Ritchie Pickett Profile

Glen Moffatt
22 Oct 2014

In an article about the school production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, the Morrinsville College magazine of 1971 described Ritchie Pickett as “in many ways the most entertaining figure on the stage”.

For the next 40 years that was what he remained, invariably upstaging anyone brave enough and/or privileged enough to perform alongside him as he progressed from country boy to rock and roll revivalist to prog rocker to honky-tonk hero to prolific songwriter.

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Graffiti, Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Left to right, Bill Wilson, Ritchie Pickett, Steve Osborne.
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Ray Columbus on tour with Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, late 1984. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Kevin Coleman, Noel Lamberton, Jimmy Wallace, Ray Columbus, Dave Maybee.
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Maree Humphries and Ritchie Pickett duet on That’s Country, early 1980s.
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Ritchie Pickett (left) on stage at the King’s Arms, Auckland, with Bill Chambers, 2003
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Ritchie Pickett - I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
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Ritchie Pickett, Larry Abbott and Simon Elton at the Morrinsville RSA, where Pickett would play free of charge every Anzac Day
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Ritchie Pickett at the Tauranga Star Awards, 1981
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Ritchie Pickett, Rick Poole, Shane Hales and Tom Sharplin in the 1990s
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1970s
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The only known photo of The Disturbance, early 1990s. Left to right, Damien Forlong, Ricky Harris, Derek Jacombs, Ritchie Pickett, John Terry, James Fleming, Grant Winterburn.
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Ritchie Pickett’s autograph to himself in the Go New Zealand Tour program, 1985.

