Ron Kane Profile

aka The Decayes
Gary Steel
30 Mar 2015

Before we “learned to like ourselves again” we relished any outside legitimisation of our music culture. In 1980, larger-than-life American Ron Kane came and did just that, through his love of New Zealand pop when radio refused to play our songs, his rabid collecting of local recordings and via his own group The Decayes. “mm”

Years before a veritable flotilla of Flying Nun-obsessed American collectors turned up here to ransack New Zealand of its historic recordings, Kane had developed an obsession with our pop and rock music that was unquenchable.

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The Decayes' January 2014 album Aquarium
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Ron Kane in Wellington, 1983 – note the t-shirt
Photo credit: Photo by Charles Jameson
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Ron Kane in Wellington, 1983. In the 1980s Ron travelled backwards and forwards between Los Angeles and New Zealand countless times, returning home each time with boxes of New Zealand records. He has perhaps the most complete New Zealand vinyl collection of the times.
Photo credit: Photo by Charles Jameson
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Ron Kane with his Decayes branded Datsun
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Ron Kane was first attracted to – some might say addicted to – New Zealand music by a Split Enz concert in LA in 1977
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Ron Kane in Wellington, 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Charles Jameson
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The Decayes, Ron Kane's Californian band, with strong ties to New Zealand
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Perhaps the most obsessive offshore New Zealand music collector ever, Ron Kane, in the early 1980s
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Tall Dwarf's 1985 album That's The Short And The Long Of It, which features Ron Kane on backing vocals and clarinet
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