Even better was ‘Dahli Mohammed’ credited to Timberjack Donoghue as an alias – a seriously striking piece of eastern-sounding psychedelia (also on Ode) and another Loxene Golden Disc finalist in 1972. Guitarist-vocalist Donoghue was solo by then, having shed Timberjack.
While many of our 1960s rockers faded into the mainstream in the final stretch of the 20th Century, Donoghue just kept on rolling. He started out in early 1960s Miramar skiffle group The Vultures, which became The Crescendos, then The Strangers (with future Avenger Eddy McDonald) and Cheshire Katt. Then he headed to London in 1970 with The Dizzy Limits, who changed their name to Timberjack on the return journey.
After a brief stint in Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band, where he wrote the hit 'Miss September', Donoghue joined the Auckland-based Human Instinct from 1972 to 1975, producing three albums: A Timberjack-Donoghue solo release and New Zealand Album of The Year, Spirit of Pelorus Jack (1973); Human Instinct’s The Hustler (1974) and Timberjack Donoghue from 1975, backed by Wellington’s Redeye. Donoghue continued to play guitar and bass in a long progression of groups and also formed a production company that won awards for classical and jazz works
In 1986, Donoghue formed country rockers The Warratahs with Barry Saunders and Wayne Mason and stuck around long enough to record their first album Only Game In Town, before departing in 1988 to work as a studio engineer in Wellington.
Since 1994 Donoghue has lived in the Hokianga, where he has been a member of popular local bands Electric Puha, and its all-acoustic off-shoot, the Puha Bandidos. Nearly 50 years after ‘Come To The Sabbat’ he is still a working musician.
Read The Road Less Travelled, a full-length profile of John Donoghue written for AudioCulture by Susy Pointon.