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

JIMMY PAGE by JIMMY PAGE

JIMMY PAGE by JIMMY PAGE

Ever since his death in 1970, there's been speculation as to what direction Jimi Hendrix might have gone in had he lived. For every opinion saying he'd have got into jazz fusion (maybe with... > Read more

THE BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA by MICHAEL GRAY: More song and dance

THE BOB DYLAN ENCYCLOPEDIA by MICHAEL GRAY: More song and dance

Writer Michael Gray is not backward about coming forward: he includes an entry on himself in this massive tome published in 2006 which is alternately illuminating, absurdly amusing, opinionated or... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Let It Be; A Beatles Celebration, Civic Theatre, Auckland, March 26 2015

Let It Be; A Beatles Celebration, Civic Theatre, Auckland, March 26 2015

There's a very simple answer to the question of why people go to tribute shows. They go to hear the familiar music . . . and to check out how well the performers... > Read more

THE AMBER RILEY-THOMPSON SAGA, PART THE TWO (2004): More miss adventures

THE AMBER RILEY-THOMPSON SAGA, PART THE TWO (2004): More miss adventures

A little background to these stories which appeared in the New Zealand Herald . . .  Late in 2003 Russell Baillie, the Herald’s entertainment editor, and I were talking about having... > Read more