A Trillion Shades of Happy

Delet­ing Music is rel­a­tive­ly newish and yet has a res­o­nance for me that goes much fur­ther back. It touch­es on some­thing that I, as a fair­ly long­stand­ing, one might say elder­ly, mem­ber of the New Zealand music indus­try, albeit semi-retired, feel quite strong­ly about, and that’s our quick­ly evap­o­rat­ing musi­cal past.

In par­tic­u­lar the quick­ly evap­o­rat­ing New Zealand musi­cal past.

I’ve writ­ten about this here before (and am too lazy to find the link but it’s there and gar­nered quite a few com­ments the last time, per­haps some two years back) but we seem to have not moved ahead much, at least pub­licly, in the inter­im. That said, I’ve not been inac­tive and some things are skip­ping ahead in small incre­ments with like mind­ed people.

Three things have made me decide to post again.

First­ly there is the release of Chris Bourke’s mon­u­men­tal his­to­ry of pre-and ear­ly rock­’n’roll musi­cal his­to­ry, Blue Smoke. Buy it please. Enjoy it — you will. Immerse your­self in the music — you can’t. Nope almost every­thing he writes about in the book is unavail­able. You can’t buy it. You can’t even steal it online. The same is true of the over­whelm­ing bulk of the music I list­ed last year on my Zodi­ac page. And much of John Dix’s Strand­ed in Par­adise.

Sec­ond­ly, two friends died. One, Ian Mor­ris, has parts of his lega­cy in cat­a­logue. Late last year I made the remas­tered Scream­ing Meemees’ album he pro­duced avail­able again. How­ev­er, the two albums by Th’­Dudes are unavail­able as is any col­lec­tion of their work, includ­ing the anthol­o­gy I put togeth­er with the band in 2002 (delet­ed after Steb­bings lost the rights to the band and sim­ply nev­er reis­sued). Huge parts of Ian’s work is sim­ply MIA.

The oth­er friend, Tony Peake, who I post­ed about here, has only one track avail­able, on a com­pi­la­tion put togeth­er by the tire­less Rob Mayes. Rob, who real­ly deserves a knight­hood (which he would nev­er accept of course) for his work in pre­serv­ing New Zealand, and in par­tic­u­lar, Christchurch cul­tur­al his­to­ry, has been work­ing on a col­lec­tion of Tony’s work with an unspec­i­fied arrival date in the far future. How­ev­er, right now, and every day since it dropped out of the charts in the ear­ly 1980s, The New­tones’ Paint­ing The Town Red has been unavail­able aside from the fact that it’s become a Christchurch live anthem I’m told — a Louie Louie of its gen­er­a­tion. But you can’t buy the bloody thing. You can’t even steal that one despite the fact it was a hit just before the dig­i­tal age.

The third rea­son was the launch of this, a his­to­ry of the Inter­net in NZ. Why can geek­dom (many of whom I admire immense­ly before any­one gets defen­sive about the tag) get it togeth­er, whilst what is one of our most tan­gi­ble and indi­vid­ual cul­tur­al gath­er­ing points and iden­ti­fiers, sim­ply can not.

The fourth rea­son is to prod my per­son­al ennui on this. The longer we wait, the more we lose. I’m in Thai­land but giv­en the dig­i­tal small­ness of our world there are no longer excus­es and one thing I’ve always been rather good at is tak­ing on sil­ly projects and try­ing to make them work.

Just to make the point stronger, the fol­low­ing albums, from 1974 onwards, all impor­tant musi­cal land­marks (and some are rather good too) are either unavail­able or only out there in shit­ty first gen­er­a­tion CD issues with appalling sleeves:

