Ten moments in New Zealand drumming

As I walked into York Street Studios one day to play on a session, I met a drummer on his way out. "I've just heard the best drum track ever,” he s...

The Bluegrass Expedition

The Cuba Mall sessions, 1979

On a typical Sunday afternoon today, Wellington's Cuba Mall is bustling with shoppers, café and bar patrons, young people hanging out, and street p...

Michael J Hex

Dragon in Fiji – Last Mandy in Nandi

Ray Goodwin was the guitarist in Dragon from its first public gig at The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival in January 1973 until late 1975. He compo...

Top Hat Napier

It was the place to be, the place to be seen, and also the place to play. Napier had a reputation where it had become the "vibrant city where you...

Joy magazine

The dusty crypt of New Zealand pop history is papered with a bizarre collection of weekly and monthly magazines: the good, the cheap and the mostly...

Insects That Jive: post punk Wellington in 1980

Chris Knox was no stranger to the curly edge of the emerging post-punk scene in New Zealand's capital city when he picked up a movie camera in Nove...

Ten more essential New Zealand albums

One hundred albums. It might sound like a lot, but in putting together my book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, there was still a surprising numbe...

Top 10 surf guitar tracks

The surf guitar sound has been surprisingly resilient in New Zealand, ever since it washed ashore in the early 1960s. Here are 10 of the best from ...

Rhythm and Vines

From the original concept as a one-night party for friends, Rhythm and Vines has evolved into the country's biggest multi-day New Year festival, ...

Billy T James

Going Up

First published in Rip It Up, August 1984  -- The Mockers are feeling a little spoiled. After years of folding themselves in the back of vans or,...

The Ruby Suns

Sound and Vision: Album Design 2

How do we visually identify music? In the era of downloads and digital files we might see a tag or jpeg, the vestigial remnant of the 20th century ...

Bunny Walters: a 2014 interview

Starting out as a successful young pop star and cabaret performer in the early 1970s and going on to enjoy commercial work singing advertising jing...

Columbus Invades America

In July 1966 Columbus arrived in San Jose, in the San Francisco Bay area, to a flurry of articles in the local press. Most of these played on the o...

Ray Columbus and the Rolling Stones

Ray Columbus loved telling stories, and none more than the time his band the Invaders supported the Rolling Stones on their Australasian tour in 19...

Bunny Walters

Mockers Reflect

In the mid-1980s The Mockers were one of the biggest bands in the land before three of the members headed overseas to eventual oblivion. But unlike...

Flying Nun in Australia – the Mushroom years, 1990 to 1993

In October 1990, just over a decade on from Toy Love's final Australian performance, Chris Knox returned to Sydney for two shows. In stark contrast...

Top 10 songs about death

Ka Mate Written by Te Rauparaha (circa 1820), performed by the All Blacks (1987) It's quite surprising to reflect upon the fact that our most pop...

Ray Columbus and The Invaders

Volume: Making Music In Aotearoa

Putting together an exhibition that encompasses the whole of New Zealand music while appealing both to the general public and the people who are mu...

Collapsing Cities

Dunedin Sound - the sound of honesty?

The Dunedin Sound: Some Disenchanted Evening is a visual celebration of the early years of the city's post-punk music scene, which became so identi...

Sound and Vision: Album Design 1

In 2002, along with Nick Bollinger and Katy Yiakmis, I worked on an exhibition called Sound Design. In it we attempted to gather together a selecti...

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