The Legends

“The Legends”

Gray Bartlett with Jodi Vaughan and Brendan Dugan,  together with Eddie Low, were together again at the Turner Centre in Keri Keri New Zealand on November 4th 2017.

This sensational group have played to more than 500,000 people in New Zealand over something like twelve years.


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Tommy Emmanuel, what a treat:

This astounding acoustic guitar legend returned to New Zealand for four concerts during September 2017.

How privileged I was to attend all four concerts, not only to take some extraordinary photos and video but to also spend some valuable time to get to know and understand what makes this man tick.

Tommy Emmanuel has two ARIA Awards (Australian Recording Industry Association), two Grammy nominations, and untold honours in the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll.

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Midge Marsden
Midge Marsden

Midge Marsden

Auckland Jazz and Blues club excelled themselves on Tuesday June 13th 2017. Their venue at the RSA in Pt Chevalier Auckland hosted a true New Zealand Icon Midge Marsden and his blues band. Unfortunately I had never seen Midge live on stage in the early days and last night realized just what I had missed over the years. His ability to sing and play blues is second to none, his enthusiasm for the genre is inspiring and he has put together the most professional stage presentation.

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Singer, Songwriter, Recording Engineer.

Here is a brief article written by Glyn Tucker, a great friend and enthusiastic music lover and entertainer.

I was a singer-songwriter-guitarist, and by the mid seventies had quit playing gigs and started a professional recording studio in Auckland. It became well-known over the next 21 years as Mandrill Recording Studios….During that time, as owner of Mandrill we chalked up 22 Gold Albums, 3 Platinum albums.They included Split Enz, Little River Band, Alastair Riddell, Citizen Band, Ardijah, Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing, The Exponents, The Mockers, Satellite Spies, David Hasselhoff, Kiri TeKanawa, Carl Doy, and many many others….International producers and engineers we worked with included, John Boylan, Kim Fowley, Tim Palmer, Jay Lewis, Ernie Rose, Graeme Myhre, Mark Moffat, Bruce Lynch, Paul Streekstra, Dave McArtney, Harry Lyon, Dave Marrett, Jaz Coleman, and so many others….Working with these guys I got to learn a thing or two … secret techniques the pro’s use every day to give their recordings that special “something” that makes platinum and gold albums….From time to time I intend to write about some of these very special techniques and share them with you right here Behind the Music Scene.
The stuff I’ll be sharing with you does not originate in the classroom, or from a textbook. Instead, I am talking about the stuff that comes off the recording studio floor, and from the producer-engineer’s chair in a sweaty control-room at 4 in the morning, with the air-con broke, and the mix ain’t working because of a badly recorded vocal track!
These secrets emerged from the blood on the studio floor….(probably from the producer trying to cut his wrists)
Modern recording processes, have changed considerably since those pioneering days and nights I spent at Mandrill Studios. However, the laws of physics never change, so no matter what medium or format you are recording with today, these secrets are just as valid as the day they were first used on hit records; perhaps 20 years ago. (or more)I hope I can make your journey a little easier and smooth the way for you in your quest to produce the next smash hit recording that will take the world by storm.
Or perhaps just to make your next demo a work better, or even to produce a work of art of the highest quality for the listening pleasure of those of similar taste.
No matter that you may be working out of a small, poorly equipt home recording studio, without proper acoustic treatment, and no sound-proofing……the principles you will learn will help you get the best out of what you’ve got, and make a real difference to your end result.
So, watch out for my posts.
Have fun makin’ music my friends

Glyn Tucker­

Sony a7s

One thing about concert photography that is vital is NO FLASH. This presents some interesting challenges to budding concert photographers and when I started I had no idea. My interest started in the days of film and all I could do was buy a high speed film as I knew the powers to be would never allow a flash. Even though I have been to a number of concerts where flash was used, it is unacceptable, not only for the band but also the distraction for the good people who have outlaid good money for tickets.

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I have had the opportunity of taking some photos of my good friend Larry Killip.

Larry is a fantastic musician, a song writer, guitarist,  singer and in addition a recording engineer (and by the way a terrific photographer himself).. I will talk more about Larry later on but how I got to know him was rather special.

A great many people have helped me shape my life and enjoy a very good career. Where I have arrived at lately has no relationship to where I started, I have come to realise it was these very good people who appeared in my life helped me on my way.
My parents of course were a great influence even though they came from a very humble background. My departure after a miserable three years at Huntly College in New Zealand had sadly placed me on a road to nowhere.

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There has already been heaps written and published about Hank Marvin. Based in Perth Western Australia for the last thirty odd years and a lifetime of smash hits we just thought our readers may be interested in some of the great articles published about Hank. The following snippet can wet your appetite for more and the link is at the end just in case you wish to read it all.
“This article will attempt to draw together knowledge about the electric guitars used by Hank Marvin, particularly during his time with The Shadows. It has the word “some” in the title because of the extensive period of time over which Hank has performed and also the wide range of music genres covered. He has certainly played many, many more instruments than listed here, particularly after The Shadows early period, and it would be almost impossible to try for a complete list. In particular, I have focused on those known to have been used either in recording or in concert, and so many of the Fender Custom Shop Hank Marvin “signature” guitars, including those released as the 25th and 40th,  anniversary models are not yet included, even though Hank may have played a role in the development of some of them.”
For the full blurb which is well worth reading go HERE: TVS3 Specialty Products

