Sharon O'Neill Stories

Sharon O'Neill: The 9/12 transcript

An early 1980s Australian publicity shot

This is an extended transcript of a phone interview recorded on September 12, 2001, a day after 9/11. Sharon O’Neill was in her Christchurch hotel, touring as a guest on the When The Cat’s Away Tour. I was calling from Auckland with a deadline to meet for the October, 2001 issue of RipItUp, but the ominous events in New York just  24 hours ago hung over the conversation. Sharon was as low-key and friendly as she was 20 years earlier, when the young singer-songwriter was the new kid on the block at CBS Records.

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Sharon O'Neill, 1979

March, 1979 – The day Rip It Up spoke to Sharon O’Neill her album This Heart, This Song made the national Top 20 in its first week of release. Even more impressive, it entered at No.12. This debut, apparently the highest ever by a local artist, is a heartening sign that New Zealanders are showing increased faith in homegrown talent. It is also a compliment to their taste as This Heart, This Song is one of the freshest, most appealing albums by any female singer (and/or songwriters) to be released here in quite a while.

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The Public Image of Sharon O'Neill, 1983

September, 1983 – These days Sharon O’Neill has a somewhat confused public image. On the one hand she’s considered wholesome enough to grace the cover of the NZ Women’s Weekly (among weeks on end of Princess Di). On the other Truth runs a headline screaming “NZ Rock Star’s Video Banned”.

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