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Tom & Ben
Three weeks on the road. Tom Sampson & Benny Staples, 1981

Part 3: The 12" Singles:

rev6
 
REV 6: The Features - The Perfect Features Exposed EP
December 1980 (Numbered Limited Edition)
A: Party
B1: Victim ; B2: Here We Come, B3: Mirror
Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, October / November 1980. Produced (original 8 track tapes) by The Features, Engineered By Doug Rogers. Mixed by James Pinker and Simon Grigg. Sleeve by Jed Town.

I love this record without reservation, especially the moment when Jed's vocal drops in on Victim. It's one of the releases I'm most proud of.

To promote it, I put a blow-up of the skinless body on the front sleeve in the window of the shop I was working in at the time in Hight Street only to get a deputation from all the local shopkeepers to have it removed.

These tracks came from an album, recorded, but unmixed and unreleased. A hand number limited edition of 750 copies.

The Features Poster

The Features live poster, 1980

 

rev8x
 
REV 8X: The Screaming Meemees - See Me Go EP
July 1981 (Numbered Limited Edition of 500) (Festival cat # X13081)
A1: See Me Go, A2: Poison Boys
B1: Till I Die; B2: See Me Go (Version)
Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, April-June 1981, except A2, recorded live at Mainstreet, Auckland, March 1981. Produced (A1) by Andrew Snoid, (B2) by Steve Kennedy, and (B1) Doug Rogers. Engineered & Mixed by (A1 & B1) Steve Kennedy & (B2) Doug Rogers. A2 recorded by Reid Snell. Mixed (A1) by Simon Grigg, (B2) by Ian Morris. Artwork (front) by Tony Drumm, (back) by Simon Grigg, and Dave Merritt. Photography by Murray Cammick

The 12" of this had two versions of See Me Go (my 7" mix, and Ian Morris' mix), a live Poison Boys and Till I Die. Only 505 were pressed, and all numbered, except the first 5 ( I have 1 and 500 plus two test pressings). They sold within hours of release and are worth quite some money now.

Thus it was number one with a bullet on the first week of release. Since it was deleted and impossibe to buy it went 1 > 11 > 42 > gone.......It was supposd to be re-recorded for the album but we were over it.

rev10
 
REV 10: Blam Blam Blam EP
April 1981 (Festival cat #s X13068 & K113 ...they used two at different times)
A1: Maids To Order, A2: Battleship Grey
B1: Blue Belmonts; B2: Respect
Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, February and March 1981. Produced by Blam Blam Blam and David Rudolph. Engineered by Doug Rogers. Artwork by Richard Von Sturmer from an original screenprint by Blam Blam Blam (the promo copies were hand screened).

The debut Blams release, and apersonal favourite - especially Blue Belmonts, about our, at the time, very brutal Police force. Things have improved quite a bit. It reached number 11 on the singles chart, based on student radio play and the general buzz for the band (no commercial radio of course).

There was a video of Battleship Grey made at TVNZ in Wellington, and another of Maids To Order.

Blam Blam Blam

Photo: John Reynolds
no cover
 
REV 16: Green Eggs & Ham - German Babies EP
Unreleased
Recorded (what there was of it) at The Lab with Doug Hood

A sort of Spelling Mistakes offshoot band, featuring Nick and Julian Hanson - rather good, and chaoticly dubby live. We started on about 6 tracks, and the title track to this was mosty done, but they never actually finished recording it and it kind of drifted away.

First Propeller Label

the first Propeller label, designed by the late Roger Jarrett

 

rev19
 
REV 19: The Dabs - Love The Army
July 1982 (Festival cat # X13089)
A: Love The Army
B1: Remember When ; B2: B Of D
Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, June / July 1982. Produced by The Dabs and Steve Kennedy. Engineered by Steve Kennedy. Artwork by Dirk.

A great power-pop trio that featured the late Steve 'Dab' Thorpe, a lovely guy who took his own life in the late eighties. We miss you Steve. I used to love watching The Dabs, their enjoyment and energy was utterly infectious.

