The Screaming Meemees Profile

Alan Perrott
2 Jul 2014

At the time of their success they were the youngest touring band in the country, but they called it quits after their first album. In the space of three short years, The Screaming Meemees grew from being a high school band on Auckland’s North Shore, to sold-out shows and No.1 chart success with ‘See Me Go’.

So you can’t blame the guy for asking, “You guys went to number one ... aren’t you rich?”

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Michael O'Neill at Auckland's Gluepot, probably late 1982
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Peter van der Fluit, Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
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Tony Drumm goes into an enthusiastic hometown audience at the North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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Tony Drumm, Mainstreet, Auckland, late 1982
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Adam Holt playing The Screaming Meemees, Mainstreet, Auckland, 1982
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Peter van der Fluit, Tony Drumm and early guitarist (and first manager) Hilary Hunt. Hilary would later form The Ainsworths. Taken in the art room at Rosmini College during the school fair, this is one of the first shots of The Screaming Meemees known to exist, probably 1979.
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Michael O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit, Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
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North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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A Radio New Zealand poster sent out to schools in 1982. You were able to purchase a cassette of a history of New Zealand rock by sending to the address.
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The Screaming Meemees, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees - Till I Die
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Tony Drumm
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The "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, smell no evil" shot used on the rear of the Paradise album cover.
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The Screaming Meemees at Sweetwaters, 1983. Taken at about 8.30 on Saturday night from the lighting tower.
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Stars In My Eyes
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Michael O'Neill in Rotorua, July, 1982
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Michael O'Neill at the Gluepot, Auckland, late 1982
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The Michael O'Neill designed sleeve for the single Day Goes By. Planned as a 12-inch only single, the band decided to record a new single, Stars In My Eyes. The extended dub of Day Goes By appeared on the B-side of the 12-inch of Stars In My Eyes.
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An outtake from the 1981 RipItUp Christmas cover shoot, on the roof of the Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland.
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RipItUp announces Michael O'Neill's split from the band. Despite Tony's claim, the band did split.
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RipItUp, December 1981
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The Screaming Meemees - See Me Go
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A May 1981 poster for so called "North Shore Invasion" bands in Kohimarama, Auckland, with The Screaming Meemees, Blam Blam Blam, Alms For Children and The Ainsworths
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XS Café, November 1980
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The first trip out of Auckland - The Screaming Meemees on the train to Wellington to perform on TV, 13 December, 1980: Yoh, Peter van der Fluit, Tony Drumm, Michael O'Neill
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Screaming Blam-matics on tour - Peter van der Fluit and Yoh (Screaming Meemees) with David Rudolph and Tim Mahon (Blam Blam Blam)
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The Screaming Meemees backstage at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees live at Brown Trout Festival, Dannevirke, Jan 1983. (Simon Grigg collection)
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Tony Drumm at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, probably early 1983
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Michael O'Neill, Tony Drumm, Peter van der Fluit, Yoh.
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The recording invoice for the 1981 Ripper Records single Can't Take It. It was recorded over two days in January.
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Okahu Bay, Auckland 1981
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August 1981 Festival Records press release celebrating The Screaming Meemees' No.1 debut - a NZ first
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Yoh playing with The Screaming Meemees in the art room, Rosmini School Fair, probably 1979.
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Publicity shot taken for Propeller at Auckland War Memorial Museum, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
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Screaming Meemees supported by Dance Exponents, August 1982, the Hillsborough Tavern, Christchurch
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Yoh at the Gluepot, Ponsonby, Auckland, late 1982
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Michael O'Neill and Tony Drumm at Mainstreet, Queen Street, Auckland, probably early 1983
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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Yoh at The Gluepot, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1982
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St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, late 1980
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Tony Drumm, Michael O'Neill, Yoh and Peter van der Fluit. Taken at Auckland's Gluepot hotel after a 1982 show. This was the first time The Screaming Meemees had been booked at the venue, which was resistant to "New Wave" acts up to this time despite the large crowds these bands were pulling elsewhere. The band had a full house over three nights.
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The Screaming Meemees at St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
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Tony Drumm at XS Café
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Michael O'Neill at XS Café
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The Screaming Meemees at XS Cafe, 1980
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Michael O'Neill
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An outtake from the 1981 RipItUp cover shoot
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Peter van der Fluit at Ponsonby's Gluepot Hotel
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An early 1981 Ripper Records bio
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Tony Drumm, St. Thomas Church Hall, Kohimarama, Auckland, May 9, 1981
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Tony Drumm, Yoh, Michael O'Neill, Peter van der Fluit. A shot taken in the Farmers carpark late in 1981 for a RipItIp story.
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The Screaming Meemees outside the Windsor Castle, Parnell, Auckland, probably late 1980
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1980 - The Screeming Meeies [sic]
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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The July 1981 poster for the See Me Go single - the first New Zealand single to enter the chart at number one.
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North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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If This Is Paradise, I'll Take The Bag, the July 1982 album, produced by Ian Morris, that took the band on a path away from the early ska flavoured power-pop. It was heavily praised by US and UK media but confused some of the earlier fanbase in New Zealand.
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The Auckland Star notices The Screaming Meemees, March 1981
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Tony Drumm and Michael O'Neill at the Chateau Tongariro, August 1982
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The Screaming Meemees at Okahu Bay, Auckland, 1981
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Peter van der Fluit, Michael O'Neill, Tony Drumm (hidden) and early guitarist (and first manager) Hilary Hunt. Taken in the art room at Rosmini College during the school fair, probably 1979.
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Micheal O'Neill at Auckland Town Hall
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Mike O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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Michael O'Neill, Sweetwaters 1983
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The insert that came with the first copies of the November 1981 Sunday Boys single. The single hit No.1 in Auckland and No.11 nationally.
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Peter van der Fluit in the dressing room at Mainstreet, Queen St., Auckland, 1982
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Tony Drumm, North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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An outtake from the 1981 Christmas cover shoot for RipItUp, Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland
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An outtake from the 1981 Christmas cover shoot for RipItUp, Farmers carpark, Hobson Street, Auckland
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Tony Drumm at North Shore Netball Club, 27 March, 1981
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Labels:

Propeller


Ripper

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Members:

Michael O'Neill - guitar

Peter van der Fluit - bass, keyboards

Laurence "Yoh" Landwer-Johan - drums

Tony Drumm - vocals

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Trivia:

Michael O'Neill formed another group, These Wilding Ways, in the late 1980s.

Michael O'Neill and Peter van der Fluit founded Auckland's Liquid Studios, specialising in soundtrack and advertising work.

In 2013, Michael O’Neill and Peter van der Fluit’s musical Romeo and Juliet – A Love Song screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

See Me Go sold 4 times the number of records sold by the No.2 record the week it hit number one, with queues of buyers waiting outside record stores to buy it before they opened.

In 2003 Michael and Peter bounced back into the NZ Top 3 as The Zephyrs, a band created for an Air New Zealand TV ad.

The Screaming Meemees have reformed just the once, for a private party in the late 1980s.