Tony Peake RIP
It’s with much sorrow that I say goodbye to another long-standing and very respected friend, Tony Peake.
A hugely influential figure in not only Christchurch’s but New Zealand’s music scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s, without whom large parts of the things we celebrate as New Zealand music would look very different.
And a mate.….
I issued one of the first two recordings from his later band, The Newtones, on Class of 81; the slightly twisted psychedelic pop of New Way. They then managed to manipulate the always manipulatable NZ charts and pushed their debut EP, which came in at least three different coloured sleeves, into the singles listings at number 13 in May of that year, causing a fluster at RIANZ central. Another single, My World, followed.
I used to love his, often extended, visits to Auckland when we would talk music and just talk for hours; and, as much, craved the packages of singles, including my first real exposure to heavy Jamaican dub 12“s, he would send up from his incredible record store at Christchurch University. Taking advantage of an educational loophole in the draconian import laws in Muldoon’s New Zealand, it was for years the best record store in NZ, bar none.
There is a quite wonderful and evocative piece on Tony’s bands at Mysterex.
Thank you Tony. Rest peacefully.
An update / note (Friday 15th):
When I was first told of Tony’s passing (by Jim Wilson and Paul Mcneil — I woke to PMs on Facebook from both) we all made comment that we hoped that something would be written to remember an extraordinary man, but we worried that it would, as is New Zealand’s way with so much of its left of mainstream culture, simply pass into history without record. The comments on this page and the various Facebook threads have proved us wrong. I’m truly moved by all of the words under this post. I could add something cheesy here but I think Tony would’ve just told me to STFU…