Bob Leahy

The forthcoming Radio Hauraki Reunion

December 2016 is the 50th Reunion of Radio Hauraki in New Zealand. I was lucky to be a small part of this amazing history in 1966. Four young New Zealanders, the eldest only 27 years old at the time took on the New Zealand Government and established a Pirate Radio Station in the Hauraki Gulf on board the “Tiri”.
After a long four year battle the station was granted a land licence and Radio in New Zealand Changed forever. There is no doubt Radio Hauraki played a major role in supporting New Zealand recording artists and their talent. People like Peter Posa, Sir Howard Morrison, Gray Bartlett and many other famous New Zealand musicians were given air time by the station. Sadly here in 2016 there is very little airtime given to our recording artists any longer. TVNZ (Television New Zealand) and most existing radio stations refuse to acknowledge our local efforts. No doubt much discussion will take place about this at the forthcoming reunion although I suspect nothing will change. The media in my opinion is now a circus, run by unprofessional people with little or no qualifications and zero respect for the people who led the way in the past.
There is no no effort required for TV or Radio presenters to have a reasonable command of the English language, the thick kiwi accent has taken over from the articulate people who ruled the airwaves in the past. We all know the music and the quality of recording has suffered too. MP3 is the chosen mode of compressed music most people accept and listen to on their Ipods and they seem to think it is high quality. In fairness it is probably better than the old cassette tape that many will have forgotten about too, but most are missing the real deal. Major efforts in the recording process by distinguished recording engineers have created wonderful recorded music that many people seem to miss out on.
Enough of the lecture and the bleating, at least here is a recorded interview by Jack Tame (a talented kiwi) speaking with David Gapes and Ian Magan, two of the original creators of radio Hauraki.

The featured picture is of Bob Leahy the FIRST voice to be heard broadcasting from the original “TIRI” in 1966. What a voice, leaves the presenters of today in the dust.

Martin Cilia

Nelson was the city to host the two day Snapfest event on Friday 16th September 2016. The attraction for me was the Australian band “Mental as Anything” featuring Martin Cilia whom I have been following some time. Martin is a well established guitarist who is known for his ability throughout the world.

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A small review on Leo Sayer and Lulu, by Glyn Tucker

On a miserable wet Sunday night in Auckland, on 26th June, 2016 at Civic Theatre in Auckland, I went along to see a couple of singers from a bygone era perform a clutch of old songs for a mostly middle-aged audience. One of the prime motivators for checking them out was the venue. I have become disenchanted with stadium concerts that are so impersonal that one seldom experiences the soul of the performers. Any attempt at connecting with the audience on a personal level is usually substituted with the glitz and glamour of digital light shows and mega-production gimmicks. And the sound quality can be sadly  miss-interpreted as sound quantity.
So I shuffled to my comfortable seat in the Civic auditorium, along with 2,000 similar grey-haired blokes and coloured-haired blokesses and was early enough to check out the stage set-up. It looked encouraging. A nice Ludwig drum kit sitting proudly on its riser in the centre rear of the large stage, flanked by Fender bass and guitar amplifiers (one bass, two guitars) and surprisingly two sets of keyboards, one stage-left and another at stage-right. My gaze then shifted to the interior of the theatre, and I was reminded what a magnificent auditorium this is. From the twinkling stars in the midnight blue ceiling to the big golden cats sitting either side of the stage, with their illuminated green eyes staring out, this is a classy place. It’s reminiscent of a Las Vegas Showroom, but with less glitz and more traditional character. Not to mention the very natural-sounding acoustics that never get in the way of the music.
With every seat in house supporting a backside, the off-stage announcer introduces “Ladies and gentlemen, Leo Sayer and Lulu” and they enter from opposite sides of the stage to perform their first duet. Both of them were dressed casually, Lulu sporting a cool black hat, black jeans, and shirt/waistcoat affair; Leo in blue jeans and chequered shirt and sport coat, and of course with his trademark frizzy hair. They are both small people, but so dynamic! It was obvious from the get-go, this was going to be a good night. The band was great, and the sound mix was perfect! I cannot remember ever making that statement about the sound of any concert over the past 20 years. But this time it all came together in a wonderful blend of clear, precise vocals and awesome guitars, keboards and drums at a solid volume level that “did the business” without completely demolishing our eardrums.
As the set evolved, it became apparent that additional backing vocals were added by way of a single female singer, augmented by both guitarists and both keyboardists, as required. The harmonies were brilliant, and once again beautifully mixed. After a couple of duets to kick off the show, Lulu left the stage and Leo did his stuff for two or three songs after which Lulu came on and did the same.
They finished the first set together again before the interval. The audience was typical of the age-group; applauding strongly but politely at the end of each song, but remaining silent throughout performances.
After the interval they started winding the audience up. Lulu did a segment where she got to tell some stories about her days with Maurice Gibb and she sang a couple of Bee Gees hits. “To Love Somebody” was superb (with lovely BV’s as described above). A highlight for me was her story about Maurice and Barry writing “Run to Him” and Robin coming in late to provide the main chorus. This was a well rehearsed segment where Lulu seamlessly moved from talking into singing mode to portray the songwriting process, and back to story-telling mode. The back and forth switches were handled seamlessly by Lulu and the band. Brilliant!
By the time Lulu performed her amazing version of “Shout” everybody was out of their seats singing and clapping along, including Leo, on stage with her. Then Leo did his monster hit, “You Make me Feel Like Dancing” and the whole place went wild. Lulu showed her dancing skills and Leo showed his lack of them. These last two encore numbers capped off a great show.
Other highlight performances were, Leo’s “When I Need You”, “ More than I can Say”.
Duets “Moonlighting”, “Long Tall Glasses(I Can Dance)”, and a great version of Bob Seeger’s “We’ve Got The Night”, an then Lulu’s “ To Sir With Love”, Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”.
I came away feeling that Leo Sayer is still a very good singer, whilst Lulu struck me as being exceptional; and both are almost 68 years of age! A great concert from a pair of absolute professionals, the likes of which are rare in this age of digital gimmicks and manufactured videos.
Glyn Tucker