Over the hills and far away

And (below) another re-polished video from Rob Mayes, this time for the Dec 1982 final release from The Screaming Meemees. Directed by indie filmmaker Willie Keddell, our budget was $129.

The video was made in early 1983, and the band had in effect split (although they would reform a couple more times for a farewell season – which included the never-broken attendance record at Auckland’s now demolished Mainstreet in upper Queen Street (as distinct from Upper Queen Street, and for a Propeller Records benefit gig as the label stumbled under the weight of the album recording bills from the Blams and the Meemees).

It was shot at the Auckland Philharmonia in Dominion Road with only singer Tony Drumm and drummer Yoh present – neither Michael O’Neill nor Peter Van der Fluit appearing. Their silhouettes are roadie Terry ‘Towelling” Graham and Adam Holt, now MD of Universal Records.

The song itself was recorded at Mandrill Studios and was the only released recording by the band not done at Harlequin Studios. It was also the only self-produced record – in this case by Tony with soundman Tom Sampson and engineer Glyn Tucker. The brass is Steve Anderton (son of Jim) and the handclaps, Peter Urlich. The percussion was from Manuel Echevarri and Ricardo Pratt.

The 12″ mix, done by Tony, Glyn and myself, was the first extended 12″ mix done in NZ.

Tony and Willie worked together on this and the concepts are both of theirs. Given that it was done with such a low budget it holds up rather well and I still rate the song as one of the best things I’ve ever released. You can find it on iTunes if you are so inclined, in a remastered version.

That remaster forms the soundbed of this, which has been rebuilt from a VHS tape by Rob. For more go to his channel.

4 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

stephen
February 18, 2011 at 11:02 PM

what i want to know is, was New Order influenced by this song? yes, this is far fetched, but Blue Monday was released in March 1983. Dancing With Stars In My Eyes was released in December 1982. and New Order played Mainstreet in November or December 1982. the intro to Stars has unmistakable similarities to the intro to Blue Monday. i thought i was imagining it but i listened again and it’s definitely there…

maybe you can shed some light Simon?
🙂

cheers!
btw, great video!

Simon
February 18, 2011 at 11:02 PM
– In reply to: stephen

That’s an interesting thought – and a huge claim. New Order were in NZ and I gave Rob Gretton the single (and a bunch of other Propeller tracks), but I’ve never thought that there was a link – it never occurred. They’re hellishly similar though…..

stephen
February 21, 2011 at 07:02 PM

thanks for the background info, Simon. very interesting. it would be bizarre if there were some connection. but at least i am not the only one to hear the similarities in those intros. now i just have to find out a bit about the timeline of the Blue Monday recording and engineering.

(BTW, i’m going to Peter Hook’s Unknown Pleasures tribute in a few weeks here in Tokyo. although i doubt i would want to ask him about it even if i got the chance…)

Adam
March 02, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Hi Simon

The story that I was one of the silhouettes has done the rounds for many years and I think the claim was even included in the sleeve notes of the Meemees Best Of you released a few years back.

I have to declare though, it wasn’t me. If you remember the video was shot around the time things were starting to fall apart for the band and there was lots of bickering going on. I can’t remember the reasoning behind their decision, but Mike and Peter refused to be in the video and because Mike was my best mate,I sided with him – I wasn’t even at the shoot. Oh the drama, of it all!

Great song and a nifty clip – Tony is at his best in it. Thanks Rob Mayes for giving it a polish.

Cheers
Adam

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