Alastair Dougal Profile

Nick Bollinger
29 Jan 2018

Alastair Dougal has seen the view from both the stage and the stalls. A working musician for four decades, he has played bass for numerous bands including The Jive Bombers, Top Scientists and The Al Hunter Band. He has also been a lifelong music fan, a critic and – in 1977 – co-founder and original editor of the country’s longest running music magazine, Rip It Up.

Alastair was born in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. In 1961, when he was seven, his family – Alastair, his parents and older brother – took an assisted passage to New Zealand. They sailed on the Rangitoto via Panama, with stops in Curacao and Tahiti. Mutiny On The Bounty was being shot in Tahiti during their visit. Alastair remembers being shown on board the Bounty. “I didn’t get to meet Marlon Brando, though.”

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Hello Sailor on Rip It Up issue #3 - the first New Zealand act on the magazine's cover
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The Al Hunter Band on the set of Saturday Live, late 1980s. Left to right: Red McKelvie, Al Hunter, Bruce King, Cath Newhook, Alastair Dougal.
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Java Jive Café country nights, 1994. Left to right, Jono Lonie, Jeremy Dart, Glen Moffatt, Mike Abbott (obscured), Alastair Dougal, Red McKelvie.
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A version of the Al Hunter Band assembled for an Auckland gig, c. 1994. From left: Cath Newhook, Al Hunter, Glenn R Campbell, Alastair Dougal, Red McKelvie; in front, drummer Ian Thomson.
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Top Scientists, circa 1980: Rick Bryant, Michael Polglase, John Malloy, Gary Langsford, Alastair Dougal
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Mumbo Gumbo, c. 1993. From left: Alastair Dougal, Red McKelvie, Glen Moffatt, Ian Thomson, Jono Lonie. Photograph by Alan Fon
Photo credit: Alan Fon
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Ephemera from 1984, when Rick Bryant's Jive Bombers were at their peak - and sponsored by Smirnoff. 
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Al Hunter, Dave Dobbyn and Alastair Dougal at the Rip It Up 100th issue party, October 1985
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Alastair Dougal playing bass in the Al Hunter Band at the King's Arms, Auckland, early 1990s. 
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If the cap fits: Alastair Dougal graduates as a lawyer, 1985. Photograph by Murray Cammick
Photo credit: Murray Cammick
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The Al Hunter Band on the set of Saturday Live, late 1980s. Left to right: Red McKelvie, Bruce King, Al Hunter, Cath Newhook, Alastair Dougal
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Alastair Dougal playing bass with, from left, Paddy Hallissey on drums, Eddie Low (guest vocallist), Marian Burns on fiddle, and guitarist Eddie McIntyre. The venue is Doolan Brothers, Ellerslie, early 2010s. 
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During its short life in the early 1990s the Albany-based radio station FM Country was supportive of local artists. A note of thanks to the Red McKelvie Band, 1992. 
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Colin Hogg reviews the debut performance of Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers, Auckland Star, 1983
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Introducing Hillman Hunter and the Roots Group, early 1980s
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In the late 1980s the Al Hunter Band takes shape in the Shakespeare Tavern, Auckland. From 1989, with Bruce King on drums, they would hold court at the King's Arms. From left: Cath Newhook, Alastair Dougal, Red McKelvie (front) and Al Hunter.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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The original Rip It Up editor and co-founder, Alastair Dougal with Brinsley Schwarz (of the band of the same name), seen here when he was in New Zealand with Graham Parker & The Rumour in 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Rick Bryant and the Jive Bombers, with Alastair Dougal on bass - Too Funky (1984)
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A country and rock'n'roll night at Auckland's Mandalay cabaret, possibly in 1989. Among the acts: Al Hunter, Timespan, and Jive Bombers backing vocalist Merrin Smith. 
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HMV Auckland goes country for its 3rd Christmas party, c. 1992. 
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