Clive Coulson Profile

Keith Newman
3 Oct 2015

It was the ultimate rock and roll journey, one that took Clive Coulson from a mid-1960s South Auckland garage band with one raucous single to their credit, to the highest echelons of 1970s rock royalty, where he not only mingled with the legends but managed one of the biggest bands in the world.

Clive Coulson was the lead singer with The Dark Ages, a band formed at Otahuhu College in 1964. Their repertoire was on the bluesier side of the Sixties Beat spectrum, consisting mostly of cover versions of songs popularised by the likes of The Pretty Things and The Animals.

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Clive Coulson at the Top 20 with The Dark Ages, 1965
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Clive Coulson (left) and wife Sherry with Coulson’s former Dark Ages bandmate Ian Thomson in the UK in 1991
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Clive Coulson in the 1990s
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The Dark Ages - Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
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The Dark Ages, 1965. Left to right: Mick Sibley, Clive Coulson, Vaughan Stephens, Ian Thomson, Darryl Keogh.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Clive Coulson and Robert Plant in Los Angeles, 1970. Robert Plant is godfather to one of Clive's sons.
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A fur-coated Clive Coulson in Harrowby Street, London, with his former Dark Ages bandmate Red McKelvie and friends in 1969. McKelvie had just given a bag lady five quid for the coat which he gifted to Coulson after he took a liking to it. Left to right: Englishman Stuart West, Australian friend Leonie Reid, McKelvie and Coulson.
Photo credit: Red McKelvie collection
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Clive Coulson and Dave Hurley, 1971
Photo credit: Dave Hurley collection
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Led Zeppelin in Iceland. Clive Coulson is seen unloading.
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Friends and neighbours gather in Clive Coulson’s cabin prior to his departure by sea to England in 1967. Coulson is far right, middle row. 
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Audio of Clive Coulson singing C'mon Everybody with Led Zeppelin in Japan
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The Dark Ages at Astor Studios to record their only single, 1965. Left to right, Clive Coulson, Darryl Keogh, Ian Thomson, Mick Sibley, Vaughan Stephens. 
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
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Trivia:

Clive Coulson lived at the famous rural Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, his wife, and another roadie Sandy McGregor, when Led Zeppelin were writing and recording some of Led Zeppelin III there. "Me and Sandy were the cooks, bottlewashers and general slaves. Pagey was the tea man. Plant's speciality was posing and telling people how to do things" Clive recalled.

Clive Coulson's oldest son, Jesse, played for the United States at the 1999 Rugby World Cup on account of his US mother (Clive's wife) Sherry.

In September 1971, in Osaka, Japan, Clive Coulson duetted onstage with Robert Plant when they played a cover of Eddie Cochran's 'C'mon Everybody'.

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