THE PICTONES PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Hashish in the provinces, or maybe not

 |   |  1 min read

THE PICTONES PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Hashish in the provinces, or maybe not

In an odd coincidence, around the same time as the young Beatles went into a studio in Germany in 1961 and backed the singer Tony Sheridan on a rock'n'roll version the old

While that uniquely European amalgam out of Hamburg featured a vocalist, the version from the band out of Palmerston North was a Shadows-styled instrumental, and a pretty good one at that.

It was on the flipside of their single on the TALA label (To Assist Levin Artists), the countryfied and twanging 'Pistol Packin' Mama' (also an instrumental, and which opens with the sound of horse's hooves, pistol shots and a whinny).

Those singles perhaps aren't seminal New Zealand recordings but the hard-working Pictones out of Palmerston North became more than a footnote in our music culture, especially when the following year, they recorded another instrumental.

It is the title which grabs our attention today and raises questions.

It was . . . 'Hashish'.

In 2011 when I posted a recording of Hashish on my elsewhere.co.nz website I idly speculated on how little hashish there must have been around at that time (none was a decent guess) and that was confirmed by a phonecall from the band's guitarist Dave Clarke (who died in 2016, aged 75) who had written the piece.

He'd googled the band name and my piece came up, was flattered that his band had been remembered and . . .

To read the rest of this article on the Pictones go to audioculture.co.nz here

Audioculture is the self-described Noisy Library of New Zealand Music and is an ever-expanding archive of stories, scenes, artists, clips and music. Elsewhere is proud to have some small association with it. Check it out here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Absolute articles index

NEIL YOUNG CONSIDERED (2018): Every Now, and Then

NEIL YOUNG CONSIDERED (2018): Every Now, and Then

For a long time – perhaps from even as far back as '75 – Neil Young earned the right to do exactly what he wants . . . because he just does exactly what he wants. By '75 he has... > Read more

JOHN CALE RECONSIDERING (2016): The new society still ain't pretty

JOHN CALE RECONSIDERING (2016): The new society still ain't pretty

Most musicians in rock culture establish their sound and reputation over a few early albums and consolidate both if their careers are of any length. The late Lemmy and Lou Reed for example... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

HATE MAIL RECEIVED, ACKNOWLEDGED AND IGNORED: And The Horse You Rode Into Town On

HATE MAIL RECEIVED, ACKNOWLEDGED AND IGNORED: And The Horse You Rode Into Town On

It has been some time since I had hate mail, and while I can't say I miss it I always used to read the letters with interest and thought about what the people had to say. Then I chucked them away.... > Read more

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Kody Nielson

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Kody Nielson

The annual APRA Silver Scroll award acknowledges excellence in songwriting, so at Elsewhere we modified our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire and tailored it to be specifically about the craft of... > Read more