Neil Edwards Profile

Keith Newman
1 May 2016

Songwriter, musician, air conditioning engineer, nightclub owner and eternal rocker, Neil Edwards was bass player and founding member of legendary 1960s band The Underdogs, and a mainstay of Pig, Mann and Edwards, Le Frame, The Human Instinct, Headband and numerous pub and club bands over several decades.

Edwards messed around with makeshift schoolboy bands, playing the occasional party and rehearsed with Roger Skinner’s Pleasers but he didn’t play professionally until he teamed up with The Underdogs. Even then it took time.

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All-Stars Play the Blues end of tour dinner at Christchurch, 1984. Rear, left to right, Dennis Ryan, Hammond Gamble, Beaver, Wilko Johnson, Jane West, Neil Edwards, Paul Walker, Midge Marsden, Mike Farrell. Front, Walter Bianco, Sonny Day, Paul Hewson.
Photo credit: Photo by Wiiliam West. Courtesy of Paul Walker.
Rainbow: Ricky Ball (in front), Paul Woolright, Josie Rika, Len Whittle (front) and Neil Edwards
Mick Sibley fronting The Underdogs at the GoGo Centre, New Plymouth, 1966. Left to right, Sibley, Ian Thomson, Tony Rawnsley, Harvey Mann, Neil Edwards. Credit: Ian Thomson collection
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
Neil Edwards backs Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood, Pride and Joy (Mainstreet, Auckland, 12 November 1984)
Headband's February 1972 smash hit The Ballad Of Jacques Le Mere, written by Neil Edwards
Neil Edwards (2nd from left) with Le Frame, 1968
The final Underdogs lineup - Neil Edwards, Glen Absolum, Harvey Mann
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
The Underdogs at The Trades Hall, New Plymouth, 1966: Mick Sibley, Ian Thomson, Tony Rawnsley, Neil Edwards and Harvey Mann
The Underdogs, June 1967: Tony Walton, Neil Edwards, Murray Grindlay and Lou Rawnsley
Murray Grindlay with his original jingles band which also provided the backing for his self-titled 1977 album, from which this photo came. Left to right: Red McKelvie, Peter Woods, Neil Edwards, Grindlay, Dennis Ryan.
Original Underdogs line-up, 1965. Left to right, Tony Rawnsley, Neil Edwards, Archie Bowie, Barry Winfield, Harvey Mann.
All Stars Play The Blues - Neil Edwards backs UK blues great Wilko Johnson (12 November 1984)
The Underdogs, circa 1967: Lou Rawnsley, Murray Grindlay, Tony Walton and Neil Edwards
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
The Underdogs, 1970 (AKA Pig, Mann and Edwards): Neil Edwards, Glen Absolum and Harvey Mann
The Underdogs in their underpants at the Galaxie. Left to right, Murray Grindlay, Harvey Mann, Tony Walton, Neil Edwards, Lou Rawnsley.
Photo credit: Ian Thomson collection
The Underdogs - Sitting In The Rain (1967)
Sonny Day - Savin' Up (1985)
Neil Edwards (centre) with The Willie Dayson Blues Band, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Greg Fletcher
The Underdogs, September 1967: Tony Walton, Neil Edwards, Murray Grindlay and Lou Rawnsley 
The Human Instinct: Neil Edwards, Maurice Greer, Billy TK at Club Bo Peep, Durham Lane, Auckland, in the early 1970s
The Goodtime Band, summer 1984-85. Left to right, Sonny Day, Neil Edwards, Walter Bianco, Josie Rika, Mike Abbott, Beaver, Barry Saunders, Paul Hewson.
Photo credit: Jane West collection
The Underdogs Mk.2 at the Trades Hall, New Plymouth, 1966: Mick Sibley, Ian Thomson, Tony Rawnsley, Harvey Mann and Neil Edwards
Photo credit: Photo by Bruce Hookham. Dave Hurley collection.
Taken during the filming of The Underdogs’ ‘Sittin’ in the Rain’ video: NZBC assistant Peter Janes is holding the conga drum, director Chris Bourn is looking round the van. Tony Walton far left; Neil Edwards looks on. 
Photo credit: Leo Shelton
The Human Instinct, 1972: Neil Edwards, Maurice Greer, and Graeme Collins
The Underdogs in 1970: Neil Edwards, Glen Absolum, Harvey Mann
Neil Edwards
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
The Human Instinct: Neil Edwards, Maurice Greer and Billy TK, 1971
Human Instinct - Rainbow World (live on GTK, 1971)
Sonny Day - Savin Up (live at Mainstreet Auckland, 12 November 1984)
An 'artistic' shot of Neil Edwards with the late-period Underdogs
Human Instinct - Nile Song (live on GTK, 1971)
All Stars Play The Blues at Mainstreet, Auckland, 12 November 1984 with Neil Edwards on bass.