Bruce "Phantom" Robinson Profile

John Dix
29 Sep 2021

If Bruce Robinson had retired from music after his first band of note he would still have left his mark on New Zealand’s rock’n’roll scene. In 1965 the Brisbane-formed Pleazers were lured to Auckland by record label owner and entrepreneur Eldred Stebbing. They were more raucous, wilder, and hairier than most New Zealand bands of the era. They were banned from New Zealand television and earned a reputation with hoteliers and landlords for unruly behaviour. Some night spots and dance halls simply wouldn’t employ them.

But Bruce Robinson, the group’s original bassist, later guitarist, never really slotted into the rock’n’roll lifestyle. Wayne Mason, a fellow member of Rockinghorse, recalls that Bruce was “a tad serious”. Later, in 1983, he enrolled at Victoria Univeristy and began an academic career that took in criminology, and child and family psychology. Although music would always feature, he would remain a therapist for the rest of his life.

Read more +
Bruce Robinson at the Cenotaph, Wellington, 1966. 
Photo credit: Denis Gilmore collection
Bruce Robinson returns to Brisbane, 2015. 
Photo credit: Maggie Parnell-Robinson collection
Bruce "Phantom" Robinson in the Pleazers, The Place, Wellington.
Photo credit: Denis Gilmore collection
The cover of Shane's third HMV album, designed by Alan Lindsay, and released in 1971. Produced by the late Peter Dawkins, the album featured all originals written by Shane and Bruce 'Phantom' Robinson.
Rockinghorse on stage in 1974: Bruce Robinson, Wayne Mason, Carl Evensen, Keith Norris and Clinton Brown
Rockinghorse, 1973, L to R: Bruce Robinson, Clinton Brown, Carl Evensen, Wayne Mason, Keith Norris
Early Rockinghorse: Bruce Robinson, Clinton Brown, Wayne Mason, Carl Evensen and Keith Norris
Bruce "Phantom" Robinson playing with Coast to Coast in the late 1970s.
Photo credit: Jocelyn Carlin
Bruce Robinson playing at a private party, 2015. 
Photo credit: Maggie Parnell-Robinson collection
Watch: Rockinghorse - Thru The Southern Moonlight (Pop Co, 1974)
The Pleazers, Hamilton, 1966.
Photo credit: Denis Gilmore collection
Bruce Robinson, early 1970s. 
Photo credit: Maggie Parnell-Robinson
Bruce "Phantom" Robinson in The Pleazers, Rotorua, October 1965.
Flinders in London, 1972, with Carl Evensen, Richard Burgess, Bruce Robinson and Wayne Mason
The original Rockinghorse line-up in 1973 (L to R) Keith Norris, Clinton Brown, Wayne Mason, Bruce Robinson, Carl Evensen
Rockinghorse 1973: Wayne Mason, Bruce Robinson, Carl Evensen, Keith Norris and Clinton Brown
Dick Roberts and the Troubled Minds - I Wouldn't Wish THis Emptiness On Anyone (Philips, 1969, written by Bruce "Phantom" Robinson).
Rockinghorse. Back row, from left: Bruce Robinson, Wayne Mason, Carl Evensen; in front: Clinton Brown, Keith Norris. 
Photo credit: Maggie Parnell-Robinson collection
Bruce Robinson, Rotorua, 1965.
Photo credit: Denis Gilmore collection
Mark Williams on stage in 1976 with the Coast to Coast Band. Among the musicians are Rick White, Bruce Robinson, Gavin Peacock, Alistair McQuillan, Paul Boyes and Daryl Kidd
Photo credit: Rick White collection
The Pleazers, Timaru, 1967.
Photo credit: Denis Gilmore collection
Watch: Mark Williams Live from Chips (1981) - with Bruce "Phantom" Robinson on guitar.
Shane and The Fourmyula at their London flat, 18 Mount Pleasant Road, Willesden Green NW10, February 1971. From left: Shane, Carl Evensen, Martin Hope, and Bruce ‘Phantom’ Robinson (former member of the Pleazers with Shane, and at this stage his musical director)
Labels:

EMI


Zodiac

Bruce Robinson in the late 1970s. - Photo by Maggie Parnell-Robinson
Bruce Robinson, Rockinghorse era, at home in Paraparaumu Beach, 1974. - Photo by Maggie Parnell-Robinson