ELDRED STEBBING (R.I.P.)

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First published in December 2009

Eldred Stebbing passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday 6th December 2009.  

TRIBUTES

I first came in contact with Eldred in 1959 when I was with a vocal group called The Silhouettes.  We did veebees for many an artist in those days at 'Saratoga' and did covers which Eldred chose.  One of those was 'Alley Oop' which made the NZ Hit Parade.  I always found Eldred a genuine, nurturing and wholesome person.  He has gone but not forgotten.  Moe,moe, he Rangatira.  Haere kite te ao o te Arikinui.  Arohanui. - James Waerea
To Vaughn and Robert, and the family.  My thoughts are with you. - Jacqui Dunn
Anyone who recorded in the early days, remember fondly of the Broom banging on the floor/roof of the studio.... usually around 8pm onwards.....With the.... GET TO BED ELDRED STATEMENT..... What I will say is....that we got our first break, and first HIT RECORDS from those early days at Herne Bay...... They were early times in recording music in Auckland.... so really it was cutting edge to go there.... as that was the studio. 
We....LARRY'S REBELS.....cut our teeth there....learning our trade, and learning the ropes of recording the band..... I found Eldred a great innovator then....and eager and pleasing to work with making our early records. 
A thing I might mention to Robert Stebbing....is.... Back in the school days at Seddon Tech .....I used to say to Robert... that I played Guitar....and one day I would have the Biggest Band in NZ.  He used to laugh at me....and pass it off as rubbish talk..... Then just out of school....we turn up at Zodiac in Saratoga Ave..... and the rest is History.......We did it !!!!!!!! 
So in memory of Eldred......My Condolences to the family.... and precious memories of those early days stay with me. - John Williams
Over the last weeks, I was trying to find the one photo I had of Eldred.  I looked everywhere....old scrapbooks, photo albums.  It seemed the aging sticky photo corners had given away on this one picture and it had floated away.  Then I heard that this amazing man had left us ,so I was determined to find this now very precious pic.  It turned up last night so I thought I would send it on to you echoing Mike Balcombe's thoughts on the tribute page.
"A man I looked up to" would be a suitable title.  There we are in his driveway, taking a break from recording "Tropic of Capricorn" album in 1967.  I wonder whether that was Margaret's Fiat Bambina!!!  And today it will be a wonderful but sad funeral.  I will be there in spirit to wish him well on his next journey. - Bruce Coleman (Hi-Revving Tongues)
When I got my emails today, I was deeply saddened by the news of Eldred’s passing.  This wonderful man had an incredible impact on my life, and four other guys, Bruce, Chris, Rob, John and Richard, who were the core members of my band at the time.  
Eldred listened to what we had to offer and believed in us enough to give us a chance of a life time.  Without that opportunity our musical lives may have never had gone in the special way that it did.  I remember those days with much fondness.  Eldred, Margaret, the recording team, and his brilliant sons Robert and Vaughn.  
Those days were among some of my happiest.  
I'm sure the many of us that knew Eldred, would have to agree that he made a difference to our lives in many ways.  
Thank you Eldred.  My love and prayers are there for you and your family.  Rest in the arms of Jesus. - Michael E Balcombe.  The H. R. Tongues.
Thank you for all you did for everybody in 1965 – My best year ever - Brian Ringrose (Dave Miller and the Byrds)
I was in the Neighbours, who did an album and at least one single with him about 1982 and I have to say he was the first record company I dealt with that I ever trusted and we never regretted it.  He seemed old school and I really liked that. - Rick Bryant
Great memories from the 60's recording the Dallas Four singles and providing backing vocals for many jingles and other artists. - Graham Gill
RIP Eldred Stebbing.  I remember recording at the Herne Bay Studio with the Human Instinct, great studio and great times - Martin Hope
The one and only recordings that "The Poles Apart Trio" and “Drut” ever did was at Jervois Rd.  What a wonderful experience it was.  RIP Eldred….  Dave Gorrie
