The Gypsy Pickers

aka The Valentes

Husband and wife duo The Gypsy Pickers defy musical classification. Their sole agenda has been to get audiences dancing and partying, whatever genre it takes. Since joining forces in 1985, Ron and Lindy Valente have toured virtually nonstop and early in their career they performed five-hour nights with one 10-minute break.

They have raised two daughters on the road, home-schooling them as they went, sometimes camping wherever they played. Along the way they released one of the most underrated country music albums in New Zealand, The Gypsy Pickers And Friends, which features contributions from John Grenell, The Warratahs and The Coalrangers.

Ron Valente (far left) with Lugey in Los Angeles in the 1970s
Gypsy Pickers And Friends album, released 1993
The Gypsy Pickers with John Hore Grenell at the Whitecliffs festival in the late 1980s. Lindy is holding the Valentes’ daughter Crystal.
The Gypsy Pickers - Shaky Isles (2011)
The Gypsy Pickers with Rob Johnson (bass) and Chris Pierson (drums) at the Rugby World Cup tailgate party for the USA team, Richmond Park Showgrounds, Nelson Bays, 2011.
Dinner on the road, Lindy Valente with daughter Crystal.
The Gypsy Pickers, backed by The Coalrangers at the Gypsy Pickers And Friends album launch, early 1990s
An early Lindy Friend promo shot
Ron Valente & band performing Gumboot Gal & Takaka, Whitecliffs Festival 1985
The Gypsy Pickers, backed by The Coalrangers at the Gypsy Pickers And Friends album launch, early 1990s
The Gypsy Pickers - Copperhead Road (Steve Earle cover), live in Nelson
The Gypsy Pickers at the Whitecliffs festival in the late 1980s
Daughter Dena in front of the Gypsy Pickers’ motor home
Gypsy Pickers performing Wagon Wheel at Moutere Inn
Ron Valente performing Nights In My Day with Don Hall and friends at Trailhead Pizza, Trinity Alps, California
Gypsy Pickers with daughter Crystal in Colorado

Ron Valente - vocals, guitar, mandolin

Lindy Valente - vocals, guitar, keyboard bass, banjo, melodica


Ron Valente’s LA band Lugey was managed by Robert Crancer, a radioman who used to interview a lot of the day’s musical superstars, including The Bee Gees, taking Ron along as his tape operator. At one Hollywood party, Ron smoked a joint with Rod Stewart and Jimmy Page in a kitchen.

When Lindy Valente’s family moved to Waiheke Island, they owned the taxi business. Her father was then a real estate agent and her mother worked at the Waiheke telephone exchange for many years and also the post office.


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