Fane Flaws Stories

Fane Flaws on Screen

As Ian Pryor writes on AudioCulture’s sister site NZ On Screen, “When Fane Flaws fills out an airport arrivals card, it must be hard to pick a profession. Artist probably summarises it best.” Musician, songwriter, performer, visual artist, film director, animator, video and TV commercial director, Flaws has brought all his talents to his work directing some unforgettable moments of New Zealand music television. This online exhibition of film and video work comes courtesy of NZ On Screen.

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Fane Flaws, the Wicked Conjuror

Over five decades Fane Flaws has been one of the most prolific creative forces in New Zealand music. Perhaps best known as the founder of 1980s pop wonders The Crocodiles and co-writer of their biggest hit ‘Tears’, he also brought his talents to bands from BLERTA to Spats, directed numerous music videos, and was responsible for the memorable animated title sequence for Radio With Pictures. Also, with Peter Dasent and Arthur Baysting, he created the children’s book, album and stage show The Underwatermelon Man. Curious to know more about the origins of Fane’s unique musical aesthetic and circuitous career, I spent a couple of hours in conversation with him during the 2020 lockdown. We never reached the end of the story, but we made a start.

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Fane Flaws’ Underwatermelon Man

At age four Fane Flaws was given an illustrated storybook about a magic carpet that took its owner on fantastical journeys. The book vanished years ago, but the story and pictures stuck with Flaws into adulthood, and helped inspire the children’s book he published in 1998, The Underwatermelon Man and Other Unreasonable Rhymes.

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