Arthur Baysting

In his long career in New Zealand music, entertainment and other cultural pursuits, Arthur Baysting has worn more hats than his childhood hero Tex Morton. The most famous is the white fedora of his 1970s alter ego Neville Purvis. The most significant could be any of his other roles.

Since first emerging in 1968 as a journalist, Baysting has been a pioneering pop critic, poet, editor, reviewer, stand-up comedian, cabaret MC, script writer for film and TV, documentary maker, songwriter, music campaigner, and activist in issues ranging from copyright to children’s rights. Behind the scenes he has been an advocate, facilitator and motivator, encouraging others to fulfil their artistic potential.

Kiwi Night explained for Australians, Sydney, early 1980s. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
The lineup for Rough Justice's farewell party in July 1979 also included the Wide Mouthed Frogs, Neville Purvis, Gary McCormick, the Ducks (featuring Bill Lake), and the Windy City Strugglers. 
Photo credit: NZSA90480, New Zealand Students Arts Council Archives, J C Beaglehole Room, Victoria Unversity of Wellington. 
Brendan Smyth of NZ On Air with Arthur Baysting, in the 2000s. 
Rules for performers at Kiwi Night, Sydney, early 1980s
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Neville Purvis with ukulele, on stage at the Maidment Theatre, Auckland, 1978. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Arthur Baysting, exhausted after organising two days of intense, fractious discussion at the Kiwi Music Convention, Wellington, April 1987.
Photo credit: Jocelyn Carlin
Arthur Baysting reunites with Carmen, Sydney, 2009. When she died in December 2011 he wrote, "Jean and I got to know her well when Red Mole did Cabaret for a glorious six months at The Balcony in the late 70s. She was incredibly generous and a social reformer - everything she stood for from legalising gays to sex education for teenagers – has come to pass. A couple of years ago we visited her at her flat in Sydney and she served us beautiful cake and tea in flash tea cups. Tears in my eyes. A great New Zealand character."
Photo credit: Jean Clarkson
Deborah Hunt and Sally Rodwell of Red Mole, with Neville Purvis (Arthur Baysting) backstage at Cabaret Capital Strut, Carmen's Balcony, Wellington, 1977. 
Photo credit: Red Mole archive/new zealand electronic poetry centre
Mike Chunn, Jeremy Fabinyi of AMPAL/AMCOS and Arthur Baysting at the 1996 APRA Silver Scroll
Joe Wylie's front sleeve for the Neville Purvis (aka Arthur Baysting) single It Takes Money b/w Disco On My Radio (Vertigo, 1977). 'It Takes Money' was co-written by Purvis and Jan Preston; 'Disco' by Purvis alone. The musicians were mostly members of the Red Mole band, with Beaver and Jean McAllister - the "Purvettes" - on backing vocals.
Neville Purvis with his 1958 Zephyr Mark II, parked up outside Mt Eden Prison, c.1979. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Neville on the level: a strip cartoon poster for Arthur Baysting's Neville Purvis, by Joe Wylie, 1977.
The Neville Purvis Family Show (1979)
Arthur Baysting flanked by Lloyd Scott (left) and his brother Clyde; Wellington, 23 May 2018. In 1959 Clyde Scott and Zanyopolis released 'Gravedigger's Rock' on Audion. Long-serving RNZ National midnight-to-dawn host Lloyd Scott sang with South Island band the Undergrads in the early 60s.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke
"On this show, the car is the star" - Neville Purvis with his beloved 1958 Mark II Zephyr, 1979. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Arthur Baysting as Neville Purvis, 1979. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Will Crummer, Arthur Baysting, and Annie Crummer in Roundhead Studio, Auckland, 2010. 
Arthur Baysting with occasional songwriting collaborator Opetaia Foa’i, Apra Silver Scroll, Auckland, 2 October 2019
Photo credit: Julie Foa’i
Arthur Baysting, Grey Lynn, c. 1992.
Arthur Baysting, from his 1972 poetry collection 'Over the Horizon', hand-set in 14pt Garamond by his wife Jean - called Gene in the dedication - and the legendary Elam typographer Robin Lush. 
A Kiwi Music Action Group meeting, early 1990s. From left: Arthur Baysting (APRA), Michael Glading (RIANZ and Sony Music), Jeremy Miller (91FM), Brendan Smyth (NZ On Air) and Steven Joyce (broadcaster)
Windy City Strugglers - Can't Get Back (written by Bill Lake and Arthur Baysting)
Neville Purvis at your service: illustration by Joe Wylie, 1977.
Photo credit: Joe Wylie
Tony Backhouse, Arthur Baysting, and Nick Bollinger, Grey Lynn, Auckland.
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Arthur Baysting, left, with the St John Ambulance, Nelson, 1961.
Photo credit: Nelson Photo News
Arthur Baysting with Australian performer and TV presenter Justine Clarke. The pair co-authored children's book  The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book in 2012, shortlisted as Best Children's Book in the Australian Book Awards. Clarke's 2012 CD Little Day Out, featuring Baysting's songs, won Best Children's Album at the Australian ARIA music industry awards. In 2014 he received a platinum record for 70,000 sales of Clarke's CD, I Like to Sing.
