Graham Brazier 1952 – 2015

September 4, 2015


Graham BrazierSeptember 4, 2015. A sad day for New Zealand music fans with the death of Graham Brazier – frontman of iconic New Zealand band, Hello Sailor.

Read the New Zealand Herald report here.


Be Mine Tonight – Th’ Dudes – 1979

November 21, 2013

The Dudes coverBe Mine Tonight, the debut single by Kiwi band, Th’ Dudes, is a classic down my end of the world.

The Dudes Bth’ time is right

It seems fitting to feature a song by Th’ Dudes this week seeing as how band member Dave Dobbyn was recently welcomed into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

For those unaware of the New Zealand music scene, Dave Dobbyn is pop-royalty in these parts. He’s our Bob Dylan; a magnificent musical poet.

th’ dudes fax

  • Th’ Dudes began life at Sacred Heart College in Auckland, New Zealand – the same school Neil and Tim Finn (Crowded House) attended.
  • The band’s name was taken from a NME comic strip, The Lone Groover.
  • Originally a covers band, Th’ Dudes slowly increased their repertoire of originals and, in 1979, were named New Zealand Band of the Year.
  • The band claimed to be influenced by UK punk and new wave artists bands such as Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Roxy Music, The Stranglers and The Clash.
  • The band eventually disbanded in mid 1980.


Another of the band’s songs, Bliss, released in 1980, is regarded as one of the great Kiwi party songs (see video below).

what about dave?

Dave Dobbyn went on to form his own band, DD Smash  (pretty hot from 1980 – 1986). In 1986, he went solo and has become one of our musical statesmen.

be mine tonight fax

  • Be Mine Tonight was Th’ Dudes debut single from their first album Right First Time. It is a classic song yet peaked at only #36 on the New Zealand single charts.
  • Be Mine Tonight won Single of the Year at the 1979 New Zealand Music Awards.
  • It was voted #27 on the list of best New Zealand Songs of the 20th Century.
  • Be Mine Tonight lyrics.

be mine tonight – th’ dudes – 1979 – video

bliss – th’ dudes – 1979 – video

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She’s a Mod – Ray Columbus and the Invaders – 1964

July 4, 2013

ray-columbus-and-the-invaders-shes-a-mod-1964She’s a Mod, originally recorded by English band, The Senators (featuring the drumming skills of John Bonham), was covered by New Zealand band Ray Columbus and the Invaders in 1964. It went on to become the first New Zealand song to become an international #1 hit.

why are we in the 60s?

Yes, I know this is a seventies music blog, but this week thenews down my end of the world is that one of our rock ‘n’ roll icons, Ray Columbus, is knocking on Heaven’s door, having been diagnosed with a terminal illness some time ago. It seemed fitting to pay some sort of tribute to him.

ray 1ray the man

Ray has been a popular figure in the Kiwi music industry ever since rock ‘n’ roll first hit these shores. He’s received numerous awards throughout his career, and toured in concert with Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Herman’s Hermits, The Searchers, Del Shannon, Shirley Bassey, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Gene McDaniel’s, Ben E King, The Hollies, Robin Gibb, The Turtles, Eric Burdon and the Animals.

In 2002, he toured with the sell-out Long Way To The Top – the history of Australian Rock N Roll – show, which saw him perform to over 220,000 people in 20 arena concerts throughout Australia.. He later went into music management.

Ray Columbus and the Invaders played together for only two years, from 1964 to 1966. In that time they became the first New Zealand band to record an international #1 record with She’s a Mod topped the Australian charts.

the inevitable

It’s seems inevitable that Ray will be leaving us soon, and when he does, all New Zealand fans will be saddened – he truly is, one of our music greats.

she’s a mod fax

She’s a Mod was originally recorded by UK band, The Senators before being covered by Ray Columbus and the Invaders.

It was the first song by a Kiwi band to hit #1 internationally.

She’s a Mod lyrics.

she’s a mod – ray columbus and the invaders – 1964

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Three of the best… R.I.P.

April 25, 2013

Recently we’ve said farewell to three men who were a part of the 70s music scene; this week we pay tribute to them.

Richie Havens (January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013)

Richie HavensRichie Havens had been around almost forever. He was at Woodstock, performed through the 70s, 80s, 90s, and right up until early 2012.

In all that time the closest Richie ever came to having a hit record was in 1971 when his version of The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun peaked at #16 on the American singles chart. He also released covers of Lady Madonna and 10CC’s, I’m Not in Love.

Although never mainstream, Richie was a greatly respected singer-songwriter and guitarist with a unique rhythmic guitar style.

His best known original song was Freedom—a song that came about by accident. He was the first performer at Woodstock and performed for almost three hours—mainly because many of the acts scheduled to perform after him were delayed in reaching the festival location because of traffic chaos. He was called back for several encores and, when he ran out of songs, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual Motherless Child, that improvisation became his well-known song, Freedom.

