The Narcs Profile

Glen Moffatt
16 Nov 2015

The Narcs sprang out of Christchurch in 1980 as a high-energy trio full of ambition, enthusiasm and catchy songs. Their point of difference was a Sydney guitarist with a sound refined on growing up on Australian pub rock.

They hooked up with New Music Management and moved to Auckland, sought out Mike Chunn during his brief tenure as head of A&R at CBS and were signed to that label, and they went after former Hello Sailor guitarist Dave McArtney to produce their debut album.

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An early Narcs logo
The Narcs in the snow. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, manager Peter Fairhall, Andy Dickson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan.
Heart And Soul
Arthur Baysting with Andy Dickson and Tony Waine of the Narcs, plus Rikki Morris, after collaborating on a Narcs song called 'I Don't Want to Go to Work Today', 14 July 2018
Photo credit: Rikki Morris
An outtake from the Nordica Tour photoshoot, 1984. Left to right: Dave McArtney, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan. McArtney would guest with the band on the tour.
Liam Ryan undertook work outside The Narcs in early 1986 when he toured in Canada with Suzanne Prentice and The Rodger Fox Big Band. Enjoying post-show drinks are band members (left to right) David Feehan, Liam Ryan, Dennis Ryan, Tom Rainey and Paddy Long. 
Photo credit: Paddy Long collection
A Narcs CBS promo shot, Sydney, 1985. Left to right: Tony Waine, Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson, Liam Ryan.
The Narcs - Stay Away (live at Mainstreet, 1983)
The Dutch cover for Heart & Soul
The Narcs - Abandoned By Love (1986 - written by bassist Tony Wain, it won the 1986 APRA Silver Scroll)
Tony Waine and Steve Clarkson, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
The Narcs about to set off on the Kuhtze Tour, Te Kauwhata, October 1986. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson, tour manager Louise Hunter, DB rep Dean Thomsen, Liam Ryan and son Frankie, Tony Waine.
The Narcs - Summerhill Stone (2018)
The Fane Flaws designed cover for The Narcs' 1984 self-titled album
The Narcs - Stay Away (from the EP No Turning Back, 1983)
Whistle While You Work, the 1983 CBS live album recorded at Auckland's Mainsteet Cabaret for Radio With Pictures. The Narcs and Coconut Rough each had a side.
Two Topp Twins, Tony Waine, Mike Chunn and Andy Dickson at the 1984 APRA Silver Scrolls. 
The Narcs in 2009. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson.
Andy Dickson and DD Smash manager Roger King on the 1982 DD Smash Cool Bananas tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
The Narcs' manager Peter Fairhall on the DD Smash Cool Bananas Tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
The Narcs - First Chance To Dance (1981 - from the Narcs EP produced by Mike Chunn and Doug Rogers at Harlequin Studios, Auckland)
Push The Boat Out, the final Narcs album from 1996
The Narcs accept applause at a reunion gig at the Backbeat Bar in Auckland, February 2013. Left to right: Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan
The Narcs: Lyam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Tony Waine
The Narcs - Here She Comes (from their self-titled debut EP, 1981)
Gold record presentation for The Narcs’ Great Divide LP. Back, left to right: Steve Clarkson, producer Dave McArtney, CBS PR woman Annette Watson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson, CBS A&R man Gilbert Egdell. Front: CBS sales and marketing man Dave Simpkins.
The Narcs reunite for the Mills Reef Stars Under the Stars concert, Tauranga, 2014. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan.
The Narcs - Diamonds On China (1985 - Fane Flaws won Video of the Year at 1985 music awards)
Andy Dickson and Tony Waine on stage with The Narcs at Doodles nightclub, Christchurch, 1980. Original drummer Bob Ogilvie is obscured.
Liam Ryan and Andy Dickson at the 1984 Music Awards with the award for best single
