Jim Lawrie Profile

John Dix
1 Jun 2016

In December 1978 Auckland band Street Talk was engaged to provide the entertainment at David Bowie’s post-concert party. Drummer Jim Lawrie remembers it well. “Bowie said, ‘oh I love the blues’ and jumped on stage and sang ‘First Time I Sang The Blues’, just the one song. And then I was tapped on the shoulder by [Bowie’s drummer] Denny Davis who said, ‘hey man, can I play your drums?’ Soon none of the Street Talk members were playing, it was all Bowie’s band. It was such a buzz, watching Denny Davis play my drums at my gig.”

Lawrie has another fond memory, from nine years earlier. “I was playing in Serenity Lane at a dance in Mangonui. That morning we had bought a copy of the just-released Rolling Stones’ ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and we spent the afternoon learning it. It was brand new, no one had heard it and that night when we played it I felt that we were current, leading edge, the first in New Zealand to play it, or at least it felt like that, a lovely feeling. It was wild and exciting and of all my memories, later playing to crowds of twenty and thirty thousand, that memory of playing ‘Honky Tonk Women’ to a crowd of seventy or eighty in a small Northland hall remains my favourite.”

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Jim Lawrie with a gold record for The Pink Flamingos
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Highway: George Barris, Jim Lawrie, Phil Pritchard, George Limbidis and Bruce Sontgen
Photo credit: Jim Lawrie Collection
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Jim Lawrie with Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos, circa 1981
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A Save The Gluepot protest. To the left, in green, is drummer Jim Lawrie and in front of him is the Gluepot's chef, Pat Maxwell
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Street Talk - Back In The Bad Old Days
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Street Talk with Kim Fowley at Mandrill Studios, 1979: Jim Lawrie, Stuart Pearce, Andy MacDonald, Hammond Gamble, Kim Fowley and Mike Caen
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The Pink Flamingos Mk.2:  Peter Allison, Ian Morris, Jim Lawrie, Paul Woolright and Dave McArtney
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The Country Flyers - L to R: Midge Marsden, Kevin Watson, Martin Hope, Jim Lawrie, Richard Nicholson
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Jim Lawrie with Highway
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Highway at Monsalvat, Eltham, Victoria, September 1971: Phil Pritchard, Jim Lawrie, George Limbidis, Bruce Sontgen and George Barris
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Highway: From left George Barris, Bruce Sontgen, George Limbidis, Jim Laurie and Phil Pritchard
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Street Talk: Stuart Pearce, Andy MacDonald, Mike Caen, Jim Lawrie and Hammond Gamble
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Jim Lawrie with Sharon O'Neill, Nelson, 2014
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The Pink Flamingos, 1981. Left to right: Paul Hewson, Paul Woolright, Dave McArtney, Jim Lawrie
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Street Talk at Mandrill Studios, Parnell, with Kim Fowley and WEA Record's Tim Murdoch: Stuart Pearce, Jim Lawrie, Tim Murdoch, Kim Fowley (front), Andy MacDonald, Mike Caen and Hammond Gamble
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