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Ritchie Pickett with That’s Country guest artists The Burrito Brothers, John Beland (left) and Gib Guilbeau, early 1980s
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Jon Drinkwater, Gary Williams, John Parker.
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Ritchie Pickett all dressed up for That’s Country in the early 1980s
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Think. Clockwise from top left, Neville Jess, Don Mills, Allan Badger, Phil Whitehead, Ritchie Pickett.
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All Strung Out In A Bunch, released 1998
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Ritchie Pickett live at Java Jive - Honky Tonk Heroes
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Post the King’s Arms show in 2003 that would yield Ritchie Pickett’s live album The Wicked Piano Pumpin’ Pickett. Left to right, Neil Hannan, Ritchie Pickett, Glen Moffatt, Bill Chambers, Chet O’Connell, Gordon Joll.
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Ritchie Pickett (centre), “in many ways the most entertaining figure on the stage”, as the Duke of Plaza Toro in Morrinsville College’s production of The Gondoliers, 1971.
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Bunny Walters, Ritchie Pickett and Tom Sharplin
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Ritchie Pickett singing with Think
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Ritchie Pickett in the late 1980s
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Graffiti Mk.2 with Eddie Low and as yet unidentified guests in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Jon Drinkwater, Ritchie Pickett, unidentified, Gary Williams, Eddie Low, John Parker. Front, unidentified, Brian Richards.
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Ritchie Pickett at the NZ Country Music Hall of Fame in Taupo, 1981. One alcohol-charged gig there was said to have inspired the Gone For Water track Last Night I Let The Bottle Get On Top.
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Think, 1976. Left to right, Phil Whitehead, Don Mills, Ritchie Pickett, Neville Jess, Allan Badger
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws’ Gone For Water, released 1984
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett with former Cabana publican Dick Kellett, the man credited with taking the Napier venue from MOR to rock
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Double Anything, early 1980s. Clockwise from top left, Errol Shute, Bruce Morley, Jimmy Wallace, Dave Maybee, Ritchie Pickett. 
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Ritchie Pickett in defiant mood at the Java Jive Café, Auckland, 1993
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Tom Sharplin on the Go New Zealand Tour bus, 1985
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Tom Sharplin & Graffiti, mid-1970s. Left to right, Glenn White, Steve Osborne, Bill Wilson, Ritchie Pickett, Tom Sharplin. 
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Dave Maybee at the Mudsharks reunion, Raglan, 2009
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Ritchie Pickett at the Centennial Hall, Napier, 1987
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Graffiti at the Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Left to right, Glenn White (obscured), Bill Wilson, Steve Osborne, Ritchie Pickett.
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Ritchie Pickett at the piano with Graffiti, Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Bill Wilson on bass.
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The result of a Ritchie Pickett shopping spree in Carnaby Street, London
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Gary Williams, Ritchie Pickett, John Parker, Jon Drinkwater.
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Think. Left to right, Neville Jess, Allan Badger, Ritchie Pickett, Don Mills, Phil Whitehead.
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1970s
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The Wicked Piano Pumpin’ Pickett, released 2004
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Ritchie Pickett on bass with Morrinsville band Doogal, 1973
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Kevin Coleman, Ritchie Pickett, Dave Maybee, Noel Lamberton.
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Doogal, 1973. Left to right, Greg Dodunski, Gareth Simmons, Terry Cooper, Ritchie Pickett.
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The Jones Boys became The Fat Band in the late 1980s. Left to right, Joe Pirere, Chris Gunn, Ross Sutton, Ritchie Pickett.
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Graffiti Mk.2 with English actor Patrick Cargill, who was best known for the ITV sitcom Father, Dear Father and played a Scotland Yard superintendent opposite The Beatles in Help! Left to right, Gary Williams, John Parker, Cargill, Ritchie Pickett. Jon Drinkwater crouching.
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The Rattler. Left to right, Rik Bernards, Ritchie Pickett, Steve Mitchell, Simon Elton, Alf Pinfold.
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Kevin Coleman, Noel Lamberton, Dave Maybee. Ritchie Pickett in front.
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Think, 1976. Left to right, Allan Badger, Phil Whitehead, Don Mills, Ritchie Pickett, Neville Jess.
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Gary Williams, Jon Drinkwater, John Parker.
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett, 1981
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RipItUp, June 1984
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Liam Ryan (standing) and Ritchie Pickett in the late 1980s
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Hot Ash in the mid-1970s. Clockwise from top left, Ritchie Pickett, Pauline McAuley, Rod McAuley, Gordon Joll.
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Ritchie Pickett on the set of That’s Country, early 1980s
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Think's We'll Give You A Buzz, 1976
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An RCA Records publicity shot for Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Ritchie Pickett, Noel Lamberton, Kevin Coleman, Dave Maybee.
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An early incarnation of Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws
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Ritchie Pickett at Mandrill Recording Studios, 1981
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On stage for a TVNZ production in 1985. Left to right, Pat Kearns, Midge Marsden, Tom Sharplin, Maree Humphries, Ritchie Pickett.
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Sonny Day (left), Ritchie Pickett and Jones Boys Kevin Coleman and Chris Gunn, mid-1980s
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Dave McArtney share a story at the Mudsharks reunion, Raglan, 2009
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Ritchie Pickett on the shoulders of Tom Sharplin, early 1990s
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The Rattler’s The Leaving, released 2009
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Ritchie Pickett on bass with Morrinsville band Doogal, 1973
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Ritchie Pickett (standing) and Liam Ryan in the late 1980s
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Tom Sharplin (left), Bunny Walters (centre) and Ritchie Pickett at Burkes Pass in the South Island.
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett recording vocals at Radio BOP, 1981
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Hot Ash in the mid-1970s. Left to right: Gordon Joll, Ritchie Pickett, Pauline McAuley, Rod McAuley.
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Dave Maybee, Ritchie Pickett, Noel Lamberton, Kevin Coleman.
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Double Anything, early 1980s. Clockwise from top left, Ritchie Pickett, Bruce Morley, Dave Maybee, Jimmy Wallace, Errol Shute. 
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Snuff in Sydney in the late 1970s. Ritchie Pickett extreme left
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Jon Drinkwater, Ritchie Pickett, Gary Williams, John Parker.
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Trivia:

When Ritchie Pickett doused his piano with lighter fluid and lit it at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival in 2001, he didn’t anticipate the heat generated would burn a hole in the marquee and cost the organisers their hefty bond.

In the mid-1980s, Ritchie Pickett’s song ‘The Choice’ was put on hold by Cher’s management but it came to nothing.

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Labels:

WEA


Kontact


RCA


SDL Music


Boatshed Records


Barking Records


Rajon Music Group

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