The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

 |   |  1 min read

The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

Warwick Freeman's useful book New Zealand Top 20 Singles of the Sixties confirms – using his formula – that Wellington's Avengers were one of the most successful bands of the decade.

They charted five top 10 singles, among them the number two hit Love Hate Revenge, and using Freeman's ranking system were one of only four local acts in the top 50 of the Sixties.

With their name chosen as a result of a Sunday News competition – and with the obvious link to the popular television series of the same name – they were launched and at their first photo session were dressed dapper wearing bowler hats in the manner of John Steed, the character from that British television series.

Their collective talent however meant they hardly needed such gimmicks.

Brought together to play a new venue – some would later accuse them of being a manufactured group – they quickly had their own fan club, appeared on television and in the course of their three-year life-span knocked out three albums and won good notices in Britain, Australia and the US.

avTheir Days of Pearly Spencer (a cover although their catalogue was stacked with originals) went top 10 in West Germany.

Their fascinating and lengthy story is fully told at audioculture here, written by Grant Gillanders . . . but is also reprised in liner notes to the new 24 song collection Everyone' Gonna Wonder on Gillanders' Frenzy label.

This song was written by Chris Malcolm who penned a number of songs for the band (among them the hit Everyone's Gonna Wonder) is a dreamy piece of period pot-pop. Malcolm's story is a brief but fascinating one also (see here).

He was a man who appeared, delivered excellent songs, then disappeared off again.

For more one-offs, songs with an interesting backstory or just plain odd things see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Joan Baez: James and the Gang (1987)

Joan Baez: James and the Gang (1987)

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Baez has written very few original songs but after her painful separation in '73 from her activist husband David Harris – who had been... > Read more

Gil Scott Heron: Winter in America (1974)

Gil Scott Heron: Winter in America (1974)

The great pre-rap, spoken word-cum-jazz-poet Gil Scott Heron is perhaps best known for his angry The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (see clip below) in which he assailed those uncommitted or... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FREE JAZZ WITH A BLEEP: The Norwegian electronic-jazz label Rune Grammofone

FREE JAZZ WITH A BLEEP: The Norwegian electronic-jazz label Rune Grammofone

Thelonious Monk said, "Jazz and freedom go hand in hand”. We can guess he meant freedom in a political sense, because jazz is about individual expression and in that regard was a... > Read more

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Old and new, the same but different

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Old and new, the same but different

In Kuala Lumpur which offers a colourful multicultural tapestry of life, it was a small but significant image: just before the expensive frockshop in the up-market Starhill Gallery opened the... > Read more