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In the middle of this month -- June 21st touchdown, June 25th a concert at Auckland's Town Hall -- the Beatles made direct contact with New Zealand.

The reception here 50 years ago was much like everywhere in '64, the height of Beatlemania: huge crowds, screaming, shows that people saw but barely heard . . .

It was a turning point in New Zealand popular culture and to mark the occasion the Play It Strange Trust -- CEO Mike Chunn -- has arranged concerts of Beatles' songs at the Auckland Town Hall on June 24 and 25 featuring a veritable galaxy of local stars (Tim Finn, SJD, Graham Brazier, Fiona McDonald, Jordan Luck and more) for A Strange Day's Night.

But the trust's mandate is to spotlight young songwriters through an annual secondary songwriting competition and to also put them in concert with established musicians.

So a Strange Day's Night will see a number of them sharing the stage with stars and over the next week or so we will spotlight some of the performers young and established . . .

We introduce you to Zane Hawkins from Monty and the Hawks who is playing Taxman with Grace Brebner and In My Life/Drive My Car with Hello Sailor . . .

The first song which really affected you was . . .

Seven Nation Army by White Stripes, first song i learnt on bass

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were .. . .

Cliff Burton, Flea

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Red Hot Chili Peppers, (John Frusciante and Flea)

resized__300x424_strangeAs songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?


Never heard of KD Lang, strongly dislike Katy Perry

Michael Jackson


The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . ..

Man or Mouse by Monty and the Hawks

Bear by The Antlers

Thuggin by Freddie Gibbs

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

Melody first

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Jimmy Page's biography

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .. 

Jeff Mangum

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

CD - Asymmetry by Karnivool

Vinyl - An Awesome Wave by Alt-J

Download - To Be Kind by Swans

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be .. . .

Obstacle 1 by Interpol

One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .

"And if everyone belongs here it will hold us all together. 

If you’re afraid to die, then so am I." 

From 'Getting Sodas' by The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?


Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?


And finally, finish this couplet in any way you like: “Standing at the airport with an empty suitcase at my feet . . .” (You are NOT allowed to rhyme that with “meet” however)

I hope I do not miss my flight, that would not be a treat

For more on the Play It Strange Trust go here.

For tickets to A Strange Day's Night go here.


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