The Pleasers

As the beat boom hit New Zealand, The Pleasers became one of the most visible local bands, when they replaced The Librettos as resident band on the primal pop television show Let’s Go. Their debut album cover, where they shared the spotlight with Let’s Go host Peter Sinclair, is a classic image of the 1960s music scene.

AudioCulture spoke to Roger Skinner, Max Thomson and Kevan Walsh about the birth of The Pleasers, the Auckland venue the Beatle Inn, their rapid rise to TV prominence and their recording career.

The Pleasers at Beatle Inn, from left: Max Thomson, Kevan Walsh, Roger Skinner and Bryan Layton
A 1964 single released by hairdressers The Ginger Group featuring Rochelle Vinsen and The Pleasers
The Pleasers, from left: Kevan Walsh, Max Thomson, Roger Skinner and Bryan Layton
Let's Go: the Pleasers debut album, featuring TV host Peter Sinclair - Red Rooster, 1965
The Pleasers
A story in the Auckland Weekly on the Apple & Pear Marketing Board campaign with Rochelle Vinsen and The Pleasers
The Pleasers
The Pleasers try garage rock (L-R): Bryan Layton, Max Thomson, Kevan Walsh, Roger Skinner
The Pleasers, from left: Bryan Layton, Max Thomson, Kevan Walsh and Roger Skinner
The Pleasers EP
The Pleasers
The Pleasers in the programme for the Dave Clark Five New Zealand tour
The Pleasers take their seats at Parliament (L-R): Kevan Walsh, Bryan Layton, Roger Skinner and Max Thomson
The Pleasers Again
The Pleasers, from left: Bryan Layton, Max Thomson, Kevan Walsh and Roger Skinner
Wellington journalist Barry Duncan of the Sunday Times features the Pleasers in his Showbiz column
The Pleasers - Max Thomson Top 20
Behind the scenes footage from Let's Go
The Pleasers - For Ever
The Pleasers (not to be confused with the Australian PleaZers) were a mix of Aucklanders and Wellingtonians, albeit based in the capital. Among their number was Roger Skinner (later of The Motivation) and Max Thomson, a renowned photographer in future decades.
The Pleasers at Massey Memorial, Wellington. From the top: Max Thomson, Roger Skinner, Bryan Layton and Kevan Walsh
The Pleasers at the Top 20, from left: Kevan Walsh, Max Thomson, Bryan Layton and Roger Skinner
The Pleasers
The Pleasers

Red Rooster


Roger Skinner - vocals, guitar

Kevan Walsh - vocals, bass

Max Thomson - vocals, drums

Bryan Lawton - vocals, guitar

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