Zaine Griff Profile

aka Glenn Mikkelson
Teneti Ririnui
26 Jan 2015

In the early 1980s Zaine Griff had it all. He had the kind of chic cred and looks other aspiring pop stars would have killed for. He worked with big names in music, including Kate Bush and David Bowie. An excellent musician, songwriter and performer, his two solo albums from this period still maintain a loyal fan base.

Born in Auckland in 1957, Griff’s early creative education came from his family who encouraged him to paint and write poetry. His wider family introduced him to music while at primary school. “Around this time my cousin John Staines showed me chords on his guitar,” says Griff, “and Saturday nights I would sit and watch my older cousin Max Thompson play drums on television with a band called The Pleasers. I learnt so many songs on guitar that every day after school I would spend hours playing and not doing any kind of school homework."

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An early 1980s Zaine Griff publicity shot
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Zaine Griff in 2013
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A poster for the 2013 launch of Zaine Griff's album The Visitor at The Paddington, Parnell, Auckland
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Zaine Griff in 1982
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Zaine Griff looking out on a Dutch audience in 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Zaine Griff with Dee Harrington in a Daily Express photo shoot, 1978
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Zaine Griff, Holland, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Zaine Griff at soundcheck in Holland, 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Zaine Griff at The Marquee, 1979
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Tonight - live at Auckland's Kings Arms, 2011
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Designer Mark Wardel, Zaine Griff and Steve Strange at at Ebury Gallery, London, for a Zaine Griff exhibition. Producer Richard James Burgess is behind Strange.
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Zaine Griff live in the early 1980s
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The 1976 single Interplanetary Twist by Screemer, produced by Phil Wainman, best known for his work with UK glam band The Sweet
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The Human Instinct in 1974: John Donoghue, Glenn Mikkelson (Zaine Griff), Maurice Greer and Martin Hope
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Zaine Griff circa 1980
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The Human Instinct around 1974: Martin Hope, Maurice Greer and Glenn Mikkelson (Zaine Griff). John Donoghue is obscured to the right.
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Zaine Griff with Mark Pinder (drums), Dave Flett (guitar) and Bernie Clark (keyboards), The Bridge House, London, 1978
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Zaine Griff early 1980s publicity shot
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Zaine Griff in London, 1982
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Zaine Griff in 2013
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Zaine Griff in Amsterdam, July 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Harry van Heerden from the Zaine Griff Dutch Office and photographer Danny de Jong with Zaine Griff, 1982
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Swing (Demo) (1983)
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Zaine Griff at Amsterdam's Milky Way, 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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The Zaine Griff band, 1979: Clive Edwards, Alan Coates, Zaine Griff, Rob Norman, Matt Irvine and Billy Kristian
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Zaine Griff's 1980 Warner Bros. single Tonight
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Zaine Griff signing his poetry book FIGVRES in Virgin Megastore at the time of his Art Exhibition in Ebury Gallery London, Oct 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Harry van Heerden
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Zaine Griff in Amsterdam, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Zaine Griff and band, Holland, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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Zaine Griff on a London bus, 1984
Photo credit: Photo by Harry van Heerden
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Zaine Griff in the late 1970s
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The Hustler album photo shoot with John Donoghue, Glenn Mikkelson (Zaine Griff) and Martin Hope
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Zaine Griff in September 1990
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Figures (1982)
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LIve in Holland, 1982
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Zaine Griff backstage at Amsterdam's Milky Way, 1984
Photo credit: Photo by Danny de Jong
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The 1974 Human Instinct album The Huster featured Maurice Greer, Martin Hope, John Donoghue and Glenn Mikkelson (aka Zaine Griff) with the latter writing five of the nine tracks
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Zaine Griff in 1980
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Warner Music