A Top 40 record, peaking at 23.

This Serious


Propeller gig, 1983

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rev21
 
REV 21: No Tag - Oi Oi Oi
September 1982 (Festival cat # X13090)
A:No Tag
B1: Legalised Dogs; B2: Mistaken Identity
Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, June 1982. Produced by Steve Kennedy and No Tag. Engineered by Steve Kennedy. Artwork by No Tag

No Tag were the boot boy band and this was an Auckland anthem - however the happy truth was that in real life they were a placid bunch. They had a massive live following and scared the hell out of the distributor with a top twenty chart entry, which they did not expect.

They sold thousands of T shirts featuring the front sleeve (which was drummer Karl).

Dabs In Propeller office

Our crowded office (on the 4th floor, 238 Queen Street), was used for all sorts of things,
including promo shoots for The Dabs.

 

rev22x
 
REV 22X: The Screaming Meemees - Stars In My Eyes
January 1983 (Number edition of 1000) (Festival cat # X14005)
A:Stars In My Eyes (Part 1 - 12" Mix), A2: Stars In My Eyes (Part 2 - 12" Instrumental)
B: Day Goes By (Extended Dub)
A side recorded at Mandrill Studios, Auckland, December 1982. Engineered by Glyn Tucker Jnr. Produced by Tony Drumm, Tom Sampson and Glyn Tucker Jnr. B side recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, March 1982. Engineered by Steve Kennedy. Produced by Ian Morris. Both sides remixed by Tony Drumm, Tom Sampson and Simon Grigg. Artwork by Simon Grigg (drawing by Tony Drumm). A side featured Steve Anderton (Trumpet), and Peter Urlich (Handclaps).

The first ever 12" remix in New Zealand and a killer record that I'm very proud of - and what a way for the band to go out. The flip was a seriously self indulgent extended version of a track from the Meemees album, remixed one very long whiskey sodden night. They broke up during the recordings and Tony, Glyn, Tom and myself finished it.

A second track, Can't Sleep Today, was recorded but the tapes fell to pieces when we tried to lay it to digital in 1992.

Meemees on Farmers rooftop

An outtake from a Meemees Rip It Up photo shoot, Farmers Dept Store roof (now The Heritage),
late November 1982. Photo: Murray Cammick
The Miltown Stowaways

The Miltown Stowaways @ Sweetwaters
Photo courtesy of Mike Hartley
rev23
 
REV 23: The Miltown Stowaways - Hired Togs EP
January 1983 (Festival cat # X14004)
A1: Forest Rangers, A2: Follow Me
B1: Delights & Appeal, B2: Reptiles
Recorded at Lab and Last Laugh Studios, Auckland, November / December 1982. Produced by The Miltowns
Promo copies had a different track order and an extra track, Standards.

The Miltowns were a Newmatics offshoot with a life all of their own. This, their first EP, was their only for us and sold a grand total of 120 copies.

They later recorded an album and an EP for Unsung Records. Fantastic live.

REV 25

The press ad for REV 25

 

rev25
 
REV 25: Jam This Record - Jam This Record
February 1988 (Festival cat # X14025) also on cassette (REC 25 / C 14025)
A:Jam This Record
B1: Jam This Record (Instrumental), B2: Jam This Record (Radio)
Recorded at Module 8, October / November 1987. Produced by Alan Jansson, Dave Bulog, James Pinker & Simon Grigg. Artwork by Chad Taylor.

NZ's first house record-from Alan Jansson / Dave Bulog / James Pinker / Simon Grigg. We scammed this as a white label from an unknown act, to all the clubs and student radio and they all pretty much fell for it. I exported close to 500 to the UK & the US via Rough Trade.

Artwork by Chad Taylor who did much of the later Propeller artwork.

