The Ballad of Ritchie Venus (1999), Nathan Pohio’s biographical film, one of the few made on individual non-mainstream New Zealand musicians reveals Venus’s abundance of self-made film and an extensive recorded catalogue, much of it unreleased, alongside an appreciation of his unique place in Christchurch popular music from those who knew him, when he appeared on Flying Nun Records and Onset Offset Records in the 1980s.
Musical highpoints include, the garage rocking ‘Forbidden Planet’ (1983), later covered by The Renderers; ‘The Legend’, a Velvets-influenced rocker close kin to the Victor Dimisich, Pin Group and Bill Direen strummers; and ‘Rebel Blood’, the arrogant strutting title track for Ritchie Venus and The Blue Beetles’ 1987 album.
The latter two featured lyrics from early Pin Group bassist Desmond Brice. Guitarist Jon Segovia (John Markie), likewise, dipped back into his Builders riff bag. Venus’s next album was a collection of 1950s and 1960s covers. In 2011 German label Unwucht Records reissued Rocking From The Grave, a 1998 recording for Onset Offset Records.
M S Agro - bass
Norman Duffy - drums
Michael Vaile - drums
John Segovia - guitar
Lianne Dalziel, the Mayor of Christchurch, sang with The Blue Beetles in the 1980s