The last time THE PRETTY THINGS played in New Zealand they were BANNED from ever playing here again. It seems 47 years is, indeed, forever – since they are heading back now!
THE PRETTY THINGS play at Auckland’s Powerstation on Tuesday 11th December.
Their tour of NZ in August 1965 caused much consternation and hand-wringing in the national press. Disparaged by ‘squares’ and ‘olds’ who found them too ‘loud’, too ‘drunk’, too ‘destructive’ and worst of all, too ‘hairy’, they were subject to public scrutiny by the national tabloid of the time , the ’Truth’ (who went by the motto ‘Above All for New Zealand’) before being banned.
But their legacy was to live on in NZ – in Invercargill, a group of noisy ne’er-do-wells named their band The Unknown Blues (after a Pretty Things song) and began blowing minds all over Invercargill and elsewhere (not an easy task in the sleepy ol’ NZ of the 1960s). Seminal Christchurch band Chants R&B in particular took The Pretty Things to heart and created some of the rawest, most vital music ever heard on our islands, as did fellow travellers The Breakaways and Sandy Edmonds.
Joining THE PRETTY THINGS in Auckland this December will be THE (AUSTRALIAN) PLEAZERS who first arrived in NZ the same time as the Pretties did in August 65, when they opened Auckland’s Galaxie nightspot (after owner local svengali Eldred Stebbing had made them paint the joint) The Pleazers caused many a jaw to drop, with their two lead singers, the longest hair in town, and a scorching set of R&B honed in Brisbane and Sydney. The intuitive Stebbing was looking for an act to replace Ray Columbus & The Invaders on his roster and brought the group to NZ.
To complete this revivalist bill will be THE SHUTDOWN 66 REVUE with Larry Morris, Midge Marsden & Dave Hurley will perform material from the earliest parts of their careers back by backing-band The Mystic Eyes who have backed Ray(s) Columbus and Woolf and Wanda Jackson (Members of the Situations).