Ritchie Pickett Profile

Glen Moffatt
22 Oct 2014

In an article about the school production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, the Morrinsville College magazine of 1971 described Ritchie Pickett as “in many ways the most entertaining figure on the stage”.

For the next 40 years that was what he remained, invariably upstaging anyone brave enough and/or privileged enough to perform alongside him as he progressed from country boy to rock and roll revivalist to prog rocker to honky-tonk hero to prolific songwriter.

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Think, 1976. Left to right, Phil Whitehead, Don Mills, Ritchie Pickett, Neville Jess, Allan Badger
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Jon Drinkwater, Ritchie Pickett, Gary Williams, John Parker.
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Ritchie Pickett on the set of That’s Country, early 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
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An early incarnation of Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws
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Ritchie Pickett - I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
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Double Anything, early 1980s. Clockwise from top left, Ritchie Pickett, Bruce Morley, Dave Maybee, Jimmy Wallace, Errol Shute. 
Photo credit: Charmaine Pickett collection
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The only known photo of The Disturbance, early 1990s. Left to right, Damien Forlong, Ricky Harris, Derek Jacombs, Ritchie Pickett, John Terry, James Fleming, Grant Winterburn.
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Hot Ash in the mid-1970s. Clockwise from top left, Ritchie Pickett, Pauline McAuley, Rod McAuley, Gordon Joll.
Photo credit: Rod McAuley collection
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RipItUp, June 1984
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Tom Sharplin on the Go New Zealand Tour bus, 1985
Photo credit: Paddy Long collection
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Graffiti at the Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Left to right, Glenn White (obscured), Bill Wilson, Steve Osborne, Ritchie Pickett.
Photo credit: Lynnette Morris collection
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Tom Sharplin (left), Bunny Walters (centre) and Ritchie Pickett at Burkes Pass in the South Island.
Photo credit: Tom Sharplin collection
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Ritchie Pickett at the NZ Country Music Hall of Fame in Taupo, 1981. One alcohol-charged gig there was said to have inspired the Gone For Water track Last Night I Let The Bottle Get On Top.
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Doogal, 1973. Left to right, Greg Dodunski, Gareth Simmons, Terry Cooper, Ritchie Pickett.
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Ritchie Pickett at Mandrill Recording Studios, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Pat Mahoney
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Ritchie Pickett on bass with Morrinsville band Doogal, 1973
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Hot Ash in the mid-1970s. Left to right: Gordon Joll, Ritchie Pickett, Pauline McAuley, Rod McAuley.
Photo credit: Rod McAuley collection
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Snuff in Sydney in the late 1970s. Ritchie Pickett extreme left
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Jon Drinkwater, Gary Williams, John Parker.
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1980s
Photo credit: Charmaine Pickett collection
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The result of a Ritchie Pickett shopping spree in Carnaby Street, London
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Think. Left to right, Neville Jess, Allan Badger, Ritchie Pickett, Don Mills, Phil Whitehead.
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Graffiti Mk.2 with English actor Patrick Cargill, who was best known for the ITV sitcom Father, Dear Father and played a Scotland Yard superintendent opposite The Beatles in Help! Left to right, Gary Williams, John Parker, Cargill, Ritchie Pickett. Jon Drinkwater crouching.
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Think's We'll Give You A Buzz, 1976
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Ritchie Pickett with That’s Country guest artists The Burrito Brothers, John Beland (left) and Gib Guilbeau, early 1980s
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On stage for a TVNZ production in 1985. Left to right, Pat Kearns, Midge Marsden, Tom Sharplin, Maree Humphries, Ritchie Pickett.
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Ritchie Pickett all dressed up for That’s Country in the early 1980s
Photo credit: Gary Sammons collection
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Tom Sharplin & Graffiti, mid-1970s. Left to right, Glenn White, Steve Osborne, Bill Wilson, Ritchie Pickett, Tom Sharplin. 
Photo credit: Tom Sharplin collection
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Ritchie Pickett on bass with Morrinsville band Doogal, 1973
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Ritchie Pickett at the Tauranga Star Awards, 1981
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Ritchie Pickett’s autograph to himself in the Go New Zealand Tour program, 1985.

