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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The Narcs in high spirits at the 1984 APRA Silver Scrolls
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The debut Narcs EP, released on Mike Chunn's XSF label in October 1981
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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
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Andy Dickson on stage with The Narcs in 1985
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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
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The Narcs - Stay Away (live at Mainstreet, 1983)
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The Narcs in the snow. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, manager Peter Fairhall, Andy Dickson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan.
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Two Topp Twins, Tony Waine, Mike Chunn and Andy Dickson at the 1984 APRA Silver Scrolls. 
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Tony Waine, Andy Dickson and Gary McCormick on the 1982 DD Smash tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
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The Narcs at The Glengarry Tavern, Invercargill, 1984
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Heart And Soul
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Peter Fairhall, manager of The Narcs in the New Music Management offices
Photo credit: Simon Elton collection
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The Narcs - Missing In Action (1984)
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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
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The Narcs at the 1984 New Zealand Music award after winning best single for Heart & Soul
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The Narcs line-up that moved to Auckland and recorded their debut EP in 1981. Left to right: Andy Dickson, Bob Ogilvie, Tony Waine.
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The Narcs in 2009. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson.
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A CBS publicty shot: Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Tony Waine
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The Narcs - One More Revolution (live at Mainstreet, Auckland, 1983)
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Tony Waine and Steve Clarkson, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
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A Narcs promo shot from 1988. Left to right: Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson.
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The Narcs - Lazy Susan (1984 - the second single off the Narcs debut album Great Divide. Written by drummer Steve Clarkson)
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The Narcs' hits album, issued by EMI in 2002
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The Narcs - Over My Head (live at Mainstreet, Auckland, 1983)
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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.
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The Narcs - Here She Comes (from their self-titled debut EP, 1981)
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The Narcs - Diamonds On China (1985 - Fane Flaws won Video of the Year at 1985 music awards)
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The Narcs: Lyam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Tony Waine
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The Narcs’ debut album Great Divide, released on CBS in 1984
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The short-lived Rocking Love Gods, 1986. Left to right: Steve Clarkson, Rikki Morris, Andy Dickson and Tony Waine
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The Narcs: Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan and Andy Dickson
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The Narcs - Stay Away (from the EP No Turning Back, 1983)
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Abandoned By Love, 1986
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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.
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Leap Of Faith (1996 - from The Narcs' third studio album Push The Boat Out)
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The Dutch cover for Heart & Soul
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Liam Ryan and Andy Dickson at the 1984 Music Awards with the award for best single
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DD Smash drummer Peter Warren (top) and Andy Dickson during the Cool Bananas tour in 1982.
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The Narcs - Side By Side (live at Rock On NZ, Christchurch, 1986)
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The Narcs' manager Peter Fairhall on the DD Smash Cool Bananas Tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
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The Narcs - Look The Other Way (1983)
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Andy Dickson and DD Smash manager Roger King on the 1982 DD Smash Cool Bananas tour
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Caddick
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The Narcs - Back To The Deep (1996)
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Tony Waine and original drummer Bob Ogilvie on stage with The Narcs at Doodles nightclub, Christchurch, 1980
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The Narcs - Abandoned By Love (1986 - written by bassist Tony Wain, it won the 1986 APRA Silver Scroll)
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An early Narcs logo
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The Narcs - Summerhill Stone (2018)
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A Narcs cloth badge
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Fill-in Narcs keyboards player Gerard Moody, who appeared on the Whistle While You Work LP
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The Fane Flaws designed cover for The Narcs' 1984 self-titled album
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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.
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The Narcs - Hopeless Friends (1996)
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The Narcs - No Turning Back (live at Sweetwaters 1983, poor sound quality)
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The Narcs in 1983: Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson, Tony Waine and Steve Clarkson
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Push The Boat Out, the final Narcs album from 1996
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The Narcs on stage at Massey University, 1984: Left to right: Andy Dickson, Liam Ryan, Tony Waine, Steve Clarkson.
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A Narcs CBS promo shot, Sydney, 1985. Left to right: Tony Waine, Steve Clarkson, Andy Dickson, Liam Ryan.
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Shazam! presenter Phillip Schofield and Narcs Andy Dickson and Tony Waine with The Patea Maori Club at the NZ Music Awards in 1984
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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.
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A CBS publicity shot from 1984: Tony Waine, Andy Dickson, Steve Clarkson and Liam Ryan
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Andy Dickson and Tony Waine on stage with The Narcs at Doodles nightclub, Christchurch, 1980. Original drummer Bob Ogilvie is obscured.
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The Narcs with Dave McArtney in 2009. Left to right: McArtney, Steve Clarkson, Tony Waine, Liam Ryan, Andy Dickson
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The Narcs - First Chance To Dance (1981 - from the Narcs EP produced by Mike Chunn and Doug Rogers at Harlequin Studios, Auckland)
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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.
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Members:

Tony Waine - bass, vocals

Bob Ogilvie - drums

Garth Sincock - guitar

Andy Dickson - vocals, guitar

Steve Clarkson - drums

Liam Ryan - keyboards, vocals

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Labels:

XSF


CBS


RCA


Hark Music

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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.