The Dabs Profile

Dave Smith
13 Nov 2015

A chance meeting in a dingy room created one of Auckland’s great 1980s power pop trios, The Dabs.

The Dabs began life in the dressing room of Auckland’s XS Cafe after an Ainsworths gig in June 1981. Each member had a pedigree: Rowan Shedden (ex Class Of 81 band The Killjoys) was playing guitar with The Ainsworths, Geoff Hayden was on bass in The Regulators and Steve Thorpe was drumming for Small Torque. Together in that pokey room they decided they'd each had enough of their own bands and wanted to do something a bit different.

Show more +
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
Hero thumb mqdefault
The Dabs - Love The Army (1982, Radio With Pictures)
ImageableImage
Hero thumb db1
The Dabs with their road crew: Sandy Fielding, Steve Thorpe, Geoff Hayden and Rowan Shedden, with Neil Hayden in front
ImageableImage
Hero thumb nmm with mockers manager
On the right Ian Kingsford, manager of The Mockers and The Dabs, in the New Music Management offices
EmbeddableItem EmbeddableItem! type = Person
ImageableImage
Hero thumb steve thorpe
The late Steve Thorpe
ImageableImage
Hero thumb d7
The Dabs - Steve Thorpe, Geoff Hayden and Rowan Shedden
ImageableImage
Hero thumb geoff hayden photo grant philpott
Geoff Hayden at Sweetwaters, 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb rowan with back up guitar photh grant philpott
Rowan Shedden at Sweetwaters, 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb d6
The Dabs: Geoff Hayden, Steve Thorpe and Rowan Shedden
ImageableImage
Hero thumb steve rowan geoff closeup
Steve Thorpe, Rowan Shedden and Geoff Hayden
ImageableImage
Hero thumb steve geoff dab photo grant philpott
Steve Thorpe and Geoff Hayden, Sweetwaters 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb dabs in full flight at mainstreet photo nick crowther
The Dabs at Auckland's Mainstreet
ImageableImage
Hero thumb rowan sheddon photo grant philpott
Rowan Shedden at Sweetwaters, 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb the dabs promotion photo
The Dabs: Steve Thorpe, Geoff Hayden and Rowan Shedden
ImageableImage
Hero thumb steve thorpe photo grant philpott
Steve Thorpe at Sweetwaters, 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb dabs
The Dabs' final tour, with The Mockers. The advert mentions the unreleased final single.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb the globe rowan   steve
Rowan Shedden and Steve Thorpe at Auckland's Globe Hotel
ImageableImage
Hero thumb sw21
Actor to be Rena Owen, former Newmatics vocalist Mark Clare and The Dabs drummer Steve Thorpe at Sweetwaters 1983
ImageableImage
Hero thumb dabs live at mainstreet photo nick crowther
The Dabs at Auckland's Mainstreet
ImageableImage
Hero thumb rowan on stage at sweetwaters
Rowan Shedden, Sweetwaters
ImageableImage
Hero thumb get well card for tim 82
A photo taken as a get-well card to Tim Mahon when Blam Blam Blam had their almost-tragic van crash in mid-1982. L to R: in the back - Bryan Staff (Ripper Records), Kevin Howlett (The Prime Movers), Simon Clark (ex-Newmatics), Paul Rose (Propeller Records); mid row - Nick Crowther (The Prime Movers), John Quigly (The Bongos) and Neil Hayden (The Dabs crew); front - Sandy Fielding (The Dabs road crew) and Benny Staples (ex-Newmatics and now The Prime Movers).
ImageableImage
Hero thumb dabs batman poster
ImageableImage
Hero thumb m17
The Dabs and The Mockers head out on tour, 1982. The two bands shared a manager, Ian Kingsford, and when The Dabs split in 1983, Steve Thorpe and Geoff Hayden joined The Mockers after Kingsford and Fagan effectively fired the rest of the original band.
ImageableImage
Hero thumb tour stop at huka falls
The Dabs on tour 
ImageableImage
Hero thumb promo shot at propellor records office x1
The Dabs in the Propeller Records office: Rowan Shedden, Steve Thorpe and Geoff Hayden
ImageableImage
Hero thumb d1
The Dabs supporting Blam Blam Blam, April 1982
ImageableImage
Hero thumb d5
The Dabs: Steve Thorpe, Geoff Hayden and Rowan Shedden
3 col el, class=ExternalLink::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=CollaborationPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Members:

Rowan Shedden - vocals, guitar

Geoff Hayden - vocals, bass

Steve Thorpe - drums, vocals

3 col el, class=Trivia::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Trivia:

Rowan Shedden had a day job with Air New Zealand. One of the perks was hugely discounted travel which made it almost a criminal offense not to fly to London, L.A. or New York and visit the clubs the rest of us could only read about - The Marquee, The Whiskey A GoGo and CBGBs. On one such foray to New York he purchased a 1959 Rickenbacker and Marshall amp. This would be his signature guitar in The Dabs. It came with a pedigree: it once belonged to Richard Lloyd of New York band Television.

Rowan used some of his UK visits to supply The Screaming Meemees with shoes.

Steve Thorpe is one of the extras in the Dance Exponents video for Airways Spies.

3 col el, class=RelatedPage::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy 3 col el, class=LabelPerson::ActiveRecord_Associations_CollectionProxy
Labels:

Furtive


Propeller