Absolute Elsewhere

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EDDIE COCHRAN (1956-1960): Live fast, die right

27 Aug 2012    1

When Amy Winehouse died in 2011, few were much surprised that biographies started appearing within weeks. When Whitney Houston died there were no albums of hers readily available in New Zealand stores -- her previous studio album had been almost three years previous -- but that was a problem resolved within days. As we know all too well, there is money to be made out of that combination of... > Read more

Somethin' Else

PETER POSA PROFILED (2012): Pulling a hit out of the hat

26 Aug 2012    1

Half a century ago, in that monochrome world before the Beatles – before even Coronation Street screened on New Zealand television -- guitarist Peter Posa from Henderson rode a wave of local popularity with his single Wheels. As was the custom of the day, he'd adapted an already established hit – by the String-A-Longs out of Texas – and radio picked up his version.... > Read more

The Old Rugged Cross


13 Aug 2012

In Liverpool's Dockland there is a statue to one of the most famous musical sons of the city. And it isn't of a Beatle, Gerry of the Pacemakers or any of those many others who followed in the wake of the Fab Four in the Sixties. Or of anyone from the second wave ushered in by Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen and others in the late Seventies.. Nope, it dates back to a singer from... > Read more

Don't Say It's Over


6 Aug 2012    1

Before one of their earliest live shows – at the rain-soaked Great Western Festival in May 1972, on the bill with hard-rockers Nazareth – Roxy Music saxophonist Andy Mackay was grabbed for a quick interview about this group which was starting to gain attention. They'd just signed to Island Records and their self-titled debut album was still a month away, but already the... > Read more

Love is the Drug


3 Aug 2012

The last time Elton John topped the British charts, Nirvana hadn't recorded their Nevermind, Shihad were a few years away from their debut album and none of One Direction were born. It was 1990 and Lady Gaga was four. But Sir Elton – now 65 – is back at number one, courtesy of the Australian electronica-dance duo Pnau he has mentored for five years. The half-hour album... > Read more

Honky Cat

EDEN MULHOLLAND INTERVIEWED (2012): Dance across genres

30 Jul 2012

Melbourne-based Eden Mulholland has been busy recently, but often “busy” doesn't translate into success for musicians. However with his broad portfolio and diverse interests – from composition for contemporary dance to pop-rock with the band Motocade and into commercial work for advertisement and corporate clients – Mulholland has been enjoying his labours. Not... > Read more

Tightrope Highway

MARK GARDENER INTERVIEWED (2012): Ride into the sunlight

30 Jul 2012    1

In that gap between the Stone Roses' first album in 1989 and the emergence of Oasis with Definitely Maybe in '94, one of the prime contenders for greatness in British rock were Ride out of Oxford. They formed in '88, were signed to Alan McGee's famous Creation label the following year and their debut album Nowhere in '90 was universally hailed for its droning sonic energy, visceral... > Read more

Gravity Flow


20 Jul 2012    2

Tycho Cohran – aka LT – was always destined to do something in music, as were his seven brothers. The sons of jazz pioneer Phil Cohran, a Sun Ra Arkestra player and founding member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) in Chicago, the boys were given instruments at an early age and of course there was always music around the house, including family... > Read more

Marcus Garvey

STEVE KILBEY, THE CHURCH, INTERVIEWED (2012): Thirty years of keeping the faith

16 Jul 2012    5

At 57, Steve Kilbey of the Australian band the Church can look back on more than three decades of . . . Of what, exactly? Instant fame in 1981 with their second single, his classic jangle-pop song Unguarded Moment; cracking the US (and elsewhere) charts with the sublime and much-covered Under the Milky Way Tonight of '88; a long catalogue of albums of often gorgeously mysterious... > Read more


ABBA; THE VISITORS, REVISITED (2012): Farewell to all that

11 Jul 2012

Abba were never my band. Too handclap-pop without the power-pop element, too clean and expressionless. Yes, I got the pathos in some lyrics, loved the irony (or irony-free) covers which Flying Nun bands did on the Abbasolutely tribute and have a soft spot for Dancing Queen. But . . . Just not my band. Never even bothered with their movie, despite Agnetha's bum which seemed... > Read more

