Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Two things I remember clearly about
Ticket: their hair was long and their songs were even longer.
And back in the early 70s those were
two very good things indeed.
In truth I don't remember much else –
definitely not the names of the long gone Auckland clubs I saw them at – but
they were at that Elton John show at Western Springs in late '71
because I dragged some friends along early to see them.
To be honest, my Elton-fan friends
didn't get Ticket – but then again a band whose first two singles
were called Country High and Stoned Condition probably
weren't for those who liked the piano player.
When you saw Ticket live in a club it
seemed to me they had extended the contract of tough blues-rock into
free-flowing acid-rock (before we actually had acid) and Eddie
Hansen was a local guitar hero alongside Harvey Mann of the
Underdogs and Billy TK of Human Instinct.
They were all great individual
musicians, as witnessed by their subsequent careers: drummer Ricky
Ball went into Hello Sailor and bassist Paul Woolright was
in Cruise Lane and Rainbow with Ball, then Graham Brazier's
Legionnaires and Dave McArtney's Pink Flamingoes. After more than a
decade in the UK playing with various bands (with Chris Thompson from
Manfred Mann, live at Ronnie Scotts with Midge Marsden), Woolright
came home and he and Ball have been the heart of Hello Sailor engine
room for the past 10 years.
Singer Trevor Tombleson became
Trevor Keith and joined the acclaimed Keef Hartley Band in Britain
(which had also had expat Kiwi Gary Thain as its bassist) for a
while; and Eddie Hansen . . .
Well, as with a few of my friends in
the early 70s, Hansen became interested in the Krsna philosophy
(never joined and signed on the dotted line as legend has it) and was
with Harvey Mann on the Living Force album which I have but rarely
Hansen went to Sydney and played in a
few bands but mainly concentrated on song writing, arranging and
record production. He became a producer for Warners then RCA during
the 80s, built his own studio and produced albums for Australian
artists, and wrote/played music for documentaries and movie
soundtracks which he still does. He's currently signed to BMG
publishing as a songwriter and plans to release a self titled album.
So that's their present and the future,
but in the past . . .
Ticket weren't around for a long time –
little more than two years at a guess, successful and acclaimed in
Australia too – but they certainly provide a good time when we
really needed it.
Then they broke up and went their
separate ways – until now.
They are coming back for two shows –
– and their suitably psychedelic rock album Awake from '72
is being re-released by the Melbourne's 70s reissues speciality
There are too many bands from previous
decades reforming these days, but Ticket are one I'd make the case
Ticket were there at exactly the right
time – and if the Las De Das had been like having the Rolling
Stones from your own hometown in the mid 60s, then Ticket in the
early 70s were our Cream.
Theirs was music which took flight and
dragged you along for the magic carpet ride.
And because they had formed in
Christchurch (and also played in Wellington) they were a hard rocking
band with a national profile. So it makes sense they should play
Christchurch and Auckland for these shows.
I'll be there. I want to hear this band
soar again – and, to be honest, I'm curious about how much hair
they might still have.
Footnote: Ticket played a blinder of a show at the Kings Arms in Auckland, November 13, 2010. They all had hair.