Rev 27
 
REV 27: Sistermatic - Million Dollar
1989 (Withdrawn)
A: Million Dollar (Vocal Mix)
B: Million Dollar (House Mix)
Recorded at Keith Ballantyne's Link Studio, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1989. Produced by Benny Staples, Sid Pasley and Mark Clare. Featuring Koi Ski on rap. Sleeve by Chad Taylor.

This got released for 1 week but mentioned a then current legal scandal / case in the lyric so got pulled by Festival who were nervous about action which was threatened. The band was more or less The Newmatics with Sina Siapia on vocals. The B side mix was the killer version.

The video was shot in The Box and featured various people including a large cameo for me.

Tall Dwarfs

Two Tall Dwarfs..first release on our Furtive label

 

FUR1
 
FUR 001: The Tall Dwarfs
July 1981
A: Nothing's Gonna Happen
B1: Luck or Loveliness; B2: All My Hollowness to You
Recorded at Jessell Street, Ponsonby, Auckland by Tall Dwarfs and Doug Hood, May 1981. Mastered at Mandrill, Parnell, by Glyn Tucker Jnr. Sleeve by Chris Knox.

The first Furtive and the first Tall Dwarfs. It was re-issued on Flying Nun a few years later. A great record, which really defined the Flying Nun sound of the next year or so.

This cost us a new set of speakers at Mandrill after Chris and Alex blew them during mastering.

The Furtive label was essentially set up to release this and the Newmatics but soon became an outlet for Paul's projects. The single went top thirty. The sleeve on the later Flying Nun issue is different (the back was changed).

The first 500 contained a photocopied sheet of drawings by Chris explaining the history of Tall Dwarfs.

Fur004
 
FUR 004: Various - The Furtive Four Three Piece Pack EP
June 1982
A1: The Bongos - Nervous Tension, A2: The Prime Movers - Going Round In Circles
B1: The Dabs - Remember When; B2: The Skeptics - Last Orders
A1, A2, B1 Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, March- May 1982. Produced by Simon Alexander, Paul Streekstra and Steve Kennedy respectively, B2 Recorded at Ross Intermediate, Palmerston North . Produced by The Skeptics. Compiled by Paul Rose.

Sleeve by Gordon Bennett (Peter Urlich & Trevor Reekie).

A new artist EP put together by Paul, and a tour. Each act was a trio, hence the name (actually the Skeptics were a four piece but whatever..)..

All these acts released singles after this for us except the Skeptics whose tapes disappeared (stolen?) and it remains unreleased. It would be great to finally know who took them after all these years.

no sleeve
 
FUR 006: The Skeptics - Pyronnists Selections
Unreleased, scheduled for September / October 1982.
Track Titles unknown
 
5 tracks recorded at Ross Intermediate, Palmerston North. Produced by The Skeptics.

The great lost Skeptics EP - where, why, when, and what could have been....

cover to come
 
REV 28: Blam Blam - Don't Fight It Marsha, Its Bigger Than Both Of Us
November, 1992. (Festival cat # D 11319)
1: Don't Fight It Marsha, Its Bigger Than Both Of Us (Full Version), 2: Thomas Is Guilty (Live)
3: Respect (Live), 4: Don't Fight It Marsha, Its Bigger Than Both Of Us (Radio Edit)
1 & 4: Recorded at Harlequin Studios, Auckland, 1982. Produced by Blam Blam Blam and Paul Streekstra. Remastered and edited by Paul Streekstra at Airforce, Auckland, July 1992. Tracks 2 & 3 Recorded at The Gluepot, Ponsonby, Auckland, January, 1984 by David Rudolph. Mixed at Airforce July 1992 by Paul Streekstra. Cover by John Reynolds and Jane Winton

Released to coincide with the Complete Blam Blam Blam CD in 1992 in the vague hope that radio in NZ might finally deign to play this New Zealand classic.

Ha ha ha - they didn't of course.

Propeller & Furtive History
Propeller 7" Singles
Propeller Albums