was added to the line-up to play drums, and the group turned electric. Bill Lake, who liked acoustic and had set up a part-time acoustic group, the Windy City Strugglers, while playing with Original Sin, now used this group as his outlet to continue his acoustic activities, while continuing to play with Mammal.

    When Gutbucket folded in mid-1970, Rick Bryant, who had also been with Original Sin, joined the group on saxophone and vocals, bringing Mike Fullerton, the Gutbucket drummer with him to replace Mark Hansen.

    All the members were students at Victoria University. Up until this time, there had been very little effort to present rock music on campus. While playing as Original Sin, they never actually played on campus. Graeme Nesbitt, another student at the University had a lot to do with changing that situation. He was actually a folkie who later gained national exposure as a member of Country Deal, who were finalists in the 1971 Studio One Series. He formed the Blues-Rock Society at the University and playing at this was regarded an important gig by most of Wellington’s bands.

    Even while Rick was a member of Mammal, he also ventured out periodically up until 1973 with another band he put together called Rick and the Rockets. Their most stable line-up included Graeme Nesbitt and Peter Kennedy on guitars, Rick on vocals, Kris Smith on bass and Jeff Kennedy on drums.

    During most of 1971, Mammal didn’t do many gigs as its members were trying to concentrate on studies. This soon changed in 1972 when Graeme Nesbitt took over management of the group. This brought about a line-up change with Simon Morris leaving to form a soft-rock band called Tamburlaine. Simon was replaced by Robert Taylor on lead guitar. He was from Waipukurau and had also been a Victoria University student, but had dropped out. He had been occupying himself doing some solo gigs, occasionally playing with the Windy City Strugglers and fronting a country rock band called Chum. With Morris’s departure, Tony Backhouse moved to keyboards, allowing another of the old Gutbucket group, Steve Hemmens, to join the group on bass.

    While playing more gigs than they used to, they still concentrated on studies, but when opportunities allowed, they did manage to play on campus at New Zealand’s other main Universities at Auckland, Massey and Canterbury. The group boasted three songwriters, so this gave them quite a wide diverse range of music for their repertoire. Although playing basically dance-orientated music they soon got a reputation for being an arty band. It was not often that New Zealand rock bands comprised of members holding University degrees. In mid 1972, Mammal’s arty reputation saw them getting involved with poet Sam Hunt. He was a poet who was beginning to reach a wider audience, selling his books in numbers not previously heard of for a New Zealand poet. He has befriended Backhouse and he introduced Sam to the other members of Mammal. The result of this meeting led to a series of varsity concerts featuring Mammal with Sam Hunt as guest. Initially Sam would read poems between sets, but this evolved into concerts with poetry with musical accompaniment. These concerts were so successful that the concept was captured on record and an album was released before the end of 1972. The album was called “Beware The Man” and released as Sam Hunt and Mammal. Also an EP came out called “Sandshoe Shuffle (Selections From Beware The Man)”.

    bewaretheman

    At this time Hemmens left and he was replaced by Patrick Bleakley on bass. In January 1973, Mammal appeared at the Ngaruawahia Music Festival and gave one of their better performances. After this they went on a North Island tour. When the tour was over, Bill Lake called it a day. In June 1973 there were further line-up changes, Bleakley left and was replaced by Mark Hornibrook on bass, Mike Fullerton was replaced by a young 18 year old drummer Kerry Jacobsen, and Julie Needham was added to the line-up on electric violin.

    mammal2
    1974 L to R: Julie Needham, Mark Hornibrook, Kerry Jacobsen, Rick Bryant, Robert Taylor and Tony Backhouse.

    This new line-up, along with Lake’s Windy City Strugglers, Sam Hunt and Tamburlaine, took off on a very successful Universities tour. Mammal also invested in an old bus and in December 1973, hit the road for a mammoth four month tour, taking them from Kerikeri in the north, right through to Westport in the south. Although the idea of self-promoted tours had been pioneered by Blerta, it was Mammal manager Graeme Nesbitt who brought a professional approach to the practice. Nesbitt would arrive in town two or three weeks before the band, hire suitable premises, place newspaper ads, distribute posters, and organise publicity.

