LIVE; GIGS THAT ROCKED NEW ZEALAND by BRUCE JARVIS AND JOSH EASBY

 |   |  2 min read

LIVE; GIGS THAT ROCKED NEW ZEALAND by BRUCE JARVIS AND JOSH EASBY

At a recent Paul Weller gig at the Powerstation -- me with a wide smile, it was thrilling -- I was reminded again just how many great concerts it has been my pleasure to have been at, and the collective power of music to bring people together for a shared experience.

There are many of us who count milestones in our lives which have a great soundtrack: concerts by Bob Marley, Bowie, the Stones, Springsteen and U2 at Western Springs; smaller shows in long-gone places like Mainstreet and the Gluepot in Auckland, the great musical festivals of yesteryear at Ngaruawahia and Sweetwaters, the Big Day Out . . .

Is there any substitute for the sheer thrill of being in the same room as James Brown, Hello Sailor at their peak, Th'Dudes, the Ramones . . .?

This coffee-table page-turner captures the magic of those concerts -- and many dozens more -- in evocative photographs which take you right onto the stage in many instances, closer than you could have got on the night.

And the chronological collection begins way back in '57 with Gene Vincent and Johnny Cash (who remembers Helen Shapiro here in '61 when she was chart-topper?), and a weird double bill of Trini Lopez and Louis Armstrong in '63. In those years before the Beatles invaded New Zealand -- yes, they get an impressive eight-page spread -- we also had skiffle king Lonnie Donegan and Cliff Richard a couple of times.

And it's pleasing to note that many local acts -- from Ray Columbus and the Invaders through to Shihad at the Big Day Out -- get equal billing on these pages with the likes of the Stones and Lady Gaga. (Yep, it's that up-to-date.)

H_Jagger_923e_34aMany of the photos are by Bruce Jarvis (this of Jagger in '73 typical of how close he takes you) and sometimes the devil is in the details: behind Keith Richards and Bill Wyman at that gig there is a Kiwi guy in walk shorts and long socks sitting at the side of the stage. Hilarious!

So here are an out-of-it Eric Clapton, a very attractive bare arse in the crowd at Bowie's '78 gig at the Springs, a leering Phil Lynott (a gig I remember for some guy delivering a haymaker to the unsuspecting bloke next to him, not all gigs bring people together in a good way) and that Bob Dylan/Tom Petty tour in '86 which was so ragged you had to conclude we were being used for their paid rehearsal.

Throughout there are short and sometimes extended captions and anecdotes, the best being from those who were there and bring some personal, often amusing, insight.

I cannot tell a lie, I contributed a few . . . alongside Easby, Russell Baillie, Murray Cammick, Bryan Staff, Phil Gifford, Garth Cartwright and others.

So here's a book that will either take you back, or take you to where you didn't get to and wish you had.

And I never knew Bill Haley came here in '74. 

Share It

Your Comments

Andrew Earwaker - Oct 21, 2012

Some people still remember Helen in New Zealand

jeff harris - Feb 19, 2013

having bought this book I was amazed just how many of the concerts featured that I had seen but have no recollection of-a lot of them great, some mediocre & a few that I am happy to forget. Why I have, disappointingly, forgotten the good ones I can't think why-maybe something to do with the state of mind back then...Hmm!

post a comment

More from this section   Writing articles index

THOMAS KENEALLY INTERVIEWED (2010): The people's historian

THOMAS KENEALLY INTERVIEWED (2010): The people's historian

To put it bluntly, Sarah Whitelam didn't muck around. The day after John Nicol sailed off for Britain – the man with whom she'd had child and promised to remain true to in the days before... > Read more

TONY PARSONS INTERVIEWED (2004): About a Man in the Family Way

TONY PARSONS INTERVIEWED (2004): About a Man in the Family Way

British author Tony Parsons used to take drugs with Johnny Rotten but now prefers taking his two-year old to the park and writing about families in the suburbs. He now lives the life of a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

The title of this song by an obscure and unfairly overlooked British psych-folkie would be familiar to followers of New Zealand music, and those who know the works of the Bard. The line comes... > Read more

CRAZY HEART, a film by SCOTT COOPER (Roadshow DVD)

CRAZY HEART, a film by SCOTT COOPER (Roadshow DVD)

As in rock‘n‘roll, country music has its casualties, like Hank Williams who died at age 29 in the back of his chauffeur-driven Cadillac on the way to a gig. Others make a longer... > Read more