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.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

February 18, 2011 at 11:26 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?

btw, great video!

February 18, 2011 at 11:31 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.….

February 21, 2011 at 7:19 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…)

March 2, 2011 at 11:31 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.


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