  • Car Crash Set
  • The Dance Expo­nents (the Mush­room albums are in print but almost unlis­ten­able, the Ze Disc one has nev­er been on CD)
  • The Body Electric
  • Grace (won­der­ful sweet soul from the Ioasa Brothers)
  • Fue­m­ana (parts of it are on Amplifier)
  • The Deep­grooves Double
  • The Dunedin Dou­ble (will no doubt turn up as the Fly­ing Nun reis­sue pro­gram takes hold, but has nev­er been on CD and has been unavail­able since the 1980s)
  • Hel­lo Sailor (there are a cou­ple of comps out there, but all the orig­i­nal albums are unavail­able and have been for decades)
  • Th’­Dudes (as above)
  • Mil­town Stow­aways — Ten­sion Melee — and the rest of the Unsung label catalogue.
  • Urban Dis­tur­bance — 37 Degrees Latitude
  • AK 89 — In Love With These Rhymes (the very first NZ hip hop col­lec­tion — it may be awful — it may not be, I don’t have a cas­sette deck and that’s the only way it exist­ed — but it’s ours and it’s a part of what we are)
  • Rag­narok
  • Schtung
  • Push Push — A Tril­lion Shades of Hap­py (the 1991 Band of the Year). Unavail­able since about ’95
  • Sula­ta
  • Waves (huge­ly regard­ed NZ Folk Rock album in its day and a band that were a major part of the same scene that gave us Split Ends/z)
  • DD Smash (all albums, there but in shit­ty sleeves and cov­ers — as JP Hansen points out, the Live album — an NZ num­ber I recall — has nev­er been on CD!))
  • Herbs — Great­est Hits only avail­able — not the sem­i­nal mini album or any­thing else
  • Don McGlashan & Ivan Zag­ni ‑Stan­dards
  • Lava Lava (3 tracks only on Amplifier)
  • DLT — The True School  (the album that gave the world the num­ber one NZ sin­gle Chains) & Altru­ism (I was shocked to find these two off the catalogue)
  • Nathan Haines — Shift Left (don’t blame me, blame Uni­ver­sal for that one) & Sound­kil­la Ses­sions Vol 1
  • Neme­sis Dub Sys­tems (a pret­ty major release at the time — gone for at least 15 years)
  • Jor­dan Reyne (the first few albums)
  • 3 The Hard Way (the first album and the first big NZ Hip Hop album)
  • The New Lounge­head — Came A Weird Way
  • and Split Enz – yes the albums are avail­able and they’re remas­tered, but the pack­ag­ing is appalling. In fact, the same could be said of all Warn­ers NZ cat­a­logue reis­sues. The care tak­en is insulting.

Remem­ber The Wastrels? Prob­a­bly not if you are under 40. They were a real­ly big live band in their day, from the South Island, influ­enc­ing a whole bunch of oth­er acts and fill­ing bars and clubs. Peo­ple that did see them talk very fond­ly of them, and they head­ed quite a healthy and briefly impor­tant region­al sub­cul­ture. Wan­na buy their records? Wan­na find an image of the band? Sorry…

How about the healthy dub/alt-hip hop scene in Auck­land around the end of the 1980s? Miss­ing any and every­where. No images, no doc­u­men­ta­tion, no sto­ries, no music. Gone. It arguably helped pave the way for the whole down­beat scene from the late 1990s and beyond.

And there are lit­er­al­ly thou­sands of sin­gles, like The New­tones’ two 7“s, sim­ply AWOL (and, yes, I’m as guilty of that as any­one, but I’m aware of it) with relat­ed art­work and imagery, plus the sto­ries that sur­round­ed them just gone.

That list above took me all of three min­utes to com­pile (and I may need to be cor­rect­ed on a few of those, but there are lit­er­al­ly hun­dreds more). EMI’s New Zealand office, when it was still more than a mar­ket­ing office for Aus­tralia, made a rea­son­able stab at the 1960s a few years ago, but the 1970s, 1980s and large parts of the 1990s have sim­ply dropped off the radar.

The awful part is not only are these records dis­ap­pear­ing but most are also gone from the pub­lic con­scious­ness — for­ev­er. They may sit in a dusty cup­board in a library amongst a col­lec­tion of a mil­lion oth­er non-relat­ed cul­tur­al arte­facts, although many do not, but unless this cul­ture is pre­served and offered back to the nation, it may as well be dead.

The venues are for­got­ten. Who knows where the Jive Cen­tre in Auck­land was? 1  It was the dom­i­nant venue which shaped rock­’roll in widgie and bodgie Auck­land. A whole gen­er­a­tion spent their youth there.

The orig­i­nal mas­ters, too, often old ana­logue mul­ti-track tapes, are often either gone or close to gone. A cen­tral depos­i­to­ry for these things is also required — cli­mate con­trolled and secure.

The only bright spot is Ampli­fi­er and its aggres­sive­ly active man­age­ment, who, in con­junc­tion with small labels like Ode, are, steadi­ly fill­ing gaps. There are all sorts of bits turn­ing up on Ampli­fi­er and some I would have deemed lost for­ev­er. How­ev­er, as wor­thy as that is, it still exists in a vac­u­um of sorts and it’s beyond a pri­vate e‑commerce site like that to archive everything.

