Barry Blackler Profile

Kate Burrows
25 Mar 2019

Dunedin musician, manager and promoter, Barry Blackler, has enjoyed one of the most interesting careers in the local music business. But if you read all of the hundreds of articles and books about Dunedin and New Zealand music, you would have trouble finding his name.

Barry was born in Dunedin in 1960 and got his first drum kit – a five-piece Tama Swing Star in champagne sparkle – when he was about 12. He was introduced to drums by his primary school teacher Art Shaw. After a little practice he teamed up with fellow Bayfield High School boy Malcolm Black in Jailhouse, a “Bowie to Bad Company” covers band that cut its young teeth at high school hops and on the Sunday night Bible club circuit. “Our first show was at the South Dunedin Town Hall. My mum had to give me a Valium to get through it.”

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Barry Blackler drumming in The Idles.
Photo credit: Mark N Dyer
XL Capris playing live in Oz in 1981: Mike Chirnside centre, Barry Blackler on the right (photographer unknown).
Cover of The Idles - Agroculture (Jayrem, 1984)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Crystal Zoom! c 1984/5: Mike Weston, Bruce Mahalski, Robin Murphy and Barry Blackler.
Photo credit: Greg Burt
The Starlings - Letter From Heaven EP, 1991.
Nancy and Barry Blackler.
Live at Mainstreet - The Idles and the Mockers (1984)
The Idles - Tuesday (Live at Mainstreet, 1984).
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Back cover to The Idles - Agroculture (Jayrem, 1984)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Stellar* touring party in the late 1990s with management Campbell Smith (top left) and Barry Blackler (bottom left)
Label from The Idles - Agroculture (Jayrem, 1984)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
The Idles - Tuesday (Live at Mainstreet, 1984, Jayrem).
Photo credit: RNZ collection


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