    In April 1974, just one month after completing their tour, Nesbitt sent the band on the road again. This was too much for Needham and she called it a day. Her place was taken by adding another guitarist, Peter Kennedy, who had played part time with Rick and the Rockets.

    Halfway through their North Island tour, the bus died an overworked death and all their subsequent bookings were cancelled. Instead they took up a residency at Wellington’s Speakeasy Bar. This was a different audience to what they had been used to and it didn’t prove very successful. Unrest grew strong within the group and the end was near. They played a farewell concert at the Wellington Opera House in September 1974.

    Apart from their output with Sam Hunt, the group only ever released one single in 1973 called “Wait”/”Whisper”.

    Peter Bleakley and Rick Bryant both made appearances with one of the many combinations of Blerta. Tony Backhouse and Peter Bleakley were later to appear in Spats. Both Taylor and Jacobsen went on to play with Dragon. This came about because Graeme Nesbitt became Dragon’s manager.

    Rick Bryant had been juggling his time between academia and rock and roll since 1966. In 1974 he made a decision that rock and roll was his calling, and he has remained a professional singer ever since. After Blerta, he went on to Rough Justice, Top Scientists, the Neighbours, and the Jive Bombers.

    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.

  • Mantis

    Line-Up:
    Joe Heritage (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Ronnie Sammuel (Keyboards)
    Paul Stephen (Drums)
    Waisea Vatuwaga (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Reuben Davui (Guitar / Vocals)

    Mantis were a Fijian rock group that came to Wellington and took up a residency at one of the clubs. While they were in Wellington they recorded an album in 1973 called “Turn Onto Music”. It was released on the Vertigo label. Two singles came from the album, “Night and Day”/”Time Is Tight” and “Turn On The Music”/”Get Down”. Their style was very much funk.

    turnontomusic

    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.

  • Marg Layton

    Marg Layton is one of New Zealand’s foremost blues performers. Born in New Zealand’s Deep South, Marg began her musical career in the folk music café scene of the late 1960s, first in Christchurch, then in other parts of the country.

    Throughout the seventies and eighties she performed at every major folk venue, mixing traditional and contemporary folk songs with a growing interest in blues and gospel. During this period she opened concerts for such international touring artists as Country Joe McDonald, Don McLean, Odetta and Tom Paxton.

    A visit to the United States in 1980 led to a meeting with The Grand Old Lady of the Blues, Alberta Hunter. The recently rediscovered 1920s blues legend provided new inspiration and led to a greater emphasis on the blues in Marg’s repertoire.

    Since then she has taken the music of her blues heroes and heroines the length and breadth of New Zealand, and appears regularly at major arts and music festivals. Recent appearances have included The 2003 Manawatu International Jazz and Blues Festival, Wellington’s 2004 Cuba Street Carnival and the Wellington Jazz Club in June 2004.

    Marg specialises in concert performances, drawing on a variety of styles from sophisticated jazz settings to raw, earthy country blues, and occasionally reverts to her first love, traditional and contemporary folk, for contrast.

    Marg has been based in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, since 1973. With more than three decades of live performance to her credit, she continues to attract and work with the crème de la crème of New Zealand’s blues, jazz and folk musicians.

  • Moving Folk

    Line-Up:
    Susan Norton
    Colin Spiers
    Hugh Milloy
    Graeme Field

    The Moving Folk were a folk group who originated from the Upper Hutt, just north of Wellington, around 1970.

    They released an album called “Directions” and a self-titled EP in 1970 for the Kiwi label, before switching and becoming one of the very early signings for the Ode label. For Ode they released their second album called “This World Goes ‘Round and ‘Round”, also in 1970 and from this came four singles over the next year, along with the group’s second EP, also self-titled, which contained four songs from the album. The group released one more EP called Lullaby” in 1971 from which another single was issued.

    movingfolk

    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.

  • Natural Gas

    naturalgas
    L to R: Graham McFarlane, Barry Smith, Don Burke and Noel Forsythe.