Joe Wylie's illustration for the back of the picture sleeve for Neville Purvis's single 'It Takes Money'/'Disco on My Radio' (Vertigo, 1977).
Photo credit: Joe Wylie
Sleeping Dogs, 1977, directed by Roger Donaldson. Screenplay by Ian Mune and Arthur Baysting, based on the book Smith's Dream by CK Stead.
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
A garden party at 2 Ayr Street, Parnell, c. 1972. Arthur Baysting is sitting in the centre, with bow tie. David Mitchell, poet, is on the grass in front of him. Jan Kemp is at the back left, the fourth visible person; on her right are writer Russell Haley and his wife Jean. The tall man two along on her left is artist Rodney Fumpston; three along from him, centre right, is graphic artist Terence Hogan; writer Barry Southam on the far right.
Photo credit: Jan Kemp collection
Police letter regarding Neville Purvis's bad language, 15 February, 1980. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Neville Purvis flanked by fans, late 1970s. 
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Arthur Baysting in the 2000s, at the Sydney offices of his music publisher ORiGiN. 
Flyer for the fourth annual Kiwi Night, organised by Arthur Baysting, Sydney, 10 December 1984.
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Poster for the Red Mole production Ghost Rite, with the Country Flyers and Neville Purvis, 1978. 
Arthur Baysting while representing New Zealand songwriters as writer-director on the APRA board in the 1990s. 
Arthur Baysting at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
Arthur Baysting, APRA, 1990s.
Neville Purvis and Robert Muldoon. Auckland Star, 13 September 1979.
Advertisement for the 'It Takes Money' single from Neville Purvis, Rip It Up, July 1978.
Chris Bourke and Arthur Baysting, Grey Lynn, 1999
Photo credit: Jean Clarkson
Watch: Neville Purvis at Nambassa Festival, 1979
Arthur Baysting, Petrina Togi-Sa’ena of the Pacific Music Awards Trust, Jean Clarkson, and Rosie Baysting.
Photo credit: Petrina Togi-Sa’ena collection
Watch: Prime Minister Robert Muldoon opens the first Neville Purvis Family Show.
Arthur Baysting with children's songwriting collaborators Peter Dasent and Suzy Cato, Auckland.
Photo credit: Suzy Cato collection
Making Music - Bill Lake (2005) - series produced and directed by Arthur Baysting
Sally Rodwell, left, and Deborah Hunt of Red Mole, with Neville Purvis (Arthur Baysting) backstage at Cabaret Capital Strut, Carmen's Balcony, Wellington, 1977.
Photo credit: Red Mole archive/new zealand electronic poetry centre
The Young New Zealand Poets, edited by Arthur Baysting (Heinemann, Auckland, 1973).
Flyer for Kiwi Night, Sydney, 6 December 1983.
Photo credit: Arthur Baysting collection
Suzy Cato - We're All Gonna Have Some Fun (written by Suzy Cato with Peter Dasent and Arthur Baysting)
Arthur Baysting and Jenny Morris, APRA Silver Scroll awards, Auckland, October 2018.
Crossing the Tracks, an album of Red Mole alumnae: the Country Flyers, Jan Preston, Beaver, Alan Brunton, Neville Purvis, and Red Alert (later known as the Drongos). Red Alert's tracks were recorded live at the Maidment theatre, Auckland (Mascot, 1978). 
A gathering at Apra's offices in Parnell, mid 1990s. Among those present are, from left, Dave Dobbyn, Neil Finn, Karl Steven, Donna White, Sophie Cook, Chris Bourke, Eddie Rayner (front), Greg Clark, Victoria Kelly, Dave Gent, Debbie Harwood, unidentified, Liz Gallagher, Arthur Baysting.
Photo credit: Apra NZ
Neville Purvis and Cousin Cheryl - Arthur Baysting and Jean Clarkson - walk the police gauntlet to attend the premiere of 'Sleeping Dogs' at the Auckland Civic, 6 October 1977. 
Arthur Baysting with Suzy Cato and actor Jay Laga'aia, 2010s. 
Photo credit: Suzy Cato collection
Arthur Baysting, Auckland, c. 1970.
Photo credit: Jan Kemp
Arthur Baysting with Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Daphne Walker, October 2018.
Photo credit: Michael Colonna
'The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book', by Justine Clarke and Arthur Baysting; illustrated by Tom Jellett (Penguin, Australia, 2012). 
New Zealand musicians celebrate at the after-party of The Last Waltz 40th anniversary tour, 2016, with guest artist The Band's Garth Hudson and his wife Maud (in cap). Among those present are Arthur Baysting, Adam McGrath, Wayne Bell, Reb Fountain, Peter Dasent, and Tami Neilson.
Photo credit: Tami Neilson collection
Transcripts of the panel discussions at the 1987 Kiwi Music Convention, edited by Arthur Baysting (Ode, 1989). 
Arthur Baysting and Bill Lake, Wellington, 22 January 2019. 
Photo credit: Chris Bourke
At the APRA Silver Scroll Awards in early 2000s, from left: Mike Chunn, Bill Moran, Arthur Baysting, Brent Eccles, and Trevor Mallard.
In the early 90s Arthur Baysting helped create the Green Ribbon Trust campaign. Green Ribbon lobbied for more local content on television, for a 20% quota for NZ music on commercial radio, for a Music Commission and for a non-commercial national radio network for young people. The first three goals were achieved; the youth radio network never eventuated.
Arthur Baysting in the Listener, 17 January 1976.

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