Morris had a No.1 hit song with ‘Nobody Else’ and won the APRA Silver Scroll with ‘Heartbroke’. He recorded the early demos of Finn Andrews (The Veils), The Checks, Gin Wigmore and Lorde and produced or engineered albums by Hammond Gamble, Graham Brazier and Paul Holmes.
Throw in a few stints as a television presenter and Rikki Morris could well be the industry’s Mr Versatile. But it’s that versatility that has hindered him as much as it has helped him as sound man with Th’ Dudes Richard Morris begat Crocodiles singer-guitarist Rick E. Morris begat teen idol Rikki Morris.
His greatest success as a singer and songwriter came hand in hand with the beautiful production work of his brother Ian Morris on the 1988 chart topper ‘Nobody Else’.
“Even now I don’t know whether I’m a sound guy or a producer or an engineer or a songwriter or a singer,” Morris told AudioCulture. “It’s sort of like a split personality.
“First and foremost, I’ve always said I’m a songwriter. That’s what I know I do best. But I’ve never pursued it enough because I’m too interested in doing other things as well. I love writing jingles. I’ve written hundreds of them! I love it. If I could write jingles full-time and earn $100,000 a year I would, because I’m writing and I love it.”
His greatest success as a singer and songwriter came hand in hand with the beautiful production work of his brother Ian Morris on the 1988 chart topper ‘Nobody Else’, credited to Ian’s alter ego Tex Pistol and Rikki Morris. It was the first of four singles Ian produced for his little brother.
The 20 years since Rikki Morris’s only album was released in 1996 have been spent predominantly behind a sound desk either in a studio or at a gig as the most ridiculously overqualified sound man in town. But don’t think you’ve heard the last of him as a recording artist just yet either.
While signed to Mushroom in the early 1990s, Rikki Morris and his then wife Debbie Harwood provided backing vocals for Jimmy Barnes on his Soul Deep shows.
The video for Rikki Morris’s only Mushroom single ‘I Can’t Give You Anything’ was directed by Tony Johns and filmed at the elephant enclosure at the Auckland Zoo.
Rikki Morris’s children have all taken an interest in music. Son Marlon fronted thrash metal band Kingdoms, daughter Gala is a singer-songwriter and has played in Jesse Sheehan’s band, and younger daughter Oni is pure of voice and is taking vocal lessons from New Zealand legend Suzanne Lynch.
In 2010, Matthew Harvey’s drum and bass unit Concord Dawn had Rikki Morris write lyrics and a vocal melody for single ‘Forever’, which he also sang and was the lead track on Concord Dawn’s album The Enemy Within.
Rikki Morris chose the spelling of his stage name from the 1974 Steely Dan hit single ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’.