    Line-Up:
    Don Burke (Lead Guitar / Vocals)
    Noel Forsythe (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Barry Smith (Vocals)
    Graham McFarlane (Drums)

    The Natural Gas were from Wellington, but like a lot of groups around at that time, they didn’t last too long. They were a hard-edged blues band who suffered from a shortage of suitable venues at which to play. The group rose from the ashes of the Breed in 1969.

    They did have the honour of winning the Wellington heat of the 1970 Battle Of The Bands competition. There was only one single produced by the group and that was “Come On Down Girl”/”Lucille” on the Thyme label in 1970. The single was banned by Radio New Zealand because of its suggestive lyrics and even with the banning publicity, the single failed to sell.

    Don Burke was a member of Blerta in 1971, and was later to emerge in Australia in the seventies as a guitar player of some note.

    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.

  • Newton

    Newton was a singer / songwriter who was born in Malaya and educated in England, whose full name was Roger Hartly Newton Mayson. He visited New Zealand for a few years and was Wellington based, becoming one of the early signings to Tree Records. With them he released one single in 1971 called “A Moving Silence”/”Don’t Wake Me Up In The Morning”.

    His only other single, also released in 1971 on the Strange label, was called “Steel Sparrow”/”Gypsy Girl”. It is reported that he did a second single for Strange, but I have no record of this.

    He vanished as quickly as he appeared.

    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.

  • Rangi Parker

    rangiparker\

    Rangi Parker was from Porirua, Wellington. She had previously been with the Gaynotes and the Shevelles, before going solo.

    She released her first single for HMV in 1972. It was “Everyday Is Sunday”/”Turn Around And Love Me”. The single received considerable airplay and “Everyday Is Sunday” made it to the finals of the 1972 Loxene Gold Disc Awards. Her only other single, also for HMV, was “He’s Not There”/”Give Your Love To Me” in 1973.

    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.

  • Redeye

    Line-Up:
    Dennis Mason (Percussion / Saxophone / Vocals)
    John O’Connor (Guitar)
    Frits Stigter (Bass Guitar)
    Tom Swainson (Drums)

    When the Cabin opened up in Wellington in late 1973, Ray Johns hired some musicians to play there. They comprised mostly of ex-Quincy Conserve members, Kevin Furay on guitar, Dennis Mason on saxophone and vocals, Rufus Rehu on keyboards, Graham Thompson on bass guitar and Mike Conway on drums. They didn’t last long and Johns asked Mason to put together a new band.

    He put together Section, which comprised of Mason, Rehu, John O’Connor on guitar, Frits Stigter on bass guitar and Chris Fox on drums. Frits was also from Quincy Conserve and Dizzy Limits before that. As well as playing at the Cabin, they also provided support for a number of international artists who passed through Wellington at the time. In a short period they became very popular with a repertoire of soul music.

    Chris Fox left and he was replaced by Tom Swainson. Shortly afterwards, Rufus Rehu left and wasn’t replaced. With his departure, a name change was decided, and Redeye came about in 1976.

    Redeye were one of Wellington’s better known rock groups in the mid seventies. They were much underrated and hardly played outside the Wellington area. They had occasional appearances on television’s “Ready To Roll”, and also managed to do some session work at EMI.

    On the recording side, they released three singles, the first, “Who Said That”/”I Wish You Well” in 1976, and “Little Miss Lonely Heart”/”Mind Seasons” and “He’s My Man”/”So Damn Fine” in 1977. They also released an album “Redeye” in 1977, which contained the singles, but it was not a good seller.

    redeye

    Redeye disbanded in April 1978.

    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.

  • Rockinghorse

    rockinghorse

    Line-Up:
    Clint Brown (Bass Guitar)
    Keith Norris (Drums)
    Bruce Robinson (Lead Guitar)
    Carl Evenson (Percussion / Vocals)
    Wayne Mason (Guitar / Vocals)

    Rockinghorse were a group that were fortunate to have come together at the right time. Alan Galbraith had returned to Wellington from London as HMV’s in-house producer, just prior to the company’s name-change to EMI in April 1973. Alan felt that the company needed a full-time house band to provide backing for the many soloists that they had on the books at the time. Alan went looking and in January 1974 he found Rockinghorse, and they provided backing for almost all the releases to come out of EMI in 1974.

