Rod MacKinnon Profile

Chris Caddick
4 Jun 2019

For budding folk musician Rod MacKinnon Wellington’s Monde Marie café was an intoxicating place. From his arrival from the West Coast in 1962 at the age of nineteen, the Monde Marie was to be like a second home for him for the next five years.

MacKinnon: “As you came off Majoribanks Street a huge mosaic inspired by the Jimmie Rodgers song ‘Woman From Liberia’ greeted you. Inside, Marie had created the nearest New Zealand had to a bohemian French café. A hubbub of conversation and thick smoke filled the air. With no room for a stage, musicians perched on tables, armrests, anywhere you could squeeze in really. There was no separation between audience and performer. Marie was a larger than life character who lorded it over her domain, employing a team of attractive, smart waitresses and not stepping back if trouble brewed. If Marie felt the noise was drowning out the music a sharp retort of ‘shut-up – he’s singing’ cut the air.”

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Rod McKinnon: a mid-60s HMV publicity portrait by Spencer Digby.
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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Front cover of the ca.1965 LP Folk Concert Down Under (HMV MCLP 6205)
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Folk concert flyer, Wellington Concert Chamber, 8 December 1966, featuring Rod MacKinnon, Max Winnie, Jae Renaut, Lynn Howie, Dave Jordan, Lynne & Helen Gifford, The Blues Project, Linda Sacklin accompanied by Craig Wrightson, Pauline Roberts. 
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, Eph-A-MUSIC-WFC-1966-01
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Flyer for Folk Concert 3, Wellington Concert Chamber, 30 July 1966, with Rod MacKinnon, Jae Renaut, Jim Delahunty, Lynne Gifford, Frank Fyfe, and from Palmerston North, Jo Rose and Dave Jordan. 
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, Eph-B-MUSIC-WFC-1966-01
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Folk concert down under". Programme one shilling [Front cover]
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, N.Z. ref Eph-A-MUSIC-WFC-1965-01
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Rod MacKinnon set list from the Balladeer, 1966
Photo credit: Mary Fyfe collection
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Musicians at the Monde Marie, Wellington, 1960s (L-R): Rod MacKinnon, Lee West, Dave Hollis
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