To the man who said to me, I had the quietest Guitar Amplifier he had ever had in his Studio, then said "get your hair cut".  That was 1961.  Rest in peace. - Errol Timbers
He did a great job...in fact I'd say he did the very best job in getting new bands & singers on to the NZ marketplace...& beyond.....so good on you Eldred.....!!!  My best respects - Doug Thomas
To all the Stebbing Family.  Eldred was a great and innovative pioneer of our music industry.  He certainly began my career, and his belief in me was well founded.  He picked the right material, and he was ahead of his time with his ideas.  I salute a great man, sadly missed, but always remembered. - Gray Bartlett MBE
Sad news indeed, he was a very brave and visionary legend of our industry. He leaves a wonderful legacy behind for his family and friends.  Thank god for people like Eldred, I know I’ll always remember him for being so interested and encouraging.  May he rest in peace. - Tom Sharplin
My condolences to Eldred's passing.  Its all been said, he's one of the pioneers of the music industry. I recently after 40 years in the music scene, had my album produced at 'Stebbings studio, 'Do you fear me' by 'Johnny Croot and friends' and I am so glad that I used the wonderful expertise and facility that Eldred provided for us.  May you rest in peace - Johnny Croot
Fond memories of recording in the 60's.  A great man who will be missed.  R.I.P. Eldred - the Harrison family, Pat, Yuk, and Boogie
We were one of the first Auckland bands recorded by John Hawkins at Margaret & Eldred’s Saratoga Avenue studio.  
I recall never being able to record much past eight o’clock especially if the session was on a Sunday.  If Hawks ran his luck and went over the allotted time Margaret would stomp on the floor of the lounge upstairs and that was our cue to pack it in for the night.  
Many classic Kiwi pop hits were recorded in the Saratoga Avenue studio and Larry’s Rebels are honoured to be among them.
Larry’s Rebels were most fortunate to be involved with Eldred & Stebbings early in our recording lives and what we learnt from the masters John Hawkins & Eldred Stebbings throughout those formative recording years assisted us greatly throughout our careers.
Last month the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand had their Kidney Kids CD recorded & manufactured at Stebbings studios.
I spoke with Vaughn and Eldred that day when I went to uplift the first thousand pressing. We reminisced about Saratoga Avenue in 1964 and here today December 2009.  A relationship & association of forty five years in the recording business is something quite special. 
We salute you Eldred.  God bless you doy.  Much love from us all; Larry, John, Viv, Terry, Mal & Nooky. Larry’s Rebels.
An absolute legend and a great family.  I'll never forget those sessions at the Herne Bay house, Margaret banging on the floor with a broom to tell us when to start playing.  We'll all miss him. - Alan Galbraith
I met Eldred the man just once in the nineties.  A very clever and thorough gentleman.  I have some classic vinyl from the 60's and 70's that bear his mark of excellence. - Nev Claughton
The passing of a true NZ music icon – maybe now I can finally get on the Hammond and make it distort. - Murray Hancox
Sad news of Eldred’s passing.  It marks the end of an era in NZ music recording.  Our small contribution to Kiwi music at Mandrill Studios in the late 70’s to 90’s was in many ways inspired what Eldred had done in the 50’s and 60’s.(and beyond) - Glyn Tucker
My thoughts are with the family and all those who knew him over the years.  NZ has lost a person of great vision and will be sadly missed by all who came into contact with him. - Peter Banks
Dear Vaughn and Robert, Kia Ora from Peter Grattan in Florida.  
I read today the sad news about your Dad's passing.  Just a short note to say how much I respected him and all his accomplishments, what a wonderful career and an inspiration he was!  I fondly remember the Saratoga days with you all, your mum, Pablo and Tony... the Sloggett sessions, AA Radio magazine, the ad guys, Radio I's launch, the big old 4 track upstairs, (Tony's intercom shouts of "selsynch on 1") adding my harmonies to the Arch single with Paul Hewson and co., collecting the discs sent from Waihi in the little red Bambina! 
