Herco Pilots

A fixture in the early 1980s inner city scene, Auckland post-punk pioneers Herco Pilots had the indie spirit in spades.

Their bass player was Garry Russell, better known as Harry Ratbag or ‘arry, his punk and writing names. When music media readers first encountered him he was enquiring after five important albums not yet available in NZ in the October 1980 Rip It Up Xtra magazine.

Auckland Domain, 1981
The Herco Pilots and Alms For Children at a Rem Records gig, the Rumba Bar, 18 July 1981
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
Herco Pilots
Auckland Domain, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick

REM Records


Harry Russell - bass

Steve Wester - drums

Chris Williams - vocals, guitar

Hugh Tercel - drums

Jimmy's Election Plan

As ‘arry, Harry Russell was an acerbic columnist for Rip It Up. As Harry The Bastard he became a well-known DJ and dance music tastemaker in New York, with three very successful US released compilations and a profile in US Rolling Stone.

Chris Williams was part of the Coalition collective who released several tapes after Herco Pilots’ demise.

Harry Russell is the brother of Nigel Russell (Car Crash Set, The Spelling Mistakes, Danse Macabre).

Funded by

Partners with