BARRY RUSHTON

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First published February 2016

Barry can be contacted at brushton@xtra.co.nz

EARLY 'RISK' DAYS

I grew up until the end of the 4th Form in Auckland and formed a band of sorts during Intermediate days with a guy who's surname was Peter La Roche I believe.  Nothing startling but great times of listening to the Top 40 or what ever they were out in the kitchen playing 'pretend drums' on the solid stove elements with Tea Towels to soften the noise.  Apprenticeship type stuff in hindsight. 

However, once at Wairarapa College in Masterton I again found myself in a band called 'The Ten Feat Five' with Graham Judd on Bass (Of which in the last few years I teamed up with him and his sons here in Auckland playing in a Beatles Tribute Band called 'The Beatmobiles'), the Wairarapa College Headmasters son, Anthony Sutherland I think it was and Phil Pringle (I believe a well known evangelist nowdays). 

At the time I had a girl friend who did end up being my 1st wife called Vicky Walsh from a well know Wairarapa family. 

During a lunchtime concert about mid 1969 there was this band 'The Kal-Q-Lated Risk' of which I thought was just fantastic.  Ian Taylor (from Taylor Made Productions etc) on vocals, Bernie Carey on organ, Phil Hope on Guitar, Dave Cameron on Bass and I think Phil Gifford on drums. 

Unbeknownst to me at that time Ian Taylor was dating my girlfriends sister Julie. 

Well on a chance meeting not long after that lunchtime event I was at the Walsh house when Ian Taylor arrived.  Of course conversation took place and obviously not slow in coming forward I expressed how much I enjoyed the band and said "That if your drummer is leaving at any time I'd like to join" Well he said "Actually he is leaving" "Come down to Featherston and try out" I remember 'Far Out'..  I don't even have any drums.  So I borrowed a 'Slingerland set' from a guy at the top of my road and went down. 

At the rehearsal I remember them saying 'Well what song do you want to play" and like the Monkey Ad on the television I remember saying "You just play anything, I'll follow along" or words of that description. 

Well whether it was enthusiasm, eagerness or whatever, I got the job.  Unbelievable.  To this day I credit everything that I have or have done with the experience of being in that band.  January 1970 all of us who were still at college left and the band went professional as Phil Hope has said, under the management of Perry Lennon who took The Formuyla to England.  Incidentally The Formuyla had poached Carl Everson from the 'Risk' opening up the Lead Vocal spot to Ian Taylor. 

2 Children later and buying a house in Palmerston North I left the band to get "A real Job". 

Amazing how life evolves but a Chiropractor bought the house next door to me and I used to go jogging with him and his mate who was a Chiropractor also and they used to talk about the Philosophy, that "Health is inside-out, not outside-in". 

I was hooked and started making plans to study in America. 

A step back from that if I may.  Whilst playing with the Risk at the Awapuni, they were trying out drummers to replace me.  One such person was Richard Wilkins who went on to form Richard Wilde and the Terraplanes I think it was (could stand corrected on this) but they picked another guy called Steve Hudson. 

Anyway once Richard knew I was back in Palmerston he asked if I would play drums in his band so he could go out front and do Lead Vocals.  So before leaving for the USA I played with him at the Albert Hotel.  Good times.  Good little band. 

When I returned from the States after graduation in 1979 Richard was still playing and I think they were called 'Wilde and Reckless'.  Again troubles with a drummer and he asked if I'd fill in for some final gigs before they left for Australia.  Now unbeknownst to me again, whilst away Richard had made friends with Gerard Smith from the Rumour and Gerard had written Richards first single.  Thus the connection with The Rumour was made.  I came to Auckland to practice in Orewa Beach so as I could be with the Rumour boys more particularly Gerard and Jacques Koolen their rhythm guitarist. 

A few years later we left Orewa to set up my own office in New Plymouth being half way between the band in AK and my good Chiropractic mate in Palmerston North.  Each weekend or at least 2 out of 3 I'd drive to Auckland to play on songs that Gerard was writing.  As time went by we made an album under the name of Somersault calling it "Never Lose The Wonder Vol 1" vowing to make an album a year.  In 1984 Gerard, Jacques and myself up stakes and went to live in California to record "Never Lose The Wonder Vol 2" of which we did and tried to 'Flog it off' to publishers, agents etc etc.  Well it didn't happen and as I had a new wife and new child with me, stayed on to do post graduation study and teach orthopaedic testing etc in South Carolina.  On returning for a Xmas vacation Dec 1986 and finding the Labour Government in power under Roger Douglas/David Lange, the old Muldoon era having come to an end and families back here in New Zealand we returned for good.  So now its 1987.  Friendship renewed with The Rumour and as it was approaching Gerard and his twin Brother Shades 40th birthday July 87 they though a party would be in order and as such we learnt 15 Beatle songs with the full Rumour Band being Gerard, Shade, Jacques, Ross Hindman and his wife Judy (being one of the 2 Chicks) and myself, the new guy.  We had a couple of rehearsals and it sounded great.  Thus the repertoire grew over the months to where we could do a 4 hour function.  The band was playing 98% covers and it truly was a great covers band with good energy, great harmonies and power.  There were many years of fantastic nights. 

As a final memory touching on cover bands.  Whilst studying for my degree in the mid 70's going through University I joined the Renato Bros Band that was a covers band of "Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons.  The other 3 members were students at the same college as myself.  2 of them were twin brothers again from New Jersey, the Renato Bros.  Peter Renato not only was a absolute look alike for Frankie, his voice also was pitch perfect for their songs.  That band was a joyous time and so when I hear songs like Dawn, Rag Doll, Sherry and others, I realize just how great it was to play with them and play those songs. 

The Rumour is still going, I think.  Gerard and Shade have had a falling out with each other.  Gerard and Jacques are not speaking.....  Silly lads.  The world of bands eh?..... 

Anyway there you go.  Memories,

Barry Rushton

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