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Think. Clockwise from top left, Neville Jess, Don Mills, Allan Badger, Phil Whitehead, Ritchie Pickett.
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Post the King’s Arms show in 2003 that would yield Ritchie Pickett’s live album The Wicked Piano Pumpin’ Pickett. Left to right, Neil Hannan, Ritchie Pickett, Glen Moffatt, Bill Chambers, Chet O’Connell, Gordon Joll.
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Ritchie Pickett singing with Think
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Bunny Walters, Ritchie Pickett and Tom Sharplin
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws’ Gone For Water, released 1984
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Ritchie Pickett at the piano with Graffiti, Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Bill Wilson on bass.
Photo credit: Lynnette Morris collection
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Ritchie Pickett on the shoulders of Tom Sharplin, early 1990s
Photo credit: Tom Sharplin collection
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The Rattler’s The Leaving, released 2009
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Gary Williams, Jon Drinkwater, John Parker.
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Ritchie Pickett in the late 1980s
Photo credit: Photo by Jack Pickett
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The Rattler. Left to right, Rik Bernards, Ritchie Pickett, Steve Mitchell, Simon Elton, Alf Pinfold.
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Dave McArtney share a story at the Mudsharks reunion, Raglan, 2009
Photo credit: Sue Oliver collection
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1970s
Photo credit: Charmaine Pickett collection
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Ritchie Pickett, 1981
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Ritchie Pickett (left) and Dave Maybee at the Mudsharks reunion, Raglan, 2009
Photo credit: Sue Oliver collection
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Maree Humphries and Ritchie Pickett duet on That’s Country, early 1980s.
Photo credit: Maree Humphries collection
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Graffiti Mk.2 with Eddie Low and as yet unidentified guests in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Jon Drinkwater, Ritchie Pickett, unidentified, Gary Williams, Eddie Low, John Parker. Front, unidentified, Brian Richards.
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Graffiti Mk.2 in the mid-1970s. Left to right, Gary Williams, Ritchie Pickett, John Parker, Jon Drinkwater.
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Ritchie Pickett at the Centennial Hall, Napier, 1987
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Ritchie Pickett (standing) and Liam Ryan in the late 1980s
Photo credit: Photo by Jack Pickett
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Ritchie Pickett in the 1970s
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Dave Maybee, Ritchie Pickett, Noel Lamberton, Kevin Coleman.
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Double Anything, early 1980s. Clockwise from top left, Errol Shute, Bruce Morley, Jimmy Wallace, Dave Maybee, Ritchie Pickett. 
Photo credit: Charmaine Pickett collection
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Ritchie Pickett live at Java Jive - Honky Tonk Heroes
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Ritchie Pickett (centre), “in many ways the most entertaining figure on the stage”, as the Duke of Plaza Toro in Morrinsville College’s production of The Gondoliers, 1971.
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Kevin Coleman, Noel Lamberton, Dave Maybee. Ritchie Pickett in front.
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An RCA Records publicity shot for Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Ritchie Pickett, Noel Lamberton, Kevin Coleman, Dave Maybee.
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Ritchie Pickett recording vocals at Radio BOP, 1981
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The Wicked Piano Pumpin’ Pickett, released 2004
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
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Ritchie Pickett (left) on stage at the King’s Arms, Auckland, with Bill Chambers, 2003
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Think, 1976. Left to right, Allan Badger, Phil Whitehead, Don Mills, Ritchie Pickett, Neville Jess.
Photo credit: Don Mills collection
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The Jones Boys became The Fat Band in the late 1980s. Left to right, Joe Pirere, Chris Gunn, Ross Sutton, Ritchie Pickett.
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Ritchie Pickett with former Cabana publican Dick Kellett, the man credited with taking the Napier venue from MOR to rock
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Ritchie Pickett, Larry Abbott and Simon Elton at the Morrinsville RSA, where Pickett would play free of charge every Anzac Day
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Ritchie Pickett, Rick Poole, Shane Hales and Tom Sharplin in the 1990s
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Ritchie Pickett in defiant mood at the Java Jive Café, Auckland, 1993
Photo credit: Photo by Billy Lawry
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Ray Columbus on tour with Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, late 1984. Left to right, Ritchie Pickett, Kevin Coleman, Noel Lamberton, Jimmy Wallace, Ray Columbus, Dave Maybee.
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Graffiti, Te Rapa Tavern, Hamilton, 1974. Left to right, Bill Wilson, Ritchie Pickett, Steve Osborne.
Photo credit: Lynette Morris collection
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All Strung Out In A Bunch, released 1998
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Sonny Day (left), Ritchie Pickett and Jones Boys Kevin Coleman and Chris Gunn, mid-1980s
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Liam Ryan (standing) and Ritchie Pickett in the late 1980s
Photo credit: Photo by Jack Pickett
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Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws, 1984. Left to right, Jimmy Wallace, Kevin Coleman, Ritchie Pickett, Dave Maybee, Noel Lamberton.
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Ritchie Pickett in the early 1980s
Photo credit: Charmaine Pickett collection
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Labels:

WEA


Kontact


RCA


SDL Music


Boatshed Records


Barking Records


Rajon Music Group

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Trivia:

When Ritchie Pickett doused his piano with lighter fluid and lit it at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival in 2001, he didn’t anticipate the heat generated would burn a hole in the marquee and cost the organisers their hefty bond.

In the mid-1980s, Ritchie Pickett’s song ‘The Choice’ was put on hold by Cher’s management but it came to nothing.