The Secrets

Band history in Aotearoa, like elsewhere, is often a string of name changes and musical chairs, and a charting Christchurch band from the mid-1960s is a typical example. But the tangential story of The Secrets unveils many surprises: a high-profile ad campaign, an internationally successful bassist who sadly became one of rock music’s early departures, a nightclub arson, and a determination from those left to stay committed to playing music.

In 1966, The Secrets – a bass, drums and keyboard three-piece – recorded covers of Sam Cooke’s ‘Soothe Me’ backed with Lennon-McCartney’s ‘The Fool On the Hill’. America’s Sims Twins released ‘Soothe Me’ five years earlier and many since have covered it, including Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Rod Stewart and Jimmy Barnes.

The Secrets advertising bananas in Playdate, June 1966. At the time they were managed by Ken Cooper and Phil Warren. From left: Paul Muggleston, Wayne Allen, Gary Thain, Derek Wright.
Wayne Allen
The Secrets - You're Wrong (Allied International, 1966). This B-side was co-written by the Secrets' bassplayer, Gary Thain - who later joined UK band Uriah Heep - and Secrets' guitarist Paul Muggleston. 
The Secrets - press release for Soothe Me b/w The Fool On the Hill
Geoff Cavander - Play It Too Loud 45 cover
The Secrets - 'Soothe Me'/ 'The Fool on the Hill'
The Secrets at Christchurch's Plainsman Club
The Secrets - It's You (Allied International, 1966)
Meet The Secrets at Phil Warren's The Beatle Inn
Wayne Allen
The Secrets - The Fool On The Hill (Festival, 1969)
The Secrets in 1965: Wayne Allen, Derek Wright, Gary Thain and Paul Muggleston
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
A young Wayne Allen
The Secrets - Soothe Me (Festival, 1969)
The Secrets, left to right: Rob Carpenter, Wayne Allen, Derek Wright, Brian Dean

Geoff Cavander - vocals, bass

Stan White - keyboards

Wayne Allen - drums

Paul Muggleston - guitar

Gary Thain - bass

Robbie Carpenter - bass

Brian Dean - guitar

Derek Wright - guitar

Murray Wright - drums

Jimmy Deverill - keyboards

Harry Gilmore - keyboards

Kevin Taylor - bass

Chris Fox - drums


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