The Front Lawn

So many of the greatest songs contain a story. The majority of these songs allow you to fill in the gaps, to complete your own story by deliberatel...

Herbs: Whats’ Be Happen?

In early 1863, on the eve of the Waikato War, Ngāti Whātua chief Paora Tūhaere purchased the schooner Victoria for £1,400 and set off with 20 of hi...

Charlie Tumahai: Boot Hill to Be Bop and Back

"Boy is what they call me, but my real name is Charlie.” That was the catch-cry the cousins living in Kitemoana Street, Ōrākei, responded to as Cha...

Jan Hellriegel

Herbs: He Rata Kouru Nui

East Cape, 1987: "Men may come, men may go, but Ruatoria goes on forever.” Beneath the imposing portals of a wharenui, an elder from the Ngāti Por...

Suzanne Prentice

Herbs: Reflections on Ruatoria

Not a lot was said on the way home from Ruatoria. "Everyone was so overjoyed, they were speechless,” says Herbs' bassist Charlie Tumahai. "What I l...

Blue Smoke

If there is a "big bang” moment in New Zealand's music history, it was made by the gentlest of melodies. For a delicate song, ';Blue Smoke' carries...

Al Park talks venues, music, gigs

As solo performer, bandmember and booking agent since the early punk era, Al Park has had, and continues to have, an insider's view of Christchurch...

Mareea Paterson

The Juvenolians

Songwriter's Choice: Victoria Girling-Butcher

Body and Soul – Jenny Morris  For my 11th birthday, my parents gave me a blue Sony Walkman and my best friend gave me a copy of Jenny Morris's...

Golden Dawn

As music venues go, The Golden Dawn should have been a non-starter. On Auckland's Richmond Road a few steps from the Ponsonby Road corner, its unco...

New Zealand Women in the NZ Top 10

Howard Morrison Quartet

Five wāhine toa of the industry

For New Zealand Music Month in 2019, arts website The Big Idea asked me to discover the string pullers, the influencers, the legends and the gritty...

Hegan Entertainments

At dawn on the first day of the year 2000, a fleet of 2000 sea craft led by a flotilla of waka taua followed the convergence of the Sun's rays to A...

Graeme Allwright

Mapping Auckland's venues: the 1970s

These maps provide a window into Auckland night life across the decades. For each venue, we've endeavoured to provide an image and a "Read More” l...

Rod MacKinnon

Hallelujah Picassos

Rip It Up 101: the New Zealand covers

The first 101 issues of legendary music magazine Rip It Up are now on line at Papers Past, digitally scanned to ensure the photos are well reproduc...

Auckland, 1980s: the Brian Murphy archives

For years, Brian Murphy was the guy who carried a camera everywhere, capturing his musician and artist friends as they performed, practised and par...

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