Hallelujah Picassos Profile

Gareth Shute
14 Nov 2013

In the mash-up culture of today, it’s hard to recall how rigidly bands used to stick within a single genre. When Hallelujah Picassos arrived in the late-80s, they blasted away at people’s conceptions with their feral mix of indie rock, ska, hardcore punk, and hip-hop.

They loomed large over the Auckland live scene and with two key albums coming out through Wildside Records – Hateman In Love and Drinking With Judas – they set to take over the country.

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Hallelujah Picassos on Cheese On Toast, 2011
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Wildside Records publicity shot - Bobbylon, Roland, Johnnie Pain (front), Peter McLennan
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Peter McLennan: Hallelujah Picassos - Rewind The Hateman interview
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The original lyrics to Black Spade Picasso Core, 1992
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Hallelujah Picassos at Kurtz Lounge, Symonds Street, Auckland 1994
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Roland in The Lab during the Drinking With Judas sessions, 1993
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Rewind
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The 2011 Hallelujah Picassos reissue CD
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Hallelujah Picassos, 2011
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Bobbylon, 1995 bFM Summer Series, Albert Park
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Hateman in Love tour, 1992
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Peter McLennan and Johnnie Pain in a side project, Two Thieves And A Liar
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Hallelujah Picassos at Kurtz Lounge, 1994
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Roland
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The Picassos at The Siren, High Street, Auckland, as part of Hit The Floor, August 5, 1989
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Promoting Hateman in Love, Real Groovy Records, Queen Street, Auckland, 22 May 1992
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Lovers + poster, 1992
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Bobbylon in the studio with the Picassos, February 2014
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Roland, Albert Park, 1995, bFM Summer Series
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Johnnie Pain, Gavin Downie (front), Bobbylon (back), Roland (back), Peter McLennan
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The letter written by Pagan Records boss Trevor Reekie to Stamp magazine, 1990, humorously reacting to the band accidentally slagging him off in the previous issue
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On the road again: Hallelujah Picassos in the South Island, June 1992
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Johnnie Pain and Roland
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Black Spade Picasso Core
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1992 press ad
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Outside Real Groovy Records, Auckland, May 1992
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Hallelujah Picassos
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Peter McLennan, Bobbylon, Roland, Gavin Downie, Johnnie Pain, circa 1995
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Hallelujah Picassos - Lovers + (1992)
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Peter McLennan in the studio with the Picassos, February 2014
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Hallelujah Picassos - Picasso Core Jukebox - 5-3-12 Radio Wammo
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Hallelujah Picassos with manager Lisa Van Der Aarde
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The crowd in Albert Park, bFM Summer Series, 1995
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Bobbylon, Roland (back), Johnnie Pain (front), Peter McLennan
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At the Auckland Town Hall opening for Violent Femmes, 1990
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Smokin' and Fumin'
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Hallelujah Picassos between Napier and Gisborne, with manager Lisa Van Der Aarde and soundman/producer David Hornblow, 1993
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Drinking With Judas, 1993
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1993 interview with Marcus Lush
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Recording Drinking With Judas in The Lab, 1993
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Drinking With Judas tour, 1993
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DJ Stinky Jim interviews Bobbylon - the Dirty Harry of New Zealand Dancehall. Includes live footage from the Easter Bunrush Sound System gig at the Gluepot Corner Bar, Auckland, New Zealand, 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham
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Lovers Plus
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Roland Rorschrach
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Johnnie Pain, Peter McLennan, Bobbylon, Roland
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Johnnie Pain, Bobbylon, Roland (back), Gavin Downie (front), Peter McLennan
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Hallelujah Picassos
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Clap Your Hands
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Trivia:

The B-side of the Rewind single featured a cover of Air by HLAH. This favour was returned when HLAH covered the Picassos' song Hitskin on Spanish Goat Dancer (1994).

From 1989 onward, Roland and Bobbylon also played regular dancehall sets as Riot Riddum Sound System. Not to be outdone, Peter and Johnnie formed their own side-project in 1991, playing experimental loopy electronica dub as Two Thieves And A Liar. What’s more, The Picassos were often supported on tour by Lee Harvey, because Peter (on bass) and Bobbylon (on drums) played for a number of years as his backing band.

John's teenage band The Bellboys, from Taupaki, featured Brett Adams (The Bads) on guitar and vocals. The group had a residency at Russell Crowe's all-ages live club The Venue on Symonds Street. The band fell apart when Andrew Fagan headhunted Brett for the Mockers.

The track Marshall Law Dub was named after the darkly themed superhero comic, Marshal Law. The comic co-incidentally had a character named John Pain.

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Labels:

Pagan


Wildside


Dinosaur Tapes

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Members:

Roland Rorschach - vocals, guitar

Bobbylon - vocals, drums, bass

Johnnie Pain - bass, vocals, samples, keyboards

Peter McLennan - vocals, guitar

Gavin Downie - guitar

Patrick Brunton - bass

Tony de Raad - bass

Darryn Paterson-Harkness - bass