It’s too much and unrea­son­able to expect the bands and artists to be respon­si­ble for their record­ed and cul­tur­al lega­cy. Many of course have sim­ply died, and we are now see­ing many of the bands of the fifties and six­ties thinned. Almost all the impor­tant pro­mot­ers and cru­cial movers of those decades — Eldred Steb­bing, Ben­ny Levin, Phil War­ren, Dave Dun­ning­ham amongst them – are gone.

Many, most, of the music made in the last decades in New Zealand, was made by small inde­pen­dent stu­dios, or for tiny record­ing stu­dios. The own­er­ship of these record­ings is at best grey. Who owns the count­less record­ings issued on New Zealand’s first indie label, TANZ (which stood for To Assist New Zealand Artists), or Ben­ny Lev­in’s Impact? How about the John­ny Devlin mas­ters? They were released by Phil War­ren on his Pres­tige label and for a while, Fes­ti­val was licens­ing these before they worked out they only had rights in Aus­tralia and even that was dubi­ous. The Phil War­ren Estate now claims these but has no way of cat­a­logu­ing or pre­serv­ing. How about the 50 or so releas­es on the tiny, but impor­tant Rob­bins label from Christchurch in the 1960s. Jon Doe’s Hit Sin­gles label? Audion Records run from Auck­land Uni­ver­si­ty around 1960–61?

And so it goes on.

We have a film archive. We have a TV archive. We archive papers, doc­u­ments, books, news­pa­pers and just about every­thing else. Is it ask­ing too much for a ded­i­cat­ed NZ Music Archive.…..

Show 1 footnote

  1. it was in Hob­son Street,  in the Trades Hall


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Tweets that men­tion A Tril­lion Shades of Hap­py :The Opin­ion­at­ed Din­er — Topsy.com
October 16, 2010 at 11:00 pm

[…] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Simon Grigg, Simon Grigg. Simon Grigg said: Opdin­er: http://bit.ly/9C4LCs […]

October 18, 2010 at 4:28 am

Is it ask­ing too much for a ded­i­cat­ed NZ Music Archive……” Hear, hear!

R. Ross Sélavy
October 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

Also, I’m pret­ty sure almost all of the Xpress­way back cat­a­logue is OOP, and damned if I’ve seen This Kind of Pun­ish­ment on CD.
Add to that all the Cor­pus Her­meticum stuff — No Fun (in the US) recent­ly re-released A Hand­ful of Dust’s Thee Philo­soph­ick of Mer­cury and Now, God, Stand Up For Bas­tards as a dou­ble CD — well done, but miss­ing all the awe­some sleeve notes which are half the joy of a HOD album.…. Don’t think any­thing else has ever been reissued.

cul­ture creature
October 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

we have an organ­i­sa­tion who are tasked to archive content.

there it is in 2 c of their gov­ern­ing act.

but since they’re too busy direct­ing all their funds toward 5th albums by the feel­ers don’t hold your breath. they’d only fuck it up anyway.

bob dak­tari
October 18, 2010 at 10:40 am

as an aside: there was at least one CD from This Kind Of Pun­ish­ment released out of the US

great post Simon if some­thing isn’t done we’ll lose so much about what kept us sane and busy before this glob­al age

October 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Good thinking,good words, the com­ments on Rob­bins Records res­o­nant­ed with me ..that appears to be under­doc­u­ment­ed.. I gath­er every­thing that I see on that label because I want to know more.. I pick up/buy it all ..
The Unsungs’s etc will be doc­u­ment­ed but the uncool at the time bands/labels will dis­ap­pear. Keep on draw­ing atten­tion to them. Also what about that label Orly Records.. who.where?.. also Tal­ent City from the 1960’s (they released a sin­gle by The La De Das, )what else did they did they release??

October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Speak­ing of Ian (and what a hor­ri­ble loss that is), is his Tex Pis­tol album available?

October 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Oh, and the Live DD Smash album “Deep in the Heart of Tax­es” (with a stun­ning ver­sion of ‘Guilty’) was nev­er issued on CD.

October 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm
– In reply to: JP

@JP I think much of the Pagan cat­a­logue — the albums at least — is avail­able. But the singles.….
And yes I knew the live album was missing.

