Greg Johnson Profile

aka The Greg Johnson Set, This Boy Rob
John Dix
Published: 5 Jan 2014
Updated: 3 May 2021

Greg Johnson was born in Auckland on 7 January 1968. Music appealed early and he quickly became proficient on recorder, piano and trumpet. Despite this, he says, “I never really enjoyed being taught much, I just liked doing my own thing. I have no particular taste whatsoever – if it sounds good, I like it, doesn’t matter whether it’s cool or fashionable.”

It was this attitude which saw him perform in a variety of styles before he was out of his teens. He played in high school bands, including Compulsory Allies, who supported the Instigators at Auckland University, when Johnson was aged just 15. In 1985 he joined a bunch of older guys in Diatribe, who played a combination of R&B, ska and reggae, and he stuck around when the group evolved into Seven Deadly Sins, featuring another young talent in singer Fiona MacDonald.

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Greg Johnson, 1988
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Greg Johnson, right, with legendary memoirist Pamela Des Barres and US singer-songwriter Mike Stinson; Los Angeles, July 2019.
Bluespeak at Cause Celebre, mid 1990s
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Handles Of Pearl, Live with the Auckland Philharmonia
Greg Johnson, 1992
Greg Johnson, poster for EMI compilation The Best Yet, 2002.
Greg Johnson's Cocktail Club, 2008.
Looking Out On Monday
Greg Johnson, Australian tour, 2019.
The Greg Johnson Set at The Siren, 1989 - Nathan Haines, Greg Johnson, Trevor Reekie
Photo credit: Photo by Brigid Grigg-Eyley
Greg Johnson 1995
Greg Johnson, 2021.
Greg Johnson
Photo credit: Photo by Tom Davidson
Isabelle
Pagan Records publicity shot from July 1995
Greg Johnson and Mel Parsons, 2017 NZ tour.
Compulsory Allies, circa 1983/4. Greg Johnson in the centre, with drummer Paul Casserly, later of the Strawpeople and now a writer and director, on the right. To Greg's right is Joost Langeveld.
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Ted Brown and Greg Johnson perfroming at the Troubadour, Los Angeles, 2005.
Greg Johnson in California, mid 2000s
If I Swagger
Greg in the studio in LA with Ted Brown (centre) and producer Clark Stiles (left), 2004
Save Yourself
Greg Johnson with Mark Hughes on bass, Auckland Festival, 2009.
Greg Johnson is awarded the 1997 APRA Silver Scroll, for 'Liberty' by the 1967 winner, Roger Skinner. Roger won for 'Let's Think of Something', as performed by Larry's Rebels.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Greg Johnson on the cover of Rip It Up #183, October 1992.
Greg Johnson Band at Molly's in LA, 2003
Greg Johnson, 2018.
Photo credit: Denny Fanning
Greg Johnson, Ted Brown and Wayne Bell rehearsing with the APO, 2006
'Get High' music video from Tilt Your Interior, Feb 2021
Greg Johnson - Swing the Lantern (2015)
The Greg Johnson Set in 1989/90, taken in McKelvie Street, Auckland. From left: Nigel Russell, Trevor Reekie, Greg Johnson, Joost Langeveld and Willis Beckett
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Liberty
Seven Day Cure EPK
Greg Johnson outside Hotel Cafe. Greg played extensively here between 2003 and 2006.
Kiss Me
Backstage at the Tauranga Jazz Festival, 2005. L to R: Ted Brown, Mark Hughes, Wayne Bell, Greg Johnson
Interview with Greg Johnson, 4 May 1995. Directed by Ross Cunningham.
Diatribe, with Greg Johnson in the top centre and Fiona McDonald at the top left. Taken at the old Auckland railway yards, 1986.
Pagan Records publicity shot from July 1995
Compulsory Allies - Greg Johnson, Paul Casserly, Mark Hatherley, Joost Langeveld
Photo credit: Courtesy of Dom Nola
2000
Book of Bifim
A live radio concert, Kentucky 2005
Greg Johnson with Dianne Swann in support, New Zealand tour 2021.
Bluespeak - l to r: Greg Johnson, Peter Scott, Chris Watts, Paul Hewitt, Tom Ludvigson. Taken at Cause Celebre in Auckland's Hight Street, the band had a popular Thursday night residency in the venue for three years in the mid 1990s.
Sold out in Boston, 2004
Greg Johnson - Low Frequency Word
Comet Song
Greg Johnson at Bar Bodega in 2004
The Greg Johnson Set, 1995 - Trevor Reekie, Greg Johnson, Johnny Fleury, Chris McKelvie, Scott Rogers
Ted Brown and Greg Johnson, Auckland 2002
'Never Turn Back' music video from Swing the Lantern, Dec 2016
Pagan drops Greg ... 
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie collection
Don't Be The One
Hibiscus Song
Greg at Matakana, 2012
Greg Johnson.
Photo credit: David Gall
Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson - Softly On Me (1996)
Now The Sun Is Out
Don't Wait Another Day
I Got Opinions
RNZ's NZ Live: Greg Johnson 'Save Yourself', Nov 2016
Greg Johnson, Ted Brown and Wayne Bell doing radio in Boston
The Greg Johnson Set - l to r: Johnny Fleury, Scott Rogers, Nigel Russell (rear), Greg Johnson (front), Trevor Reekie (rear), Chris McKelvie
It's Been So Long
My Ship Is Sitting Low
Greg in the mid 1990s
Labels:

Pagan


EMI


Immergent Records