Alastair Riddell

It’s a Sunday night in 1974 and New Zealand’s only television channel is in black and white. Into the living rooms of the nation strides a tall, androgynous figure with dark tresses, silver eye shadow and white satin bell-bottoms. His scarf trailing almost to the floor, he pouts and preens his way through an ode to a drag queen. Alastair Riddell and his group Space Waltz are making their debut on the New Faces talent quest.

David Bowie – then at the height of his Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane phase – had made his way into the record collections of the cognoscenti and playlists of the country’s more daring radio stations, Slade had played Te Rapa, and The Sweet had toured and enjoyed two No.1 hits. However, these were aberrations: much of middle New Zealand remained unaware of the glam rock phenomenon.

Forty-seven years after Space Waltz won Best New Artist in the record industry's RATA awards, Alastair Riddell is presented with the trophy by Nick Bollinger (right). Since 1975 it had been with the late Frank Douglas, legendary EMI engineer; Space Waltz was in Australia when the awards took place. 
Advertisement for Alastair Riddell’s single ‘What Good Does It Do Me’, from his 1978 self-titled album
Alastair Riddell in Flying Colours, London 1985
Dick Frizzell designed poster for the 1975 Dragon and Space Waltz show.
Alastair Riddell and Flying Colours, London 1985
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell with Flying Colours and Pip Williams, 1987
Alastair Riddell - Last Of The Golden Weather (2012)
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell on stage, Christchurch, 1975
Space Waltz - Out On The Street (New Faces appearance 1974)
Alastair Riddell in Space Waltz, Canterbury University, Christchurch, 1975
Glyn Tucker Jnr recording Alastair Riddell's debut solo album at Mandrill in 1978
Alastair Riddell
NZ Musician, June 1988
Space Waltz by Alastair Riddell, released in 1975 by EMI
Modern Contours, 1983
Alastair Riddell at Battle of the Bands, 1968
Before the Dragon/Space Waltz show, Town Hall
Alastair Riddell on stage
Alastair Riddell in 1976
Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz. L to R: Brent Eccles, Peter Cuddihy, Alastair Riddell, Greg Clark, Eddie Rayner
Alastair Riddell/Space Waltz university tour handbill, 1975
Alastair Riddell - Zero (1982)
Original Flying Colours duo, 1986
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell in 1975
Poster for Space Waltz single 'Out on the Street', 1974. 
Back cover of Space Waltz by Alastair Riddell LP, 1975
Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz - Christchurch, 1977
Alastair Riddell at Hillsborough Tavern, 1977

Drummer Brent Eccles (later of Citizen Band, The Angels, and a local tour promoter) came up with the name Space Waltz during a brain storming session with Alastair Riddell.



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