Eldred's foresight in building Jervois Rd proved that he was truly a visionary.  In 2001 I returned to NZ having been away in TV with BBC and National Geographic for 10 years.  I left again in 2005 but still have a beach home on Ruby Bay. I tried to generate projects down there, but Nelson City Council could not see past WOW at the time.  Had I been able to set up the NZ Music Hall of Fame in Nelson in 2003 as I tried, Eldred would surely have been in that year's inaugural Top Ten along with Nelsonians Tex Morton and Sharon O'Neill, Peter Posa, Ray C and band, Enz, Joe Brown, Kiri, Sir Howard and Kevin Moore.  Am gratified to see the "Whare waiata" eventually happened... and Eldred will long be remembered!  My thoughts are with you at this time.  Sincerely, Peter Grattan
WOW, I remember one time going to Eldred's home studio in the early 60's with Ray and the boys. I thought it was pretty cool to have a recording studio in one's home. A great recording pioneer in this country. - Lou Parun
RIP - Dave Hurley
The Dedikation did some of the backing vocals there with the Chicks, for "Ruby Tuesday" in 1969! Kia ora - Ray Ahipene-Mercer
Sad at the passing of Eldred Stebbing... - Andrew Miller
Rest In Peace Eldred - my thoughts are with his family. - Dinah Lee
Eldred and the whole Stebbing family were a huge part of growing up in Herne Bay, through my teenage years, and the NZ music scene.  The memories of Eldred fussing in the little recording box in his basement with the 2 tape recorders which I think were Telefuncen or Grundig, 2 X tracks while Robert and a younger Vaughn played upstairs.  Robert instead of Lego or something would be fixing some complicated electronics [He was really bright and gifted].  And Margaret a wonderful kind person making sure you didn’t leave a mess or scratch anything.  The cars were his prized possessions and I suspect a reward to himself for his success, from his Mark 3 Zephyr and then the Fairlane’s all perfect, always polished and always shiny red.
Eldred was always like a Father figure to young musicians he looked the same to me all his life, he was conservative but innovative, a family man in an industry that was not seen as mainstream.  He had vision and always strived for the best in what ever he built, recorded, or created.
It was a privilege to have known him and to have done many recordings in that Saratoga studio it was the best in NZ at the time. Zodiac records, what a great number of NZ recordings he had on that label despite the fact it probably wasn’t even good economics as broadcasting were reluctant to play Kiwi music.  He was a great and innovative man with a great family.  Robert and Vaughn I am deeply sorry for your loss but you should be very proud of your Father’s achievements as he was of yours and for his special place in the NZ music development.  He was there when we were just discovering music and it was fun not money that was our motivation. - Bill Belton
Fond memories of lots of arguments with Eldred when recording with Red Hewitt and the Buccaneers .......lol.  And even worked with Eldred at Electrical Equipment Co Ltd where I was doing my apprenticeship as an electrician and he was the "radio technology man" upstairs long before I got into music.........lots of arguments with him there as well..................lol.  He was obviously building up his "cash flow" when putting together his Saratoga St,Herne Bay, studios.........his wife and I got on like a house on fire as she knew he and I didn't see eye to eye on lots of things............lol.  I think she just felt sorry for me.  I was glad that she did.  Fond memories. - Peter Cox
Eldred Stebbing, NZ recording pioneer died yesterday.  Long long LONG career, recorded Artie Shaw Orchestra in Auckland Town Hall for radio broadcast in 1942, recorded heaps of artists in 1950s . . . Howard Morrison Quartet, Ray Columbus & Invaders, Max Merritt & Meteors, La De Das, Dragon, Hello Sailor, Th' Dudes . . .  Funeral Service 12.30pm, Friday 11th December, All Saints Church, Ponsonby. - John Dix
Sad Loss.  Eldred was our manager in the 60's (The Pleazers).  I'm still trying to come to grips that Eldred has gone, as he was such a big influence in the NZ music scene in the 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond.  You will be missed, big time, you old bugger!  Say 'hello' to John Hawkins for me.  See you Eldred - Denis Gilmore
(click here to email me your tribute to Eldred and I'll add it in - andy@nzmusos.co.nz)

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