Phil Judd Profile

aka Mr Phudd, Judsy
Gary Steel
23 Jan 2014

Troubled genius, avant-pop savant, call him what you will, Phil Judd is one of the most significant talents to have emerged from the claustrophobia of mid-70s NZ, and his career path the most bewildering.

Think about it: from Split Enz to the Suburban Reptiles to The Swingers to solo soundtrack work to Schnell Fenster to Mr Phudd. It's quite a stretch, but everything Judd has turned his attention to has contained his tense, acerbic humour and singular take on pop music.

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Phil Judd in a still from Starstruck
The Enemy with Phil Judd - Alec Bathgate, Chris Knox, Mike Dooley, Phil Judd
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Phil Judd recording in Auckland with For You with Split Ends, February 1973 at Stebbings Studios, Auckland
The Swingers - One Track Mind
The Dream Away solo single, 1983
The 1990 Phil Judd and Tim Finn single The Hard Road, taken from the soundtrack of the 1990 movie The Big Steal. To date it's the only single released by the founding members of Split Enz as a duo.
Phil Judd with Glenn Nacey at left, loading out of The Windsor Castle in Parnell, Auckland, after a Swingers gig in the early 1980s
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Phil Judd backstage 1976
Phil Judd - Dream'n' Away
The Swingers - More
Phil Judd, circa 1982
The Swingers in 1981 - Phil Judd, Bones Hillman, Buster Stiggs
Phil Judd - Rendezvous
Untitled, the 2008 album by The UnTh!nkables, a duo of Phil Judd, and Roger Grierson (a New Zealander, formerly of Australian band The Thought Criminals).
Phil Judd and Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, London 1976 while recording Split Enz's Second Thoughts album
Phil Judd and Tim Finn, 1975
Phil Judd in his flat in 1985 just before heading to London to play on Tim Finn's Big Canoe album
Split Ends at Ngaruawahia, January 1973 - Mike Howard, Phil Judd, Brian Tim Finn, Jonathan Michael Chunn
Photo credit: Photo by Larry Jordan
Schnell Fenster's 1988 single, Whisper
Phil Judd in 1976 onstage with Split Enz in Auckland
Phil Judd 1976
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Suburban Reptiles - Saturday Night Stay At Home
Split Enz- Spellbound (The Grunt Machine)
Phil Judd with The Suburban Reptiles on the Saturday Night Stay At Home video shoot. L to r: Zero, Buster Stiggs, Phil Judd
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
Schnell Fenster - OK Alright A Huh Oh Yeah
Split Ends 1973 L to R: Wally Wilkinson, Phil Judd, Mike Chunn, Geoff Chunn, Brian "Tim" Finn
Phil Judd & Tim Finn - Long Hard Road
Schnell Fenster - Heroes Let You Down
The Swingers - Counting The Beat
Schnell Fenster concert advertisement, Powerstation Auckland, Jan 6 1989. From Book of BiFim, 1988.
The Swingers - One Good Reason
Phil Judd's 2014 album Play It Strange, built around a song of the same title, written and performed - but never recorded - by Phil Judd with Split Enz in the mid 1970s
Schnell Fenster - Love-Hate Relationship
Phil Judd, 1976
The Swingers - It Ain't What You Dance It's The Way That You Dance It
Phil Judd - No-One’s Best Man
Phil Judd in a 1983 Mushroom publicity shot


Mushroom Records




Judd is also an accomplished visual artist, and has incorporated his flair with a brush and paint into his album artwork. His brilliant cover for the classic Enz album Mental Notes is a case in point, although his distinctive visual style can be found dotted throughout his career, even up to the arresting artwork for his last two solo albums. He has exhibited sporadically, and several galleries own his work.