The Narcs - Lazy Susan (1984 - the second single off the Narcs debut album Great Divide. Written by drummer Steve Clarkson)
The Narcs in 1983: Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Tony Waine and Steve Clarkson
The Narcs' hits album, issued by EMI in 2002
The Narcs - Missing In Action (1984)
The Narcs - Side By Side (live at Rock On NZ, Christchurch, 1986)
The Narcs - One More Revolution (live at Mainstreet, Auckland, 1983)
The Narcs at The Glengarry Tavern, Invercargill, 1984
The Narcs on stage at Massey University, 1984: Left to right: Andy Dickson, Liam Ryan, Tony Waine, Steve Clarkson.
Hamming it up at the 1984 APRA Silver Scrolls - promoter Mike Corless with members of The Narcs and, second from right, Gilbert Egdell from CBS Records
The Narcs in high spirits at the 1984 APRA Silver Scrolls
DD Smash drummer Peter Warren (top) and Andy Dickson during the Cool Bananas tour in 1982.
The Narcs - Back To The Deep (1996)
The Narcs line-up that moved to Auckland and recorded their debut EP in 1981. Left to right: Andy Dickson, Bob Ogilvie, Tony Waine.
The Narcs with Dave McArtney in 2009. Left to right: McArtney, Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson
Fill-in Narcs keyboards player Gerard Moody, who appeared on the Whistle While You Work LP
The Narcs at the 1984 New Zealand Music award after winning best single for Heart & Soul
A CBS publicty shot: Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Tony Waine
The Narcs - No Turning Back (live at Sweetwaters 1983, poor sound quality)
The Narcs - Over My Head (live at Mainstreet, Auckland, 1983)
The short-lived Rocking Love Gods, 1986. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Rikki Morris, Andy Dickson and Tony Waine
Leap Of Faith (1996 - from The Narcs' third studio album Push The Boat Out)
A Narcs promo shot from 1988. Left to right: Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson.
The Narcs - Look The Other Way (1983)
Peter Fairhall, manager of The Narcs in the New Music Management offices
Photo credit: Simon Elton collection
A Narcs cloth badge
A CBS publicity shot from 1984: Tony Waine, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Liam Ryan
Tony Waine and original drummer Bob Ogilvie on stage with The Narcs at Doodles nightclub, Christchurch, 1980
Abandoned By Love, 1986
Andy Dickson on stage with The Narcs in 1985
The debut Narcs EP, released on Mike Chunn's XSF label in October 1981
Tony Waine, Andy Dickson and Gary McCormick on the 1982 DD Smash tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
The Narcs: Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan and Andy Dickson
The Narcs - Hopeless Friends (1996)
Shazam! presenter Phillip Schofield and Narcs Andy Dickson and Tony Waine with The Patea Maori Club at the NZ Music Awards in 1984
The Narcs’ debut album Great Divide, released on CBS in 1984
Members:

Tony Waine - bass, vocals

Bob Ogilvie - drums

Garth Sincock - guitar

Andy Dickson - vocals, guitar

Steve Clarkson - drums

Liam Ryan - keyboards, vocals

Labels:

XSF


CBS


RCA


Hark Music

Trivia:

In 1987, Andy Dickson and Tony Waine teamed up with Gurlz singer Kim Willoughby, Citizen Band guitarist Greg Clark, Mi-Sex drummer Paul Dunningham and Grammar Boys keyboardist Simon Alexander in a Party Boys-style line-up called The Kuhtze Band, touring and releasing a single of 60s pop covers.

The Narcs’ 1996 album Push The Boat Out was named by drummer Steve Clarkson from English slang for spending big on a boozy night out. Clarkson also named Whistle While You Work, the live album shared with Coconut Rough.

In Sydney in 1990, Andy Dickson was an original member of Ghostwriters, a band brought together by Midnight Oil drummer and songwriter Rob Hirst while the Oils were taking a break. Dickson appeared on their self-titled 1991 album.

The Fane Flaws-produced video for Diamonds On China won Best Video at the 1985 New Zealand Music Awards. Flaws also did the artwork for the 1985 album The Narcs.