Twins Shade and Gerard Smith fronted the band with Ross Hindman and Jacques Koolen as the rhythm section.
The Surfires broke up in 1968, however after an 18-month break, reformed as The Rumour and signed to Polydor Records in 1970. They were managed by Ray Columbus (who suggested the name change) under the wing of Phil Warren’s larger Fuller Entertainment Agency.
The band’s first two singles ‘What Have You Done To That Day God Gave You’ and ‘We've Got To Learn To Live Together’ made little impact. However their third release ‘Garden Of Your Smile’ was a minor hit, and their fourth ‘L'Amour Est L'Enfant De La Liberte’ was a major smash after it won NZBC’s Studio One talent quest.
‘L'Amour’ was composed by Shade, and sung by his twin brother Gerard. The song was No.1 for six weeks in 1971 and reportedly sold over 30,000 copies, thus making it one of the biggest selling NZ singles of the era.
‘L'Amour’ was composed by Shade, and sung by his twin brother Gerard. The song was No.1 for six weeks in 1971 and reportedly sold over 30,000, thus making it one of the biggest selling NZ singles of the era. For much of 1971 and 1972 the song was inescapable on radio and TV.
The next single ‘Holy Morning’ was also a hit although it didn’t match ‘L’Amour’ peaking at No.3.
The band released two albums Garden of Your Smile in 1971 and Land of New Vigour and Zeal in 1972. The second was a concept album based on New Zealand’s colonial past.
In 1973 a compilation (with several new tracks), Holy Morning was issued by Polydor, followed by a formal best of The Rumour collection, entitled An Evening At Home - The Best of The Rumour.
Shade Smith left around the same time and the band continued briefly as a duo with Gerard Smith and Sjaaki Koolan until they decided to call it a day in 1974.
The original band briefly reformed in 1977 and 1983, releasing a single each time without any success.
Shade Smith, Gerard Smith and Jacques Koolen issued an album, Never Lose The Wonder, as Somersault in 1984.
Gerard Smith went on to a career in radio, and is now the host of the retrospective TV show The Beat Goes On. Shade Smith has had a long career in songwriting, music production, a brief solo career, including a rock opera (Star Blaze) and television.
The Rumour reformed in the late 1980s and have played together since.
Shade Smith - vocals, guitar, piano
Gerard Smith - vocals, guitar
Ross Hindman - bass
Jacques Koolen - drums, vocals