Thursday, December 17, 2009

No. 8 Wire - Psychedelia Without Drugs

The existing counterculture in late-60s New Zealand listened to the likes of Radio Hauraki as the ballooning consciousnesses -- some of those balloons filled with vegetal smoke, others with lukewarm,
slightly moist, air -- of the bands in the rest of the western world set their tape-echoes and phasers to "stoned."  They crowded round the American troops coming through the ports, where they heard even dirtier rock'n'roll and R&B. Having no native New Zealand soothing herbs, some resourceful Kiwis hinted inquiries to the soldiers. Some were even lucky enough to take a taste: "Awwww... yeah? My mate's brother tried it over in Aussie, and he said it was like..." While they might not yet have the drugs, for now they could get the drug music (though some of this stuff shows that they didn't really get it). So, slightly bewildered and beer-fuddled, they followed suit. And soon they got pretty good at it.

Compiled by John Baker, this record is sometimes called the third of his 'Wild Things: Wyld Kiwi Garage' series. It certainly seems to be the rarest -- I've seen one copy other than my own, and mine is damaged. I've replaced the damaged tracks with cleaner versions where available, but tracks like "Bengal Tiger" by the Brew (with Doug Jerebine, soon to leave his name behind when departing NZ shores for the UK, cutting a tape as Jessie Harper, "Guitar Absolution in the Shade of the Midnight Sun") I've never seen anywhere else, so yr stuck with my noisy copy.

Slightly Delic [Link Removed -- this is back in print, yeah! Renamed 'Number 8 Wire: 16 Trippy New Zealand Nuggets 1967-1969' on Particles, LP or CD]


  1. I just recently saw this in two Christchurch record shops on Green Vinyl, and they wern't second hand. would have brought it but i don't have a turntable.

    PS. Looking for an ablum by an old 80s Christchurch band called Southern Front, self titled album from sometime in the 80s, not sure now what year it was.

  2. Cheers Roddus --

    Any idea what the price was for those LPs, and where? Penny Lane?

    Try Andy at Mysterex blog re: Southern Front. He is an expert.

  3. Love the tracks on this album. A few of the artists are facebook friends.
    Hey Roddus, if you go on facebook, check out my group Christchurch Punks. Guys from Southern Front are on there, and heaps of others who could help :)