The Screaming Meemees Profile

Alan Perrott
2 Jul 2014

At the time of their success they were the youngest touring band in the country, but they called it quits after their first album. In the space of three short years, The Screaming Meemees grew from being a high school band on Auckland’s North Shore, to sold-out shows and No.1 chart success with ‘See Me Go’.

So you can’t blame the guy for asking, “You guys went to number one ... aren’t you rich?”

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Mike O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Peter van der Fluit in the dressing room at Mainstreet, Queen St., Auckland, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Tony Drumm, Michael O'Neill, Yoh and Peter van der Fluit. Taken at Auckland's Gluepot hotel after a 1982 show. This was the first time The Screaming Meemees had been booked at the venue, which was resistant to "New Wave" acts up to this time despite the large crowds these bands were pulling elsewhere. The band had a full house over three nights.
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thompson
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The Screaming Meemees at Sweetwaters, 1983. Taken at about 8.30 on Saturday night from the lighting tower.
Photo credit: Photo by Greg Peacocke. Simon Grigg collection.
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An outtake from the 1981 RipItUp cover shoot
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Michael O'Neill
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August 1981 Festival Records press release celebrating The Screaming Meemees' No.1 debut - a NZ first
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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The Michael O'Neill designed sleeve for the single Day Goes By. Planned as a 12-inch only single, the band decided to record a new single, Stars In My Eyes. The extended dub of Day Goes By appeared on the B-side of the 12-inch of Stars In My Eyes.
Photo credit: Design by Michael O'Neill
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The Screaming Meemees backstage at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The insert that came with the first copies of the November 1981 Sunday Boys single. The single hit No.1 in Auckland and No.11 nationally.
Photo credit: Layout by Murray Cammick, Photo by Anthony Phelps
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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Tony Drumm goes into an enthusiastic hometown audience at the North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Auckland Star notices The Screaming Meemees, March 1981
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RipItUp announces Michael O'Neill's split from the band. Despite Tony's claim, the band did split.
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The first trip out of Auckland - The Screaming Meemees on the train to Wellington to perform on TV, 13 December, 1980: Yoh, Peter van der Fluit, Tony Drumm, Michael O'Neill
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
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Tony Drumm at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, probably early 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Peter van der Fluit, Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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1980 - The Screeming Meeies [sic]
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An outtake from the 1981 Christmas cover shoot for RipItUp, Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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An outtake from the 1981 Christmas cover shoot for RipItUp, Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Peter van der Fluit at Ponsonby's Gluepot Hotel
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thompson
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Publicity shot taken for Propeller at Auckland War Memorial Museum, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Screaming Meemees at Okahu Bay, Auckland, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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Screaming Blam-matics on tour - Peter van der Fluit and Yoh (Screaming Meemees) with David Rudolph and Tim Mahon (Blam Blam Blam)
Photo credit: Photo by Jenny Pullar
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, 1980
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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The "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, smell no evil" shot used on the rear of the Paradise album cover.
Photo credit: Photo by Philip Peacock
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The Screaming Meemees, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Tony Drumm at North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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An outtake from the 1981 RipItUp Christmas cover shoot, on the roof of the Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland.
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Tony Drumm, St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Peter van der Fluit, Michael O'Neill, Tony Drumm (hidden) and early guitarist (and first manager) Hilary Hunt. Taken in the art room at Rosmini College during the school fair, probably 1979.
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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Tony Drumm at XS Café
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Micheal O'Neill at Auckland Town Hall
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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Yoh at The Gluepot, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thompson
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North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees outside the Windsor Castle, Parnell, Auckland, probably late 1980
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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A Radio New Zealand poster sent out to schools in 1982. You were able to purchase a cassette of a history of New Zealand rock by sending to the address.
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Michael O'Neill, Tony Drumm, Peter van der Fluit, Yoh.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Michael O'Neill and Tony Drumm at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, probably early 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Adam Holt playing The Screaming Meemees, Mainstreet, Auckland, 1982
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Michael O'Neill at XS Café
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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Yoh at the Gluepot, Ponsonby, Auckland, late 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thomson
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If This Is Paradise, I'll Take The Bag, the July 1982 album, produced by Ian Morris, that took the band on a path away from the early ska flavoured power-pop. It was heavily praised by US and UK media but confused some of the earlier fanbase in New Zealand.
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Screaming Meemees supported by Dance Exponents, August 1982, the Hillsborough Tavern, Christchurch
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Tony Drumm
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Screaming Meemees, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Okahu Bay, Auckland 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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An early 1981 Ripper Records bio
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Michael O'Neill at the Gluepot, Auckland, late 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thompson
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Yoh playing with The Screaming Meemees in the art room, Rosmini School Fair, probably 1979.
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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The Screaming Meemees at St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Screaming Meemees live at Brown Trout Festival, Dannevirke, Jan 1983. (Simon Grigg collection)
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Tony Drumm and Michael O'Neill at the Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Screaming Meemees - See Me Go
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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RipItUp, December 1981
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Tony Drumm, Yoh, Michael O'Neill, Peter van der Fluit. A shot taken in the Farmers carpark late in 1981 for a RipItIp story.
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Michael O'Neill at Auckland's Gluepot, probably late 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Thompson
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The recording invoice for the 1981 Ripper Records single Can't Take It. It was recorded over two days in January.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Michael O'Neill in Rotorua, July, 1982
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Michael O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit, Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Stars In My Eyes
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The Screaming Meemees - Till I Die
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Peter van der Fluit, Tony Drumm and early guitarist (and first manager) Hilary Hunt. Hilary would later form The Ainsworths. Taken in the art room at Rosmini College during the school fair, this is one of the first shots of The Screaming Meemees known to exist, probably 1979.
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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Michael O'Neill, Sweetwaters 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
Photo credit: Adam Holt collection
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The July 1981 poster for the See Me Go single - the first New Zealand single to enter the chart at number one.
Photo credit: Art by Tony Drumm
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A May 1981 poster for so called "North Shore Invasion" bands in Kohimarama, Auckland, with The Screaming Meemees, Blam Blam Blam, Alms For Children and The Ainsworths
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
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Tony Drumm, Mainstreet, Auckland, late 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Grigg
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XS Café, November 1980
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Trivia:

Michael O'Neill formed another group, These Wilding Ways, in the late 1980s.

Michael O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit founded Auckland's Liquid Studios, specialising in soundtrack and advertising work.

In 2013, Michael O’Neill and Peter van der Fluit’s musical Romeo and Juliet – A Love Song screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

See Me Go sold 4 times the number of records sold by the No.2 record the week it hit number one, with queues of buyers waiting outside record stores to buy it before they opened.

In 2003 Michael and Peter bounced back into the NZ Top 3 as The Zephyrs, a band created for an Air New Zealand TV ad.

The Screaming Meemees have reformed just the once, for a private party in the late 1980s.

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Labels:

Propeller


Ripper

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Members:

Michael O'Neill - guitar

Peter van der Fluit - bass, keyboards

Laurence "Yoh" Landwer-Johan - drums

Tony Drumm - vocals

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