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First published in July 2010

I was born with a passion for music, enjoyed most styles, & grew up in a household that appreciated Rogers & Hammerstein, Mario Lanza & Elvis Presley

As a schoolboy, I watched in awe as "Red Hewitt & The Buccaneers" performed at the Auckland Easter Show, teen rebel Hewitt gyrating furiously, mimicking the controversial Presley pelvis. From recall the line-up included Gary Daverne (sax), Claude Papesch (piano) , Peter Cox (bass), Johnny Willets (guitar) & George Jones (drums) In later years I would occasionally join Red's band as a "ring-in" & realised that the "rebel" was in fact a very likeable, unpretentious entertainer.

At 15 years of age I suggested to a fellow 5th- former (Ged Costello) that we enter the then-popular radio show "Have-A-Shot" .. Ged ("Cos") was impressed by a currently popular song "To Know Him Is To Love Him" by the "Teddy Bears" (Phil Spector's group), so we recruited 14 yr-old Julie Langford, & with Ged & I crooning in the background behind her pure vocals, performed Spector's song on the airwaves (with modest success) .. the seed was sown!

The advent of "Beatlemania" found me part of a fun-time band "The Secrets" & purely by coincidence playing a Hofner (a-la Paul McCartney) bass .. I'm sure it was the Hofner bass that propelled me into the ranks of an emerging Auckland group of the day "The Sierras" featuring talented guitarists Pete & Len Riseborough, & Wayne Daverne on drums a succession of recordings from the prolific Stebbing Studios followed and the inevitable personnel changes, including Mike Balcombe on guitar, (Mike eventually formed "The High Revving Tongues")

1965 saw the demise of "The Sierras" so Wayne and I combined with Rex Bowmast & Warren McInman to reinvent the popular "Silhouettes" as their bassist, Bruce Jarvis & drummer Reece Clarke were moving overseas .. several years followed (1965 til '68) .. more recordings & a swag of fun

.. but nothing stays the same, & personnel changes followed, the most significant being drumming duties assigned to Richard Sinclair & then Mal Finlayson, while Peter Traille capably took over from Rex on lead guitar.

And even today, as a sexagenarian, I continue to enjoy live performance music .. am now alternating between Fender Strat guitar & Roland synth & am still bewitched by tight vocal harmonies .. always been the "meat in the sandwich" for me .. through the years have been part of several "Silhouette" configurations, & have enjoyed being part of "The Waiters" (1980's) , "Timespan" & "Eclipse" (1990's) and the last decade "Dave Clarke 4" (DC4) .. aka "Heartbeat"

Some significant names of good people with whom I've shared a stage through the decades .. John Campion, Paul Brewer, Dennis (Nookie) Stott, Kristy Bamfield, Dave Marshall, Chris Ampleford, Graham Colhoun, John Summers (RIP), Warwick Henderson, Allan Hodgson, Clive Gott, Maurice Caddell, Roger Wiles, Peter Cox, Craig Morton, Murray Copplestone .. and apologies to those I may have omitted.

Then the lights begin to flicker and the sound is getting dim
The voice begins to falter and the crowds are getting thin
But he never seems to notice he's just got to find
Another place to play
David Gates "Guitar Man"

I'd rather be dead than sing Satisfaction when I'm 45.
Mick Jagger - May 1975


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