Richie was an environmental activist and was passionate about educating young people about environmental issues.

Richie stopped touring in March 2012 due to health concerns. He died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013.

Richie Havens – Freedom at Woodstock 1969 – Video

Dave McArtney (5 April 1951 – 15 April 2013)

Dave McArtney 2Readers from outside of New Zealand may not have heard of Dave McArtney, but done this end of the globe he and his fellow Hello Sailor members are rock royalty.

With Dave on guitar and occasional vocals, Hello Sailor formed in 1975, produced two albums, and disbanded in 1980.  They have reformed for the odd concert a number of times since. He was the lead vocalist on Hello Sailor’s iconic hit, Gutter Black.

Dave McArtney 1After Hello Sailor, Dave went solo with Dave McArtney and The Pink Flamingos. A bit of musical whiz, he returned to university as an adult student and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, majoring in Renaissance poetry before completing a Masters of Arts (Music) degree 2013.

Dave had battled cancer for some time and died in his home in Point Chevalier, Auckland on 15 April 2013.

Hello Sailor – Gutter Black – 1977 – Video

Storm Thorgerson (28 February 1944 – 18 April 2013)

Storm ThorgersenDark-side-of-the-moon-Storm ThorgersenStorm Elvin Thorgerson (great name!) was an English graphic designer best known for his iconic album cover work, notably the cover of Pink Floyd’s albums and especially, The Dark Side of the Moon.

He also designed covers for albums by:

  • 10cc

Greatest Hits

Mirror Mirror

  • Audioslave


Technical Ecstasy

  • The Cranberries

Bury the Hatchet

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Mr. Love Pants

  • Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

  • Genesis

…And Then There Were Three…

  • David Gilmour

About Face

David Gilmour in Concert DVD

Houses of the Holy


In Through the Out Door

  • Steve Miller Band


Let Your Hair Down

  • Muse


  • Mike Oldfield

Earth Moving

  • Alan Parsons

Try Anything Once

On Air

The Time Machine

A Valid Path

  • Powderfinger

Golden Rule

  • Rainbow

Difficult to Cure

Bent Out of Shape

  • Styx

Pieces of Eight


  • Wishbone Ash

No Smoke Without Fire

That’s a pretty impressive list.

Then come his music videos which include:

  • Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)
  • Rainbow – Street of Dreams
  • Robert Plant – Big Log
  • Yes – Owner of a Lonely Heart
  • Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good

The Riddle

Wide Boy

Don Quixote

  • David Gilmour – Blue Light

All Lovers Are Deranged

Learning to Fly

The Dogs of War

High Hopes

Storm suffered a stroke in 2003. He recovered but was later diagnosed with cancer, which eventually led to his death on 18 April 2013.

Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly – 1987 – video

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Computer Games – Mi-Sex – 1979

February 2, 2012

Hailing from New Zealand and living in Australia, Mi-Sex rode the crest of down-under New Wave. Their career peaked with the hits Computer Games (1979) and People (1980).

never really liked mi-sex

It’s true, while my brother and others seemed to get down to the music of Mi-Sex, they never really grabbed me. However, I still know good music when I hear it (though some may disagree) and these guys could sing.

What I also know is, tempus fugit!! I heard this song on January 6. The reason it was played on the radio was to commemorate the death of, and honour, Mi-Sex lead singer Steve Gilpin… it was twenty years ago! Can’t believe it.


Steve Gilpin began as a pop singer/songwriter on New Zealand television – then UK New Wave hit Kiwi-land and he underwent a radical style-enhancement. Grabbing the name from the Ultravox song, My Sex, Steve’s band became Mi-Sex. Within a year they’d moved to Aussie and found stardom.

steve r i p

The band were active until 1984. Once they’d split, Steve continued to work in Australia with a number of bands until January 6 1992. Returning home after a gig, Steve had an accident in his car. Seriously injured, he lapsed into a coma and subsequently died.

computer games fax

  • Computer Games is lifted from Mi-Sex’s first album, Graffiti Crimes. The album was re-released in 1980 under the name, Computer Games.
  • Computer Games was the second single off the Graffiti Crimes album – the first was But You Don’t Care.
  • Computer Games was released as a single in 1979 in Australia and New Zealand and in 1981 across Europe.
  • Peaking at #1 in Australia, #5 in New Zealand and # 2 in Canada, Computer Games won the Best Australian Single award at the 1979 TV Week/Countdown Music Awards.
  • In 1983, Computer Games was re-recorded as the final track for Mi-Sex’s final album Where Do They Go?
  • Computer Games lyrics

computer games – mi-sex – 1979

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