Cellophane Profile

Simon Grigg
18 Jul 2014

In 1966, with a population of some 23,000, Upper Hutt was named New Zealand’s newest city, something it took great pride in. The youthful city had a teenage population that demanded to hear new music, and in 1968, members of two local bands joined together to form a new act, Cellophane.

In the late 1960s Upper Hutt was a sleepy, although quietly prosperous, dormitory suburb joined to Wellington by a single road and a rail line. The suburb itself was long and thin, going just a few roads back from the Hutt Road and its extension, the imaginatively named Main Road (all now Fergusson Drive) on each side, however it stretched some 15km from the Silverstream Bridge to the foothills of the Rimutaka range and the challenging road across to the Wairarapa.

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Benny Levin's response to Cellophane's decision not to take up his offer of management
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Cellophane at Yogi's in Trentham. The show was not a huge success, pulling only 230 paying customers, the reason managment concluded was that Trentham was not a popular location. The band made a small profit.
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The Sports Post reports on the impending Auckland final of the Battle Of The Bands
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Friday night dances in Upper Hutt "gyrate to the the music of [...] The Cellophanes"
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Cellophane in The Evening Post, March 1969, after their win at St. Francis Hall in Hill Street
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John Van der Ryden in the NZBC studio, umbrella over his kit to dampen the sound
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An August public notice that Ken Cooper has replaced Colin Misseldine as Cellophane's manager. Misseldine, who was with the band from inception, and Cooper had jointly managed the band from June. However by November Misseldine was once again involved in management with Cooper.
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Fans congratulate Cellophane on their national Battle Of The Bands win
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Cellophane with The Lost Souls, the Upper Hutt Rugby Gym, December 1970
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In The Dominion's World Of Women section Pam Potter reflects on Cellophane, the Battle Of The Bands and how it's affected her daily life
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Cellophane, venue unknown - Ian Hewitson, Michael Hill, Pam Potter and John Van der Ryden
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Cellophane in Dunedin, July 1969
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A letter written on behalf of Ken Cooper's organisation, likely by Wendal Hynes, booking Cellophane into shows in Napier and Gisborne in September. It's noted in the letter that the band only plays for two hours and the fee is $200, a good fee for the day.
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Producer Hugh McDonald with technicians Gary Clark and Gary Holden recording Cellophane in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
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The Pye Records promo pack for the Fire single. Inside was a bio, a poster and a copy of the single.
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It was a BIG deal in Upper Hutt!
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C'mon to New Zealand travel promo, with music by Ray Columbus and members of Cellophane
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Cellophane in their first publicty shoot - front to rear: Mike Hill, Pam Potter, John Van der Ryden, Ian Hewitson, Dave Wellington
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Cellophane at Ali Baba's in Cuba Street (in recent years the venue is the San Francisco Bathhouse). This was one of their last New Zealand shows.
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The "Pop Teacher" Pam Potter, in The Evening Post, March 1969
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Dave Wellington, John Van der Ryden, Ian Hewitson, Mike Hill and Pam Potter
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Cellophane at The Astoria in Palmerston North, June 1969
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Dave Wellington, Ian Hewitson, Pam Potter, John Van der Ryden, Mike Hill
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The Upper Hutt Leader celebrates one of their own winning the Wellington Heat of the 1969 Battle Of The Bands, 19 March, 1969
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Cellophane arrive back in Wellington after winning the 1969 Battle Of The Bands as reported in The Evening Post
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Mike Wellington and Pam Potter in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
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The Upper Hutt Leader, 28 May, 1969
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The invitation to enter the 1969 Battle Of The Bands
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A generic Cellophane poster
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UBA confirms March bookings for Cellophane
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The Pye poster for the November 1970 release of Fire b/w Mind Patterns
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Benny Levin's letter to Cellophane with tickets for the Wellington Battle Of The Bands heat
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An early shot of Cellophane at Johnsonville's Onslow College, with an NZBC presence. Visible is Michael Hill, Ian Hewitson, Pam Potter and Dave Wellington. John Van der Ryden is behind the amp.
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Upper Hutt's finest The Fourmyula and their fan club secretary Diane McKenzie (whose name is misspelled) wish Cellophane luck in Auckland
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The 1969 Battle Of The Bands finals roster
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Cellophane celebrated in the General Motors staff magazine
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Cellophane setting up in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
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John Van der Ryden would go on to do sound in the film and TV industry. His credits include Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu, and Once Were Warriors.

Ian Hewitson would become a celebrity TV chef and a restaurateur in Victoria in the 1990s and beyond, as Iain "Huey" Hewitson

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Ian Hewitson - vocals

Dave Wellington - guitar

Michael Hill - bass

Pam Potter - keyboards

John Van der Ryden - drums

Dave Kirkland - drums

Robert Mackie - bass

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