In 1966, with a population of some 23,000, Upper Hutt was named New Zealand’s newest city, something it took great pride in. The youthful city had a teenage population that demanded to hear new music, and in 1968, members of two local bands joined together to form a new act, Cellophane.

In the late 1960s, Upper Hutt was a sleepy although quietly prosperous dormitory suburb joined to Wellington by a single road and a rail line. The suburb itself was long and thin, going just a few roads back from the Hutt Road and its extension, the imaginatively named Main Road (all now Fergusson Drive) on each side, however, it stretched some 15km from the Silverstream Bridge to the foothills of the Rimutaka range and the challenging road across to the Wairarapa.

The 1969 Battle Of The Bands finals roster
The Pye Records promo pack for the Fire single. Inside was a bio, a poster and a copy of the single.
Producer Hugh McDonald with technicians Gary Clark and Gary Holden recording Cellophane in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
The Pye poster for the November 1970 release of Fire b/w Mind Patterns
Benny Levin's letter to Cellophane with tickets for the Wellington Battle Of The Bands heat
The Upper Hutt Leader, 28 May, 1969
Cellophane celebrated in the General Motors staff magazine
Benny Levin's response to Cellophane's decision not to take up his offer of management
The Sports Post reports on the impending Auckland final of the Battle Of The Bands
Mike Wellington and Pam Potter in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
It was a BIG deal in Upper Hutt!
Upper Hutt's finest The Fourmyula and their fan club secretary Diane McKenzie (whose name is misspelled) wish Cellophane luck in Auckland
Dave Wellington, John Van der Ryden, Ian Hewitson, Mike Hill and Pam Potter
Cellophane, venue unknown - Ian Hewitson, Michael Hill, Pam Potter and John Van der Ryden
An August public notice that Ken Cooper has replaced Colin Misseldine as Cellophane's manager. Misseldine, who was with the band from inception, and Cooper had jointly managed the band from June. However by November Misseldine was once again involved in management with Cooper.
The Upper Hutt Leader celebrates one of their own winning the Wellington Heat of the 1969 Battle Of The Bands, 19 March, 1969
Dave Wellington, Ian Hewitson, Pam Potter, John Van der Ryden, Mike Hill
Cellophane at Yogi's in Trentham. The show was not a huge success, pulling only 230 paying customers, the reason managment concluded was that Trentham was not a popular location. The band made a small profit.
A generic Cellophane poster
Cellophane with The Lost Souls, the Upper Hutt Rugby Gym, December 1970
Friday night dances in Upper Hutt "gyrate to the the music of [...] The Cellophanes"
Fans congratulate Cellophane on their national Battle Of The Bands win
Cellophane in The Evening Post, March 1969, after their win at St. Francis Hall in Hill Street
The invitation to enter the 1969 Battle Of The Bands
Cellophane arrive back in Wellington after winning the 1969 Battle Of The Bands as reported in The Evening Post
An early shot of Cellophane at Johnsonville's Onslow College, with an NZBC presence. Visible is Michael Hill, Ian Hewitson, Pam Potter and Dave Wellington. John Van der Ryden is behind the amp.
In The Dominion's World Of Women section Pam Potter reflects on Cellophane, the Battle Of The Bands and how it's affected her daily life
Cellophane in their first publicty shoot - front to rear: Mike Hill, Pam Potter, John Van der Ryden, Ian Hewitson, Dave Wellington
UBA confirms March bookings for Cellophane
C'mon to New Zealand travel promo, with music by Ray Columbus and members of Cellophane
Cellophane in Dunedin, July 1969
Cellophane at The Astoria in Palmerston North, June 1969
Cellophane setting up in the NZBC studio, 19 March 1969
Cellophane at Ali Baba's in Cuba Street (in recent years the venue is the San Francisco Bathhouse). This was one of their last New Zealand shows.
The "Pop Teacher" Pam Potter, in The Evening Post, March 1969
John Van der Ryden in the NZBC studio, umbrella over his kit to dampen the sound
A letter written on behalf of Ken Cooper's organisation, likely by Wendal Hynes, booking Cellophane into shows in Napier and Gisborne in September. It's noted in the letter that the band only plays for two hours and the fee is $200, a good fee for the day.

Ian Hewitson - vocals

Dave Wellington - guitar

Michael Hill - bass

Pam Potter - keyboards

John Van der Ryden - drums

Dave Kirkland - drums

Robert Mackie - bass


John Van der Ryden would go on to do sound in the film and TV industry. His credits include Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu, and Once Were Warriors.

Ian Hewitson would become a celebrity TV chef and a restaurateur in Victoria in the 1990s and beyond, as Iain "Huey" Hewitson



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