    Few groups hit success so fast in their careers as what Rockinghorse did. They were still in rehearsal stage when Galbraith came along, resulting in EMI providing not only a regular wage, but also management, equipment, transport and even clothes. The good thing about Rockinghorse was that they weren’t just a bunch of new players trying to make it, but a group of experienced players who had been around for a while, playing in various groups.

    Keith Norris and Clint Brown had been playing together since 1969, starting in Wellington’s Rebirth. In mid-1970, the pair left and headed to Australia, thereby ending Rebirth, and they joined up with expatriates Dave Brown or Baker (saxophone) and Milton Parker (guitar) to form Tangent or Biplane ?. This group disbanded in March 1971 and Clint Brown and Norris returned to Wellington, where they joined up with guitarist Kevin Bayley, keyboardist Steve McDonald and guitarist Rick White, to form Taylor. Clint Brown was a busy man, also having a stint with Aardvark for a while in 1972 and 1973.

    Taylor had moderate success, recording an album and also securing a much sought after residency at John’s Place in Auckland. When they broke up in mid-1973, Brown and Norris returned to Wellington, where they met up with Wayne Mason and Carl Evenson from Fourmyula. This pair had just recently returned to New Zealand from Britain for a holiday, after having formed Flinders prior to their departure from London with fellow New Zealanders Bruce Robinson on guitar and Richard Burgess on drums. All four had returned to New Zealand, giving up on the task of making it in Britain. Bruce Robinson joined Mark Williams in Face, replacing Mack Tane, while in Wellington Brown, Norris, Mason and Evenson began jamming together. After Mark Williams went solo, the Face ended, so Bruce Robinson joined the rest of the guys in Wellington, providing them with a much needed guitarist. Bruce Robinson had originally been in the Pleazers and later Troubled Mind. Calling themselves Rockinghorse, they began rehearsals in late 1973. The group made their debut at New Plymouth’s White Hart Inn in December 1973 with a country rock repertoire of covers and originals.

    Now with EMI in 1974, Galbraith recorded and released their first single, “Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll”/”My Fancy Man”, in March 1974. A second single, “Take A Stronger Look”/”Whisper I Love You I Do”, followed shortly afterwards. During 1974 and 1975, when they weren’t doing in-house duties, Rockinghorse gigged extensively. In April 1975, their third single gave them their biggest hit. “Thru The Southern Moonlight”/”Greyest Morning Blue” reached number 12 on the National Charts. Their debut album, “Thoroughbred” was quickly released and contained the first three singles. The album was well-received and in November 1975 they were rewarded by picking up two RATA Awards, one for ‘Best Group’ and the other for ‘Best Single’.

    thoroughbred

    At the time of the awards, Rockinghorse had a residency at Wellington’s Lion Tavern. Unfortunately for the group, the awards were in the afternoon and they were scheduled for their gig at the tavern that night. By the time they arrived at their gig, they had been celebrating for a few hours and the management were not impressed with the state in which they arrived, and told them to do their job or they would not play there anymore. Being “New Zealand’s Best Group” suggested to them that they should not be spoken to in such a manner. They told the tavern manager where he could stick his gig and promptly walked out. Next day, after the excess had worn off, they tried to apologise, but it was too late, the word had already spread and Lion Breweries had been advised that Rockinghorse were troublemakers and they were banned from the breweries circuit for the next twelve months. Without the breweries, it was a struggle to survive.

    Bruce Robinson left the group in 1975, just before the Lion Tavern incident and was replaced by Kevin Bayley. The group continued on and released two more singles during 1975, “Grand Affaire”/”Turn On The Light” and “Oh Marimba Go”/”So Do I”, both included on the group’s second album, “Grand Affaire”, released in April 1976.

    rockinghorsegrandaffaire

    The album barely managed to break even in costs. When Alan Galbraith decided to leave EMI in May 1976, Rockinghorse found themselves without EMI’s management and regular wage as in-house band. With poor sales from their second album and their inability to provide EMI with a successful follow-up hit single, led to their contract with EMI not being renewed.

