FRITS STIGTER

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First published in August 2009

I was born in Holland 9 January 1949.

The family came to Wellington in 1952, my father being recruited by the NZ Symphony Orchestra as principal tympanist.  He was also a consummate classically trained concert pianist so this was my initial influence.

I played violin for a short time then recorder and ukulele at primary school.  At age 10, I began formal lessons on classical guitar from one of my dadís colleagues in the orchestra, however was soon influenced by pop music and got my first steel string guitar, a Hofner F hole, which I managed to put a pickup on and plug into our radiogram.  Lessons from Len Doran followed on electric guitar.

A youth club had started on Friday nights at the Wadestown Anglican church hall and soon I was playing rhythm guitar trying to emulate the Shadows, Ventures etc.  A band evolved, "The Berets",  with John Veale on lead, John Hall drums and Onny Parun on bass.  We became reasonably competent with me doing most of the vocals covering hits of the time plus some more obscure R&B and rock.  We played regularly at school dances, youth clubs and various functions.

The band lasted through most of my college years.  John Veale went south to Uni and Onny became one of our best professional tennis players.

Next came The Dizzy Limits/Timberjack, fully detailed separately on this website.  Needless to say we were teenagers in our prime and had a really good time!

After Timberjack, I went on to join the Quincy Conserve in 1972, resident  band at the Downtown Club and Lion Tavern later moonlighting to form Redeye circa 1974 as resident band at the Entertainers Club and then The Cabin.  Redeye gained prominence as backing band for TV programs Grunt Machine and Ready to Roll.  During this period I also played bass on a number of albums including Mark Williams, Kim Hart and Timberjack Donoghue to name a few, and I still continue to do session work.  

During the 80s I played in a number of house bands at local nightclubs including Slack Alice, Exchequers, Nitesite and St George.  I continue to play bass and sing in local covers band Livewire (www.livewire-band.co.nz).

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