Schtung Profile

Chris Caddick
6 Apr 2014

Forming a prog-rock group in the year punk rock broke was probably not the greatest of timing, but Schtung left a legacy of memorable shows, an under-appreciated album, and a name that lives on in a vastly successful global advertising music production company.

Careering along Paraparaumu Beach Road on his motorbike with a guitar strapped to his back in late 1972, Wellington College schoolboy Andrew Hagen recognised a pedestrian waving to him as fellow pupil Morton Wilson. The two struck up a friendship based on common tastes in music and before long they formed a duo. Thompson and Thomson, named after the two incompetent detectives from TinTin, soon scored themselves regular gigs at the Chez Paree coffee bar in Majoribanks Street, a popular haunt for folkies during the 60s and 70s.

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Paul Jeffery
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The poster for the 1978 Maidment Theatre gigs
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A more "official" and somewhat drier signing to Polydor, 1977: Left to right standing - Morton Wilson, Geoff Bowdler, Paul Jeffery, Dave Bowater, Rob Sinclair and Graham Broughton, Polygram M.D. Andrew Hagen seated.
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Schtung at Nambassa, 1979
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From RipItUp, February 1978
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Schtung - They Sleep Early In Cologne (1977)
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Schtung on the Nambassa main stage in 1979
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Schtung at the Maidment Theatre, Auckland University, 1978
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Schtung at Auckland's Station Hotel
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Schtung - National Scandal (1977)
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Schtung at Auckland's Island of Real in Airedale Street, November 1978
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Poster for Auckland's Royal International Hotel
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The album cover, designed by Robbie Sinclair
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Schtung at Nambassa, 1978
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Poster for Wellington shows, June 1978
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Left to right back row - Dave Bowater, Rob Sinclair, Morton Wilson, Andrew Hagen and Geoff Bowdler. Paul Jeffery sings in front.
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Downstage, Wellington, April 1977
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Morton Wilson
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Gerry Beyering, A&R Manager PolyGram Records, with Schtung about to sign contract underwater in 1977
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Mort Wilson interviewed in 2008
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At The Last Resort, Wellington, 1978
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Schtung
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Gerry Beyering, A&R Manager PolyGram, Dave and Morton
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Members:

Dave Bowater - woodwind, percussion

Geoff Bowdler - drums

Andrew Hagen - keyboards, vocals

Paul Jeffery - keyboards, vocals

Rob Sinclair - bass, vocals

Brian Waddell - drums

Morton Wilson - guitar

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Labels:

Polydor

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Trivia:

Schtung mock-signed their record contract with PolyGram underwater at the Titahi Bay diving pool in full scuba diving gear.

Schtung were named after a misheard line in a Monty Python sketch.

In the late 70s Dave Bowater ran an instrument repair shop opposite Wah Lee’s in Hobson Street, Auckland, called The Woodwind Schtop.

When The Police released their album Synchronicity, Schtung’s intended name for their aborted second album, the proposed title was quickly changed to “Once Bitten Twice Schtung”.

The music to which Limbs can be seen dancing in the TV documentary Nambassa Festival is actually a hastily written and recorded piece by Schtung, necessitated when the documentary makers could not afford the clearance fee demanded by Eno, whose music was used during the live performance.

Drummer Geoff Bowdler was a descendant of Dr Thomas Bowdler, after whom the expression "bowdlerism" – to edit or remove offensive text from written material - was named.

The album cover art contains visual clues to each of the LP’s eight tracks.

Schtung used an umlaut over the “u” in their name from time to time just to confuse people!