Stuart Pearce Profile

Glen Moffatt
13 Jan 2020

When Stuart Pearce was approached with the prospect of an AudioCulture profile he questioned whether there would be any interest in featuring a non-singing pianist such as himself.

It’s typical understatement from the man who has arranged and/or played on a number of New Zealand’s most iconic songs – ‘E Ipo’, ‘Sierra Leone’, ‘Poi E’ and ‘I’ll Say Goodbye (Even Though I’m Blue)’ among them – and who, in 2011, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame as part of Hello Sailor.

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Street Talk: an advertisement from Rip It Up.
Hammond Gamble with Street Talk at Albert Park. Stuart Pearce is behind on a Yamaha electric grand piano.
Photo credit: Hammond Gamble collection
Coconut Rough - Sierra Leone (1983)
Dave McArtney and Stuart Pearce, 2007.
Stuart Pearce with Kantuta in Dubai.
Hello Sailor - Never Fade Away (1994)
Stuart Pearce in a cartoon from Sky City casino, Auckland.
Stuart Pearce at the keyboards with Hello Sailor, Whangarei, 2008.
From left to right: Hirini Melbourne, Blossom Taewa, Dalvanius Maui Prime, Hinewehi Mohi, with Stuart Pearce in front, 2001. Taewa and Pearce had just produced He Koha, a video compact disc (VCD) of traditional waiata for karaoke.
Street Talk, 1980. From left: Stuart Pearce, Hammond Gamble, Jim Lawrie, Andy MacDonald, Mike Caen.
Stuart Pearce with Hammond Gamble, 1980s.
Street Talk onstage at Sweetwaters, 1980.
Photo credit: Stuart Pearce collection
Hello Sailor - New Tattoo (1994)
The original Coconut Rough, May 1983. From left: Dennis Tuwhare, Stuart Pearce, Andrew McLennan, Paul Hewitt and Mark Bell.
Street Talk - Back in the Bad Old Days (1979)
Street Talk: Stuart Pearce, Andy MacDonald, Mike Caen, Jim Lawrie and Hammond Gamble
Stuart Pearce with Street Talk at the Windsor Castle.
Coconut Rough, 1984: clockwise from left - Mark Bell, Eddie Olsen, Stuart Pearce, Bones Hillman and Andrew McLennan.
Matty J and the Soul Syndicate - Colour B.L.I.N.D.
Matty J and The Soul Syndicate. From left to right: Paddy Free, Matty J, Stuart Pearce.
Stuart Pearce with Street Talk at the Windsor Castle.
'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' - 2000 album by Paul Walker's Lapsed Catholics. All the songs were written and sung by Walker, and the musicians included Gary Verberne, Gordon Joll, Stuart Pearce, Rick Poole, and Jono Lone. 
Stuart Pearce with Ben Gilgen, Stanleys nightclub, Auckland, 1987.
Street Talk with Kim Fowley at Mandrill Studios, 1979: Jim Lawrie, Stuart Pearce, Andy MacDonald, Hammond Gamble, Kim Fowley and Mike Caen
Photo credit: Murray Cammick
Stuart Pearce in a detail from an illustration of the Narcs and Coconut Rough, from their 1983 live-at-Mainstreet LP, Whistle While You Work.
Stuart Pearce.
Live at Mainstreet - The Narcs and Coconut Rough (1983)
Street Talk at Mandrill Studios, Parnell, with Kim Fowley and WEA Record's Tim Murdoch: Stuart Pearce, Jim Lawrie, Tim Murdoch, Kim Fowley (front), Andy MacDonald, Mike Caen and Hammond Gamble
Photo credit: Murray Cammick
Fantasy, c 1978. From left to right: John McGuire, Chuck Morgan, Corina Berens, Stuart Pearce, Kelvin Hair.
Street Talk - Battleground of Fun (1980)
Stuart Pearce, Paul Woolwright, Paul Walker, Sonny Day, and Beaver in 1983 after an All-Stars gig.
Live at Mainstreet - The Legionnaires (1983)
Coconut Rough, 1983. From left: Dennis "Choc" Tuwhare, Paul Hewitt, Andrew McLennan, Mark Bell, Stuart Pearce.
Stuart Pearce with Street Talk at the Windsor Castle.
Trivia:

The myth that Stuart Pearce had left Coconut Rough to join Ritchie Pickett & The Inlaws came from a flippant remark made by Mark Bell to Rip It Up. It later found its way into NZ music bible Stranded In Paradise. He had in fact gone to Texas with Gray Bartlett, Brendan Dugan and Jodi Vaughan.

As part of Hello Sailor, Stuart Pearce was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2011. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.
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Mushroom Records


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RCA