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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Robbie Lavën with baritone saxophone
'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
Red Hot Peppers Mark I, Australia
Jim MacMillan with Red Hot Peppers
Portraits of Red Hot Peppers members, from their 1976 RCA album Toujours Yours
Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
Dragon and Red Hot Peppers, Wellington Town Hall, 14 November 1976
Red Hot Peppers, Royal Tiger
Red Hot Peppers sign their record deal with EMI Australia
Red Hot Peppers
'Toujours Yours', the Red Hot Peppers' debut album, released by RCA in 1976. Cover art by Chris Grosz
A seven-night mid-winter season at the Mon Desir on Takapuna beach, Auckland
Red Hot Peppers Mark II, Australia. From left: Neil Reynolds, Pete Kershaw, Marion Arts, Mike Farrell and Robbie Lavën
Red Hot Peppers in Australia
Hans Lavën, Red Hot Peppers
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. 
Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
Robbie Lavën at the Great Ngāruawāhia Music Festival 1973
Photo credit: Robbie Lavën collection
Robbie Lavën
Red Hot Peppers - I've Just Seen A Face (1978)
Marion Arts
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
Robbie Lavën and Red Hot Peppers in Australia
Red Hot Peppers, from left: Hans Lavën, Jim McMillan, Marion Arts, Paul Baxter, Robbie Lavën
Mike Farrell
Photo credit: Laurence Edwards
Artwork for Red Hot Peppers' gig poster, designed by Chris Grosz, 1976. 
Red Hot Peppers on stage
Labels:

Family


EMI


RCA


Oz Records

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