Grant McDougall
October 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I agree entire­ly, Simon. Regard­ing the Dunedin Dou­ble, I’d love to see it re-issued as well. How­ev­er, this may be ham­pered due to Sneaky Feel­ings’ mas­ter tapes being lost (so the rumour goes). There’s no songs from it on the Pos­i­tive­ly George St comp, either.

Regard­ing This Kind Of Pun­ish­ment, US indie Ajax re-issued A Beard Of Bees and In The Same Room (with the ‘5 by four’ ep added) in 1994. There was 1000 copies of each album on vinyl, so I assume there was at least that many on CD. Ger­man label Raffmond re-issued their s/t debut on CD in about 1998 or so.

Right­ly or wrong­ly, var­i­ous blogs have these releas­es avail­able, should you wish to, ahem, access them.

Graeme Jef­feries is still in Europe as I under­stand, but Peter Jef­feries is back in New Ply­mouth these days.

October 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm

If it’s still avail­able… Paint The Town Red by New­tones is on a com­pi­la­tion put out by EMI a cou­ple of years ago called ‘Christchurch The Music’.

Gavin Pas­coe
October 19, 2010 at 3:35 am

There is an archive where you can find the music list­ed above. Search the Nation­al Library cat­a­logue (http://nlnzcat.natlib.govt.nz/) and there they are!

The Nation­al Library is doing its best to col­lect all music released in NZ and by NZers over­seas, in ALL for­mats (Cas­sette, CD, Vinyl, Lath­es, dig­i­tal files). There is a lot, and it is very easy to miss some. We rely a lot on the inde­pen­dents in par­tic­u­lar to con­tact us about their releases.

Any of the music in our col­lec­tions can be accessed by the pub­lic. We don’t dis­trib­ute, but it is here to be heard, which is not a bad thing.

con­tact me at gavin.pascoe (at) natlib.govt.nz for more info.

October 19, 2010 at 8:11 am
– In reply to: Gavin Pascoe

Hi Gavin, I know that the Nation­al Library col­lects the phys­i­cal releas­es but what I’m talk­ing about is far, far more than that. We require, I think, a cul­tur­al doc­u­ment of the musi­cal times with a strong web inter­face which brings them, their times, the peo­ple who made them (not just the musi­cians) and the scenes, to life. We also need to pre­serve things like the mas­ters and pro­vide a cen­tral resposi­tary where mas­ter tapes and the like can be stored and repaired. An archive can also work towards aid­ing pri­vate enter­prise to reis­sue or to offer a cen­tral research data­base for such. And, very impor­tant­ly, it needs to be a ded­i­cat­ed archive with just music as it’s focus.

Peter McLen­nan
October 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Great post, Simon. About 8 of those albums you list are on Deep Grooves. So wish they were back in cric­u­la­tion, (esp Deep Grooves comps) just to show that AK did the funky-regggae-dance-thang over a decade before the Welly reg­gae sound took over BBQs and cafes nationwide.

Peter McLen­nan
October 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm

On the TANZA label — I’ve got a cd that was reis­sued a few years back, com­piled by Jim Sut­ton. see http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~jimnost/Jim%20Sutton%20-%20Nostalgia%20CD%27s.htm

Andrew Miller
October 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Good thoughts. My under­stand­ing is the Impact mas­ters are at Steb­bings. The Waves album’s copy­right is owned by band leader Graeme Gash who I under­stand isn’t keen on a reis­sue. They also record­ed a sec­ond album that was nev­er issued…their label Direc­tion went under pri­or to its issue. There were a lot of mas­ters stored at EMI’s dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­tre but I’m not sure what became of them when they moved loca­tions 5 years or so back. Writ­ten his­to­ry of those great apart­ment blocks the Glue­pot and Bell Block Hotel in NP would be timely.

October 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm
– In reply to: Peter McLennan

Peter, yep, I’ve got that (Vol 1). I don’t think it was licensed or legit, but who knows who owns that stuff?

Andrew, I retrieved loads of 24 track mas­ters from the dump­ster out­side Har­le­quin, in a mad pan­ic when it was torn down. Most, I gave back to the bands. The Phillips / Phono­gram / Poly­Gram stuff up to the mid 1980s was all noto­ri­ous­ly trashed in Welling­ton when they moved north.

The prob­lem with most of this stuff too is that nobody knows who owns what. The Impact mas­ters might be safe, but who owns things like the Alli­son Dur­ban mas­ter. Louise Hunter had all Ben­ny’s paper­work but she said to me a few years back that that stuff was all miss­ing. It’s a quag­mire that needs sorting.

