The Breakaways Profile

aka Bari & The Breakaways
Andrew Schmidt
9 May 2013

Teenage R&B groups were thin on the ground in New Zealand in early 1965. Auckland had The Dark Ages, Christchurch had Chants R&B, and Wellington had The Breakaways, the most successful of the local groups inspired by touring R&B acts from the UK.

Since emerging from the Taranaki province onto the Wellington pop scene in late 1964, Bari and The Breakaways – Bari Gordon (lead guitar), Keith “Midge” Marsden (rhythm guitar), Dave Orams (bass) and Bryan Beauchamp (vocals and drums) – had steered clear of obvious chart fodder.

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1966 ad for Timaru's Downtown Nitespot, owned by Eddie Brookes
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Top: Bryan Beauchamp, Midge Marsden, Bottom: Dave Orams, Bari Gordon - 1965
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The 1966 Let's Take A Sea Cruise With The Breakaways album
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Dave Hurley and Midge Marsden, Seatoun, Wellington 1967
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The Breakaways second album released in 1967, after the band had broken up. Today it's one of the hardest New Zealand albums to find on vinyl and goes for hundreds of dollars when sold on internet auction sites.
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Before The Breakaways came The Blue Diamonds. Pictured here: Bari Gordon, Tim Nuku, Midge Marsden, Bryan Beauchamp.
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The Breakaways with Howard Morrison
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The Breakaways - Bryan Beauchamp, Midge Marsden, Dave Hurley, Dave Orams
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The Breakaways back Howard Morrison on Johnny Cooper's Talent Show, Masterton 1965
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Midge Marsden was in the army so The Breakaways played as a 3 piece. L to R: Bryan Beauchamp, Dave Orams, Dave Hurley at Scots College ball, 1966
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A young Midge Marsden
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Breakaways HMV publicity shot
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Bari and The Breakaways just after they moved from New Plymouth to Wellington: Tim Nuku, Bari Gordon, Midge Marsden and Bryan Beauchamp
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The Breakaways on Johnny Cooper's Talent Show, Masterton 1965
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Dave Hurley and Midge Marsden during The Breakaways years
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The Blue Diamonds with Dinah Lee in New Plymouth, 1964. On the left is Bruce Lynch and Midge Marsden is on the right.
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The Breakaways: Dave Orams, Bryan Beauchamp, Dave Hurley, Midge Marsden in New Plymouth, August 1966
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3 members of The Breakaways: Midge Marsden, Dave Hurley, Dave Orams
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Bari Gordon - lead guitar

Midge Marsden - rhythm guitar

Bryan Beauchamp - vocals, drums

Dave Orams - bass

Doug Thomas - drums

Dave Hurley - guitar

Tim Piper - guitar

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The Breakaways were the backing band on singles by Murray Marsden, Gwynn Owen and Dene Hunter.

Dave Hurley co-founded Auckland’s Mandrill Studio.

They were originally called The Blue Diamonds until Tommy Adderley suggested a name change.

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Little Queenie
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I Got That Feelin'