    In late 1976, Barry Coburn took over the management role. He patched up the differences with Lion Breweries and Rockinghorse were back on the road. Unfortunately the band had lost their impetus and never made up for the time they had lost because of the breweries. A new single, “You Can Love”/”Motorcycle Boogie” was released on Coburn’s White Cloud label in 1976, but again the single failed to sell.

    In December 1976 the band appeared at a one-day festival at Waikino. Headlining acts included the Country Flyers, Th’ Dudes, and Ragnarok. Also present was the up-and-coming Hello Sailor.

    In 1977, Carl Evenson left and Christchurch’s Barry Saunders took over on lead vocals. Keith Norris also left and his drummer’s seat was taken over by Jim Lawrie.

    Coburn soon lost interest in the band during 1977 and Danny Ryan took over as manager in late 1977, but Rockinghorse’s days were numbered and their time had passed. In 1978, Jim Lawrie left and he was replaced by Steve Garden.

    Their last days were spent in a residency at Wellington’s ‘Last Resort’, a venue co-owned by Clint Brown, manager Danny Ryan and a couple of others. This gave Rockinghorse a regular place to play, but by late 1978, patrons were demanding regular changes in performing bands, so Rockinghorse called it a day. Clint Brown was later to play in the Warratahs. Kevin Bayley formed Short Story in 1979.

    rockinghorse2
    1974 L to R: Bruce Robinson, Wayne Mason, Keith Norris, Carl Evenson and Clint Brown.

    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.

  • Rodger Fox

  • Rough Justice

    roughjustice1
    Rough Justice 1976 L to R: Mike Farrell, Patrick Bleakley, Steve Garden, Rick Bryant and John Key.

    Line-Up:
    Rick Bryant (Vocals)
    Patrick Bleakley (Double Bass)
    Mike Farrell (Guitar)
    Steve Garden (Drums)
    Chris Seresin (Keyboards)
    Fane Flaws (Guitar)

    After spending twelve months in Witako Prison for a cannabis conviction, the first thing Rick Bryant did upon release in late 1976 was form a band. Rick had previously had a long career with Original Sin, Gutbucket, Mammal, and Blerta. He approached guitarist-songwriter Fane Flaws and then recruited double-bassist Patrick Bleakley. The man Bryant really wanted in the group was guitarist Mike Farrell, who agreed to join provided drummer Steve Garden be included. The line-up was completed with the inclusion of ex-Blerta keyboardist Chris Seresin.

    Farrell had a number of compositions which he was keen to have included in the repertoire, but during rehearsals he soon learnt that he wasn’t the only songwriter in the group. His Little Feat inspired compositions had very little in common with the original compositions of Fane Flaws. Very quickly it became apparent to Rick that the line-up was not going to work, and he was forced to ask Fane to stand down.

    In October 1976, the as-yet unnamed band debuted at the launching of an art exhibition at the Wellington World Trade Centre, playing a mixture of R&B standards, Little Feat covers and Farrell originals. Chris Seresin left shortly after this and was replaced by John Key.

    In November 1976, now with the name Rough Justice, the quintet took to the road. It was a pattern of continuous touring, but they were still not a happy group, with arguments developing between Bryant and Farrell. By April 1977, Bryant had had enough and he left the group he had formed. The remaining members carried on for a short while as the Whale Bay Boogie Band.

    Rick started putting together a new line-up, which would become Rough Justice MkII. He started with an old mate, guitarist Peter Kennedy, who had played part time with Rick and the Rockets. Second was a promising young bassist he had come across in his Mammal days, Nick Bollinger. Nick introduced Rick to friends Martin Highland (drums) and Steve Jessup (saxophone). Armed with a repertoire of R&B and soul standards, this new version hit the road in an old decorated bus.

