Zed Brookes

aka Mark Brookes

For a ten-year period between 1985 and 1995, Zed Brookes was an essential part of the greater Waikato music scene. During his time behind the desk, first at Tandys then The Zoo Recording studios, he recorded hundreds of demos, EPs, albums and singles in a variety of musical styles from alt-rock to metal, country, pop, experimental and folk. You name it, he did it with a smile, quick wit and unflappable efficiency.

Brookes, a calm perfectionist, was the master at getting it done right and sounding good, but that is only part of the story. Outside of the studio, Zed led a number of successful bands, including Step Chant Unit and Schrödinger’s Cat and sat in on several others including MooFish and Silken Blue.

Zed Brookes at Hamilton Lake, 1984
Zed Brookes in Rotorua, 1981
Step Chant Unit (version 2) rehearsing in the still-being-built Tandys Recording Studio in the mid-80s. Left to right: Stephen Giles, Zed Brookes, Sue Toms and Dean Carter.
Step Chant Unit at the Hillcrest Tavern, Hamilton, 1984. Left to right: Sue Toms, Zed Brookes and Neville Sergent.
Zed Brookes
Zed Brookes' first recording setup in his lounge, Hamilton, early 1980s
Mixing The Narcs' Push the Boat Out album at Eclipse Studios in Sydney, 1996: Brent Clark, Wayne Gillespie, unknown and Zed Brookes
Staff and friends at The Zoo Studios, Hamilton, mid-1990's. Left to right: Natalie McKelvey, Scott Newth, unknown, Lee Flay, Zed Brookes, unknown, Stu Williamson, Dave Whitehead, Dean McLeary (front), Grant Hislop and Adian Wallace.
Zed Brookes at the start of the building of Zoo Recording Studio, Hamilton, 1993
Zed Brookes at Tandys Recording Studio in the late 1980s
The Zoo Studios, Hamilton, mid-1990s with the new console. Left to right: Grant Hislop, Scott Newth, (rear) Dave Whitehead, (front) unknown, (rear) Stu Williamson, (front) Natalie McKlevey, Lee Flay, Zed Brookes, unknown, Adrian Wallace and Dean Leary.
Zed Brookes
Schrodinger's Cat 2000: Natalie McKelvey, Mark Tupuhi, Zed Brookes and Susie Warwick
Zed Brookes in the 1980s
Mixing The Narcs at Eclipse Studio, Sydney, 1996. Left top right: Zed Brookes, Grant Hislop, Andy Dickson and Tony Waine.
Zed Brookes and Scott Brody at Tandys Recording Studio in the late 1980s
Step Chant Unit supporting Peking Man, Windsor Castle, Auckland, 1984. Left to right: Zed Brookes, Sue Toms (out of view) and Neville Sergent.
Step Chant Unit's 1985 12-inch EP Painting Pictures, released on Jayrem
Step Chant Unit in Hamilton in the early 1980s: Neville Sergent, Zed Brookes and Sue Toms
Zed Brookes at Tandys Recording Studio
Step Chant Unit supporting Peking Man, Windsor Castle, Auckland, 1984. Left to right: Zed Brookes, Sue Toms (in the rear) and Neville Sergent.
Silken Blue in Hamilton in the early 1990s. Left to right: Dave Hickling, Zed Brookes, (front) Sooz Brown, (rear) unknown and Grant Brodie.

Hark Music


Step Chant Unit, Trees Tavern, Tokoroa, 1983. Left to right: Sue Toms, Zed Brookes and Neviile Sergent.

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