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.

Advertisement for Alastair Riddell’s single ‘What Good Does It Do Me’, from his 1978 self-titled album
Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz. L to R: Brent Eccles, Peter Cuddihy, Alastair Riddell, Greg Clark, Eddie Rayner
Space Waltz by Alastair Riddell, released in 1975 by EMI
NZ Musician, June 1988
Alastair Riddell in Flying Colours, London 1985
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. 
Alastair Riddell in 1975
Alastair Riddell - Last Of The Golden Weather (2012)
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell at Hillsborough Tavern, 1977
Alastair Riddell - Zero (1982)
Alastair Riddell in 1976
Alastair Riddell of Space Waltz - a flyer for the band's 1975 New Zealand Students' Arts Council Tour.  
Alastair Riddell in Space Waltz, Canterbury University, Christchurch, 1975
Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz - Christchurch, 1977
Modern Contours, 1983
Space Waltz - the first line-up without Eddie Rayner. L to R: Alastair Riddell, Peter Cuddihy, Greg Clark, Brent Eccles
Original Flying Colours duo, 1986
Back cover of Space Waltz by Alastair Riddell LP, 1975
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell on stage
Glyn Tucker Jnr recording Alastair Riddell's debut solo album at Mandrill in 1978
Alastair Riddell, 1976
Alastair Riddell's self-titled 1978 album
Before the Dragon/Space Waltz show, Town Hall
Alastair Riddell/Space Waltz university tour handbill, 1975
Alastair Riddell, age 16
Poster for Space Waltz single 'Out on the Street', 1974. 
Dick Frizzell designed poster for the 1975 Dragon and Space Waltz show.
Alastair Riddell
Space Waltz - Out On The Street (New Faces appearance 1974)
Alastair Riddell and Flying Colours, London 1985
Alastair Riddell
Alastair Riddell with Flying Colours and Pip Williams, 1987
Alastair Riddell on stage, Christchurch, 1975
Trivia:

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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