    In New Plymouth they met a young pianist, Simon Ward. He was invited to join the group. In November 1977, Simon Ward left and he was replaced by Mike Gubb. A seventh member, Peter Boyd, was added on saxophone. In January 1978, this line-up arrived in Auckland, where they knew the going would be tough.

    roughjustice2
    Rough Justice Mk II 1978
    L to R: Mike Gubb, Steve Jessup, Peter Boyd, Martin Highland, Rick Bryant, Nick Bollinger and Peter Kennedy.

    In January 1979, Dennis Mason, who had played with Arkastra, replaced Steve Jessup on saxophone, and in an endeavour to boost the percentage of original material, another guitarist came in, seasoned songwriter Tony Backhouse. Tony had become available after the demise of the Spats. By now Rough Justice were attracting large crowds around the country. But it was at the height of their popularity that they began to fall apart. Because of the size of the group, individual members earned less than members of less popular bands. Rick maintained that the most important thing was the music and overall sound. As such he would casually add more members where necessary. It was a situation that some of the guys were unhappy with, and Rough Justice played their last gig in Wellington on July 24, 1979.

    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.

  • Short Story

    shortstory

    Line-Up:
    Kevin Bayley (Guitar)
    Colin Bayley (Guitar)
    Leon Keil (Bass Guitar)
    Steve Garden (Drums)
    Gary Taylor (Keyboards)

    Short Story, a Wellington pop group, was centred around the talents of Kevin Bayley. For more than ten years Kevin had been a dominant presence in the New Zealand rock music scene. His musical background can be traced through bands such as Chapta, Taylor and Rockinghorse, the latter being his most successful.

    During his time with Rockinghorse, Kevin began his career as a songwriter. He was responsible for at least half the songs on their “Grand Affaire” album. This album also brought the development of his distinctive guitar and vocal style.

    Short Story was a perfect vehicle for his growing number of original songs. Supported by his brother Colin, to share the vocal duties, they also had a tight accomplished rhythm section.

    Their first single in 1979 on CBS was “Julia”/”Danny’s Blues”. This was followed by “Halfway To Paradise”/”Whole Lotta Looking” released as by Kevin Bayley’s Short Story also on CBS in 1979.

    Colin Bayley went on to lead a small-time Sydney band called Silent Movies, and then joined a later version of Mi-Sex in 1983 as second guitarist.

    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.

  • Something old, Something New

    Something old something new / various artists.
    EMI, 1996.

    Compilation featuring songs from Hogsnort Rupert, Bulldogs All Star Goodtime Band & ‘Dave and the Dynamos’.

    Contents:
    Life begins at forty ; Can’t spell rhythm / Dave and the Dynamos — Everyone knows / Bulldogs All Star Goodtime Band — Monday ; Little bird ; Aunty Alice (brought us this) ; Pretty girl / Hogsnort Rupert — Grandad’s piano / Alec Wishart with the Society Jazzmen — Aubrey / Hogsnort Rupert’s Original Flagon Band — Miss September ; Television mama / Bulldogs All Star Goodtime Band — Holiday song / Dave and the Dynamos.

    Note:
    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.

  • Steve Gilpin

    stevegilpin

    Steve Gilpin was a Wellington pop vocalist born in 1949. He recorded two singles for Edd Morris’s Strange Records in 1972. They were “Spring” and “Stoned Me”. He also recorded one single for HMV in 1972 called “Anna, No Can Do”/”Bridge Over Troubled Water – You’ve Got A Friend”.

    Steve then shot to overnight fame by becoming a winner on the 1972 “New Faces” competition on television. In 1973 he took third place on television’s “Studio One”, singing a song composed by John Hanlon and Mike Harvey called “Knowing”. The same year, another song called “There’s An Island” was a finalist in the “RATA Awards”. These two songs were also released on a single for Polydor in 1973, along with the album called “Knowing”.

    knowing

    Over the next few years he became a familiar figure on the provincial hotel circuit. Wearing a tuxedo and bow-tie, he was predominately a cabaret singer who sang most of the expected standards and became very popular with the female audiences.

    He released two more singles for Polydor during 1973 and 1974. They were “Hey Little Girl”/”Tulsa Turnaround” and “Cosmic Way”/”Every Woman”. An album called “Knowing” was also released in 1973.