October 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I would­n’t dis­agree with any­thing on your list (some of them may not be my sort of thing but that does­n’t mean they aren’t impor­tant). I’d also add:

* Low Pro­file — Released at least one album and three twelve inch sin­gles and almost had a nov­el­ty hit with “Ele­phunk in my Soup”. Heard that one played on Nation­al Radio a cou­ple of years ago.
* From Scratch — “Drum/Sing” etc., at least two album length releas­es (one on Fly­ing Nun and I don’t know who did the oth­er). A third album has been released on CD.
* The Hula­men — “Beer and Skit­tles” mini LP. I think they’re part of the same fam­i­ly tree that spawned the Hol­i­day­mak­ers who had a huge hit.
* The Swingers — Only “Prac­ti­cal Jok­ers” is eas­i­ly avail­able. Their AK79 record­ings and a cou­ple of ear­ly sin­gles are find­able with work but I’ve nev­er seen any of their lat­er mate­r­i­al — “Punch and Judy” or their con­tri­bu­tions to the “Starstruck” sound­track — on CD. Sim­i­lar­ly unob­tain­able is Phil Jud­d’s first solo album (although I think he was fair­ly firm­ly domi­ciled in Aus­tralia by then).

And there’s also the guilty plea­sures which may not be impor­tant impor­tant, but which I’d still like to hear again (or just hear for the first time):

* Coconut Rough — The only thing of theirs that the pub­lic remem­bers is “Sier­ra Leone”, but they released at least three sin­gles and I’m fair­ly sure there was an album. The album was already unob­tain­able in record stores by about 1986.
* Hip Sin­gles — At least three songs (one of which popped up on a com­pi­la­tion LP many years ago). Final­ly found a sin­gle of the third song on Trade Me a year or so back.
* Thin Red Line — One album, two EPs and at least one cas­sette tape.
* Katan­go — One sin­gle I have faint mem­o­ries of think­ing was­n’t so bad.
* Satel­lite Spies — I’m fair­ly sure they released a whole album.

And then there’s oth­ers, in cat­e­gories such as “I’d want it in a plain brown wrap­per” (Monte Video and the Cas­settes) or “It’s not for me, it’s for the boss” (the Knobz album) that I’m sure at least some­one, some­where, wants to lis­ten to again.

But, basi­cal­ly, every­thing I’ve list­ed (and a good pro­por­tion of what’s already been men­tioned, includ­ing your list) is some­thing I’d hap­pi­ly pay actu­al mon­ey for actu­al CDs of if they were ever avail­able. (I’ll just have to make sure the boss reim­burs­es me for his Knobz album).

Nigel Hor­rocks
October 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm

DLT..Shift Left.. you are joking!
This is a very sad situation.
Mind you when I had a hard dri­ve dis­as­ter a few years back I was amazed how much stuff in the UK was now delet­ed from just last decade.

Andrew Clif­ford
October 24, 2010 at 6:10 am

Dav­eosaurus, pret­ty much any­thing to do with From Scratch resides in the Elam archives/library now — I am cur­rent­ly work­ing with Phil Dad­son to sort these out a bit and make them more digestible. This includes posters, mechan­i­cal art­work, pho­tos, cor­re­spon­dence, clip­pings, press kits, receipts… It’s a big project and this is only one band, but we are lucky that Phil (and more recent­ly Elam) has kept every­thing, inde­pen­dent­ly of what­ev­er label he was work­ing with from project to project. Phil and FS are an inter­est­ing case because he(/they) is of equal inter­est to the art world so he appears in lots of col­lec­tions and archives. BTW, most FS releas­es have made it to CD in one form or oth­er and Phil has had a lot of mas­ters digi­tised too. Watch this space

October 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Huge wor­ry to lose this chunk of our her­itage. All is not lost though — Jor­dan Reyne has some of her ear­ly stuff on her web site — avail­able for free down­load too … http://jordanreyne.com/

Maybe oth­ers have stuff avail­able too.

Jason Kemp
November 1, 2010 at 5:12 am
– In reply to: Daveosaurus

Hi Dave,

Steve Gar­den will have the low pro­file record­ings as part of his wider col­lec­tion. Search on Rat­tle records, Gar­den Shed or his name.

Have a look at http://sounz.org.nz/finder/show/people?query=Don+McGlashan&x=30&y=10 for From Scrath and oth­er more seri­ous com­pos­er relat­ed music.

