Fane Flaws Profile

aka I Am Joe's Music
Gary Steel
21 Sep 2013

One of the most idiosyncratic and eclectic NZ artists, Fane Flaws’ discography spans the theatrical progressive jazz-rock of BLERTA, the nostalgic pure pop of The Crocodiles and the bizarre, Frank Zappa-like eccentricity of his one-off I Am Joe’s Music album.

More widely known for his quirky, surrealistic work as a visual artist, director of video clips for other artists and animations for the likes of iconic television music show Radio With Pictures, Flaws is the sort of ceaselessly creative spirit that doesn’t quite fit into any easy descriptive.

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The Fane Flaws designed cover for The Narcs' 1984 self-titled album
Fane Flaws + No Engine - My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama
Fane Flaws
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Fane Flaws, 1979
New Mistakes (2011)
Tony Backhouse and Fane Flaws, Spats, 1977
Photo credit: Fane Flaws Collection
Spats - 'New Wave Goodbye' (1977)
Photo credit: Design by Fane Flaws
Fane Flaws designed poster for BLERTA
Photo credit: Design by Fane Flaws. Fane Flaws Collection
Mike aka Fane Flaws with BLERTA at the Ngaruawahia festival, 1973 - from Affairs magazine
Photo credit: Chris Bourke Collection
SPATS recording 'New Wave Goodbye' at Harlequin Studio, Mt. Eden Rd, Auckland 1977. L-R: Patrick Bleakley, Michael Knapp, Fane Flaws, Tony Backhouse and Peter Dasent.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Fane Flaws and Michael Knapp
BLERTA in Australia: left to right:  Greg Taylor, Fane Flaws, Paul Murphy, Bernie McGann, Mick Lieber, Ian Watkin, Beaver
Photo credit: Photo by Robin White. Fane Flaws Collection
Fane, 1987
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
Bend featuring Chris Knox - The Underwatermelon Man
Fane Flaws (animation) & Peter Dasent (music) opening sequence for Radio With Pictures (1987)
I Am Joe's Music - Life In Asia (1983)
Bend Featuring Don McGlashan - The Girl With The X-Ray Eyes
Spats - New Wave Goodbye (1978)
I Am Joes Music - Talking About The Fridge (1986)
Photo credit: Design by Fane Flaws
Fane Flaws with BLERTA
Photo credit: Fane Flaws Collection
I Am Joe's Music (1982
Photo credit: Design by Fane Flaws
I Am Joe's Music - The Way You Get Your Way (1981)
Fane's cover for The Holidaymakers 'Sweet Lovers'
Photo credit: Design by Fane Flaws
The Muttonbirds - Dominion Road - Directed by Fane Flaws
BLERTA at the University of NSW, Sydney. Fane Flaws on left
Photo credit: Fane Flaws Collection
Fane Flaws
Fane Flaws' original artwork for the debut BLERTA album, then named Organism
BLERTA with Fane Flaws on the roof and Bruno on drums
Photo credit: Fane Flaws collection


Mushroom Records


In 1999, Flaws published his children’s book The Underwater Melon Man, which included a CD containing music by Flaws, Dasent and Baysting, and featuring cameos by Neil and Tim Finn, Don McGlashan, Chris Knox, Bic & Boh Runga, The Topp Twins, Dave Dobbyn and others.

Unsurprisingly, Flaws was drafted in to design the distinctive posters and other artwork for BLERTA, SPATS and The Crocodiles.

His first animation was an award winning title sequence for TV music show Radio With Pictures, in 1987. Its music was by former band mate (and now film composer) Peter Dasent.