Red Hot Peppers Profile

Nick Bollinger
21 Sep 2017

In mid-70s New Zealand you would have been hard pressed to find a more colourful, accomplished or eclectic band than Red Hot Peppers. And you would have had to go to the symphony orchestra to see more instruments on a single stage.

Not to be confused with American funk-rockers The Red Hot Chili Peppers (who would not come along until well into the following decade) or British pub-rockers Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers (from a few years earlier), Red Hot Peppers combined folk, jazz, pop, country and assorted ethnic styles into a bright and original package, centred on the supple and emotive voice of Marion Arts and multi-instrumental colourings of Robbie Lavën.

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Red Hot Peppers sign their record deal with EMI Australia
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Portraits of Red Hot Peppers members, from their 1976 RCA album Toujours Yours
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Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
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Jim MacMillan with Red Hot Peppers
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Robbie Lavën
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Mike Farrell
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
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Robbie Lavën with baritone saxophone
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Red Hot Peppers, Royal Tiger
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'Tears of Silver' - an original by The Red Hot Peppers stalwarts Marion Arts and Robbie Laven - released by EMI as a 45rpm single in 1977
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A seven-night mid-winter season at the Mon Desir on Takapuna beach, Auckland
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Dragon and Red Hot Peppers, Wellington Town Hall, 14 November 1976
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Red Hot Peppers
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'Toujours Yours', the Red Hot Peppers' debut album, released by RCA in 1976. Cover art by Chris Grosz
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Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
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Red Hot Peppers, from left: Hans Lavën, Jim McMillan, Marion Arts, Paul Baxter, Robbie Lavën
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Hans Lavën, Red Hot Peppers
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Red Hot Peppers Mark II, Australia. From left: Neil Reynolds, Pete Kershaw, Marion Arts, Mike Farrell and Robbie Lavën
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Red Hot Peppers on stage
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Marion Arts with Auckland band The Red Hot Peppers in the 1970s. They recorded an album in New Zealand before moving to Australia where they recorded several more. 
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Robbie Lavën and Red Hot Peppers in Australia
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Red Hot Peppers - I've Just Seen A Face (1978)
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Red Hot Peppers in Australia
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Robbie Lavën at the Great Ngāruawāhia Festival 1972
Photo credit: Robbie Lavën collection
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Red Hot Peppers Mark I, Australia
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Red Hot Peppers artwork, designed by Chris Grosz
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Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
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Members:

Marion Arts - vocals, saxophone, anklung, reso reso

Robbie Lavën - guitar, mandolin, saxophone, banjo, bousouki, violin, yang qin, lyre, sitar, Chinese flute, clarinet, flute, anklung

Hans Lavën - guitar, trumpet

Mike Farrell - guitar

Paul Baxter - bass

Jim MacMillan - drums, tambura, maracas

Maurice Keegan - guitar

Vaughan Mayberry - drums

Pete Kershaw - bass

Neil Reynolds - drums

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Labels:

Family


EMI


RCA


Oz Records

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