It looks like Sounz is try­ing to do some form of archive but try search­ing for John Quigly (Bongos/ Big Side­ways etc.) and it falls down although http://www.zulu.co.nz/about.php shows that John is still out there mak­ing music.

I have seen some of the oth­er pieces you men­tioned around the place — Big Idea has some of the back sto­ry on Thin Red Line for exam­ple. Greg F is still around (ask him for a copy.)

http://www.soundarchives.co.nz Radio NZ has some of this and much of it is sit­ting in garages and pri­vate col­lec­tions around the coun­try side.

Simon & Andrew have hit the nail on the head here. 

There is a gap in the music archive for NZ for all sorts of rea­sons. With the soft­ware & oth­er archiv­ing resources being eas­i­er to come by — what is need­ed is a project to define what should be done and how to pre­serve our cul­tur­al arte­facts in a bet­ter less ran­dom sort of way.

I have talked with many music relat­ed col­lec­tors, jour­nal­ists and oth­ers in the past few months and it does seem that a project is a good idea.

Watch this space.

November 5, 2010 at 8:13 am

Hi Simon,

speak­ing of Car Crash Set: some­body said that the open­ing music for RTR in this clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDHhM2CQqUE) is by them. Do you know if that is so?

If not, don’t spose you know who it IS?


November 5, 2010 at 9:29 am
– In reply to: Progger

No, but it sounds a bit prog­gy for CCS. Trevor Reekie is the one to ask

November 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

Hi Simon

Yep you are guilty 2. Where is “Class Of 81” or “We’ll Do Our Best”?
If a full release is out of teh ques­tion cany you not get these things on Itunes or a down­load site where they can be purch­esed from before your tar­get mar­ket dies off?
Oth­er fav’s that appeared to be nev­er avail­able & or released in minis­cule amounts those love­ly Kiwi Sam­plers we used to get like Kiwi Fruit Salad/ Bark­ing Up The Right Tree/ Goats Head Soap even Out­num­bered by Sheep??? I think Roger being incharge of Fnun again is great hope­ful­ly he will look at “year by year” box sets col­lect­ing up eps/45s that were only ever on vinyl for the more obscure as well as well known Nun­sters. I real­ize this syuff may be only avail­able in “record­ed from vinyl for­mats” but that can be done well as you note (Rob Mayes for Pope!) & I am sure if source mate­r­i­al is dis­closed as rea­son for qual­i­ty of sound peo­ple will understand. 

I sec­ond the demand for Coconut Roughs album I am stunned at the arro­gance of Mush­room not releas­ing that One of our most under­rat­ed bands known for only one song.

Also Trevor if you are read­ing this how about the CCS stuff I know there was a vinyl release by a for­eign label for CCS but I want on CD/MP3 ( or Ipod friend­ly files) how else can I tor­ture the Mrs in the car? & the Mock­ers 2 The recent release “best of” had unless my ears decieve me had the album not the sin­gle ver­sions of the songs so how about all 3 albums+ bsides ????( & the live one 2) Come on Trevor all those scream­ing girls must still want Mock­ers stuff for nos­tal­gia if noth­ing else!

Doug Rogers
February 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

First Simon, the Har­le­quin dump­ster sto­ry is just that, a sto­ry and not true, there was no dump­ster. All the Har­le­quin tapes that belonged to artists were returned to them, and to the labels, I have the rest. I’m also col­lect­ing vinyl and cd copies (where they exist) of every­thing record­ed at both Har­le­quins and have been pret­ty suc­cess­ful so far. The plan is ulti­mate­ly to dig­i­tize every­thing and make them avail­able on the net. I too spent far too much of my life in the stu­dio to lose all of that music.

But gen­er­al­ly I agree with you, it should be col­lect­ed in a cen­tral repos­i­to­ry for preser­va­tion and made avail­able to the lis­ten­ing pub­lic as part of New Zealand’s music history.

February 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Mem­o­ry is vague, Doug, but I know I retrieved 24 track mas­ters from the trash out­side. Who put them there, I don’t know, but sev­er­al of us rushed down that day to save what we could. It may not have been a skip but I end­ed up with all sorts of bits — Narcs, Mush­room stuff and so on. I gave it back as I could and some sat in my office for a decade or more before I passed them on to anoth­er par­ty for safe keeping.

Glad, though that you are col­lect­ing stuff. The lega­cy of what was record­ed at Har­le­quin is quite amazing.

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