    1977 saw his only other single called “Key To The Sun” released on Radio NZ. By then he had tired of the cabaret scene and underneath it all was a frustrated rock’n’roller. He couldn’t wait to discard the suit and tie and get down to the serious business of rock. By 1978 Steve Gilpin was fronting the very successful ‘new wave’ band Mi-Sex.

    In November 1991, Steve was involved in a car accident in Australia, while returning to his home after a gig. He lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered. He died in Southport Hospital on 6th January 1992, aged 42.

    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.

  • Tamburlaine

  • Taylor

    Line-Up:
    Keith Norris (Drums / Percussion)
    Steve McDonald (Keyboards / Vocals)
    Kevin Bayley (Lead Guitar)
    Rick White (Rhythm Guitar)
    Clint Brown (Bass Guitar)

    Taylor were a Wellington based rock band formed in 1971. Although only around for two short years, the band produced one excellent, and now very rare album. All members of the group had professional experience, coming from varying backgrounds, and Taylor provided them with a stepping stone to better things.

    Keith Norris and Clint Brown had been playing together since 1969, starting in Wellington’s Rebirth. In mid-1970, the pair left and headed to Australia, thereby ending Rebirth, and they joined up with expatriates Dave Brown and Milton Parker to form Tangent. This group disbanded in March 1971 and Brown and Norris returned to Wellington, where they joined up with guitarist Kevin Bayley, keyboardist Steve McDonald and guitarist Rick White, to form Taylor.

    Kevin Bayley had been playing lead guitar with Chapta for a period in 1970. Steve McDonald had previously played with his brother Eddie in a group from Wellington called the Strangers, before joining Dizzy Limits in 1966. He stayed with them during the transition to Timberjack in 1970, before moving on to Taylor. Rick White probably had the longest introduction. He started back in 1964, while still at school, with a Wellington pop called the Relics. They recorded a single in 1966, disbanding shortly afterwards, with Rick going on to form Tom Thumb. He stayed with them until 1970 and then joined Farmyard for a short time, before becoming part of Taylor.

    Taylor had moderate success, releasing a single “Hard Life”/”Simpson’s World” in 1971, recording an excellent self-titled album which contained both songs from the single, in 1972 and also securing a much sought after residency at John’s Place in Auckland.

    taylor-taylor

    When Taylor broke up in mid-1973, Brown and Norris returned to Wellington, where they met up with Wayne Mason and Carl Evenson from Fourmyula. This pair had just recently returned to New Zealand from Britain for a holiday, after having formed Flinders prior to their departure from London with fellow New Zealanders Bruce Robinson on guitar and Richard Burgess on drums. All four had returned to New Zealand, giving up on the task of making it in Britain. Bruce Robinson joined Mark Williams in Face, replacing Mack Tane, while in Wellington Brown, Norris, Mason and Evenson began jamming together. After Mark Williams went solo, the Face ended, so Bruce Robinson joined the rest of the guys in Wellington, providing them with a much needed guitarist. Bruce Robinson had originally been in the Pleazers and later Troubled Mind. Calling themselves Rockinghorse, they began rehearsals in late 1973, and made their debut shortly afterwards.

    Kevin Bayley later joined Rockinghorse and when this group called it a day in late 1978, Kevin Bayley formed Short Story in 1979, while Clint Brown was later to play in the Warratahs. .

    Steve McDonald had a short stint with Human Instinct and then began recording solo, before going under the name Spinfield.

    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.

  • Wayne Roland Brown

    waynerolandbrown2 waynerolandbrown

    Wayne Roland Brown was a Wellington singer songwriter. His first recordings were in 1975, where he released two albums on the Strange label. The first was self titled “Wayne Roland Brown” and the second was “Fast Mover”. These two albums were also packaged together as a double album the same year and it was released as “Chairs, Shoes and Songs Of Comfort”.

    He went quite for a few years until 1980 when a move to RCA saw the start of four more albums over the next two years. The first was “Stealer Of Hearts” in 1980, and this was quickly followed by “On The Road” the same year. 1981 saw “Trick Of The Light” and in 1982 came “Fools and Pretenders”.

    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.