One of Us

PAUL AND LINDA McCARTNEY'S RAM RECONSIDERED (2012): New time, different jury

29 Jun 2012

When Paul McCartney released Ram in 1971, his second post-Beatles solo album (and co-credited to his wife Linda), critics got out blunt knives and hacked at it, and him. Rolling Stone's Jon Landau – later Bruce Springsteen's manager and producer – said it represented the lowest point “in the decomposition of Sixties rock thus far”. At least with Bob Dylan's... > Read more

Smile Away

THE STRANGE STORY OF THE EMERSON BROTHERS (2012): The family that plays together

25 Jun 2012    1

Ignore, if you can, the odd and laughable album cover and consider this: Few famiiies could claim to have supported their kids' musical aspirations the way Don Emerson did in the late Seventies for his boys Donnie and Joe. Back then Don Snr owned 1600 acres around the tiny town of Fruitland, a five hour drive from Seattle. Today, because he took out mortgages (at 18 percent interest!) to... > Read more


ZIGGY AT 40 (2012): The star who fell to Earth

21 Jun 2012

Judging by the indifference of people in swanky Heddon Street just off London's Regent St, no one had read the wall plaque I was photographing. In London there are plaques everywhere commemorating something or other, so the nonchalance was expected. But the cool people's interest wasn't even piqued when my son and I started striking odd leg-up poses. Heddon Street was where... > Read more


BENNY SOEBARDJA PROFILED (2012): The godfather of the Indonesian prog-rock underground

15 Jun 2012

Even today with better access to information, the excavation of musical vaults around the globe and the acceptance of world music, it still seems to come as a surprise to many that countries such as Korea, Thailand, Iran, the Lebanon, India and Japan -- not to mention various places on the South American continent and Mexico -- had their own counterculture and rock gods in the late Sixties/... > Read more

The End of the World

GILES MARTIN INTERVIEWED (2012): Producing in the material world

14 Jun 2012

Given his famous father George was the Beatles' longtime producer, there seems almost an inevitability that Giles Martin – coincidentally born on the same date as John Lennon, October 9 – should find his life as a music producer entwined with the Famous Four. But early on his dad discouraged him from making music a career (he sidestepped him and joined a band then moved... > Read more

Let It Be Me

JENNIFER ZEA INTERVIEWED (2012): From metalhead to soul-jazz songstress

11 Jun 2012

Singer and songwriter Jennifer Zea is quite a colourful flower in the landscape of New Zealand music. The Venezuelan-born singer and songwriter has impressed in live performances for her vigorous and vital enthusiasm, and her album The Latin Soul – produced by Nathan Haines and reviewed here – captures her melange of styles, wraps them up in pop-jazz compatibility and is... > Read more


THE PICTONES 1957-67: Supper clubs and . . . hashish?

11 Jun 2012    3

Quite why the Pictones would record an instrumental enticingly titled Hashish back in '62 has long fascinated those who explore the less traveled paths of New Zealand music. But when Elsewhere posted the track and opened up speculation (here), the answer was almost immediate. Dave Clarke the guitarist from the band – now 71 – got in touch to explain. But first, how did... > Read more

My Bonnie

ELECTRIC WARRIOR, 35 YEARS ON: A case of T.Rexstacy

30 May 2012

Even today, almost 35 years after his death, people still place flowers at the spot in London where Marc Bolan was killed. Bolan was a fortnight short of his 30th birthday when the car he was in with his girlfriend Gloria Jones, hit a tree. Some might wonder "what might have been", but the sad fact is Bolan was one of those who had already been. At the time of his... > Read more

ROBIN GIBB INTERVIEWED (2010): To Bee Gee, or not to Bee Gee

24 May 2012

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees – younger brother of Barry and twin to Maurice who died in 2003 – is on the road again, this time singing the Bee Gees' classics as a solo artist. And he's done it before. Forty years ago in fact when he briefly quit the band after their Sixties fame (half a dozen chart-topping singles) and was enjoying a solo hit with Saved by the Bell – a... > Read more

Saved by the Bell

RAINER PTACEK REMEMBERED (2012): The flame still burns

21 May 2012    1

When rock magazines do their “favourite cult heroes” lists and pull out the eccentric Daniel Johnston, drug-damaged types like Roky Erickson, the late Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, and bands like the Slits or the Sonics, one name never appears: Singer-guitarist and songwriter Rainer Ptacek who died of a brain tumour in 1997 at age 46. Perhaps Ptacek was too big to qualify... > Read more

21 Years