PHIL HOPE

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First published in December 2007

Phil can be contacted at philhope@clear.net.nz

Just to let you know something of my musical background over the years........ 1967 ......  The first group I was with .... as seen on the inside cover of Roger Watkins 'When rock got rolling' ....... The Intruders.

Being from Upper Hutt we were very lucky with the number of venues that were allowing new groups to do live gigs ... no demo tapes ..... in between the big local names of the time ..... Insect .... Bitter End .... I remember we were on after the Avengers and before Sounds Unlimited at one of those all day Sunday Jamborees at the Lower Hutt / Horticultural Hall ........ Scary!  On recollection we played some good stuff, tho ..... Byrds ... Them ... Tremeloes and so on.

We met at college .... Heretaunga, I played guitar, Dave Wellington guitar vocals, Mike Hill, bass & vocals.  Tom Mcdonald gave us plenty of youth club bookings throughout the Hutt Valley ...... Club 21 / Rugby Gym in Upper Hutt.

The Intruders played together for a year or so and then drifted apart as we left school and got real jobs.

From then on it was grow up time.  Dave & Mike went off to form Cellophane.  Later Dave went on to play with the Country Flyers for a time and I joined up with Wairarapa's Kal Q Lated Risk .......

Because this new band was based in Featherston I got to know 'the hill', the Rimutakas very well, from lifts hitching, workers train, railcars, you name it ...... I once got a ride in the back of a convertible, exciting?  but it was the middle of winter!!  I joined up after Carl Evensen had left to join the newly named Fourmyula.  Ian Taylor had just replaced him on vocals ..... I met Ian at Brent and Grant Thomas's house in Martinborough one long weekend in 1968.  I worked with their cousin Rus.  The Thomas outfit was called Mode of Existence.  Also in that KQR lineup was Bernie Carey piano/Dave Cameron/bass Barry Rushton/drums ....... Barry went on to play with Auckland's Rumour ... still does I think.

Talk about a covers band ...... every Monday or so we would go the the local Featherston record shop and buy the top ten no matter who ...... then drive to the hall between Featherston and Martinborough and learn them ... Beatles, Cream, Three Dog Night, Supremes ... ''you keep me hanging on'' ... yes we played them all!!  The latter we slowed down to 33rpm for that current Vanilla Fudge feel and sound.

Not exactly banal.

Starting out pro .......... with ex Fourmyula manager Perry Lennon .... 1970 ....... Our first big gig was supporting the Beach Boys at the Wellington town hall ........ 2 shows, the first show went OK until Mike Love who was using Bernie's Keyboard as a stand for his Good Vibrations wizzo sound picked it up to move it forward leaving the stand behind!!  Crash!!  It broke a key or two ...... Rock on!  Our Mothers were in the front row .......... Oh Dear.

Later on Ian left, he got called up, and William Davidson from Dunedin stepped in.  Dave was out and Bob Coulter joined up and by now we were a late night pub outfit ......... with money!!  The early incarnation saw us headlining at one of those outdoor concerts this one at Peka Peka ...... it made the news cos the Mongrel Mob and Black Power decided to have a 'get together' in front of the stage!! .....

Before any sort of pub gigs were open to us The Risk was a pop group with a fan club, and lots of organised tours of the country to promote ourselves and be selected for 3 Loxene gold disc awards ..... we never won but that didn't matter .......... we got to play medleys of the other finalists at the after match functions.

On came the late night pub gigs, resident at the Awapuni in Palmy touring the country, mainly the South Island over the Xmas times good gigs, excellent money ...... all this in a 4 year time span.

Managing ourselves by now & having toured NZ many times we decided to look further overseas, as was the thing we got a 2 pound each a day playing on a cruise liner to the UK, met some famous people, did great gigs ....

After 3 years, lots of work, hard times, drummers, problems with visas .... got bored ...  It all fell apart and all gradually drifted back home ........ after having part time day jobs to supplement income ........ fatal ........ we went our own ways ......... still very young as well!! ........ with still lots to do, learn and enjoy.

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