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

STONED by ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: Would you let your daughter meet Andrew?

STONED by ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: Would you let your daughter meet Andrew?

Andrew Loog Oldham enjoyed considerable notoriety in the early Sixties as the young manager/producer of the Rolling Stones. He hit the headlines in his own right for his liner notes to a Stones LP... > Read more

BETWEEN THE LIVES: PARTNERS IN ART edited by DEBORAH SHEPARD REVIEWED (2005): Lives in the margins

BETWEEN THE LIVES: PARTNERS IN ART edited by DEBORAH SHEPARD REVIEWED (2005): Lives in the margins

An intimate relationship between creative people may be as volatile and destructive as it can be productive and rewarding. And almost inevitably one partner, for reasons of success or force of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE MONKS: Gabba Gabba Hey Hey we're the Monks

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE MONKS: Gabba Gabba Hey Hey we're the Monks

Because of its lo-fi, raw and untutored quality, the Black Monk Time album by a group of five former GIs who had been stationed in Germany in the early Sixties has been widely hailed by the likes... > Read more

MILES DAVIS; TUTU 25 YEARS ON: Hope you like my new direction?

MILES DAVIS; TUTU 25 YEARS ON: Hope you like my new direction?

Depending on when he was talking and the mood he was in, Miles Davis would claim to have changed the direction of music three – or four – times. No one would doubt the impact of... > Read more