Spitz was an original Four Four, and guitarist-singer Bill Ward an early recruit. Fellow guitarist Dave Hartstone joined soon after with bass player Frank Hay the final recruit.
With singles out on Allied International Records and Bay of Plenty area fame assured, The Four Fours headed for Auckland in 1964. The move proved to be good timing. The NEBOA (National Entertainment and Ballroom Operators Association) strike stripped the town of performers and The Four Fours soon gained a regular show at Fred McMahon and Dave Henderson’s Platterack in Durham Lane, followed by a permanent Friday night slot at Phil Warren’s Monaco Ballroom, which soon became a Friday and Saturday slot.
It was quite a dash getting from the Monaco Ballroom on Federal Street, the half mile or so to Durham Lane to the Beat Room under the Platterack. They scrambled onto the small stage to play the week’s Top 10 hits (faithfully learnt each week) as DJ Keith Adams counted them down. Then it was upstairs, lugging gear through the descending patrons to play. It was a hectic schedule, practice every day, expanding and refining their sets with material culled from the pre-release singles that Fred Noad received at Allied International.
Ward and Hartstone, the band’s songwriters, penned a big New Zealand hit in 1965 with the instrumental ‘Theme From An Empty Coffee Lounge’. Their third release for new label Zodiac Records was ‘Go Go’, a sinewy R&B rocker about the dancing girls at the Monaco Ballroom that featured new stand-up drummer Maurice Greer, a teenager who was previously in Palmerston North band The Saints. In February 1966, The Four Fours landed the support spot on The Rolling Stones second New Zealand tour.
With London beckoning in August 1966, they played a big farewell concert at the Auckland Town Hall then set sail on the Fairsky to England, en route to becoming The Human Instinct.
Bill Ward - guitar, vocals
Frank Hay - bass
Maurice Greer - drums
Trevor Spitz became a leading New Zealand promoter and producer in Christchurch. He died in 2012.