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   Blam Blam Blam

"That group broke up in about 1980, late 1980 I think it was, and the remains of it was Blam Blam Blam - Mark Bell, Tim Mahon and myself. I had done quite a bit of percussion but I hadnít really been a drummer. I could read music and play orchestral percussion but I couldnít really join all the hands and feet together. But I figured I could do it; I figured that it wasnít very difficult. The whole punk ethic of trying to deny technical ability as much as you could (if you could actually play an instrument then make sure thatís not the one you play in the band) - that really suited us, although deep down we were really interested in music. Like we probably used more outlandish chords and more angular melodies and more interesting rhythms that a lot of the other bands were using at that time. But the basic impetus was that kind of breath of fresh air that was blowing through pop music that blew away the Eagles and the Doobie Brothers and all that horrible stuff that we had to grow up with. And all that horrible stuff that served as the backdrop for our first dates in cars all the way through the seventies. 

That was great; that was a wonderful time being in that band. It was just brilliant. There were only three of us. Musically we were moving really fast, learning stuff all the time. Every time we made up a new song, sparks were flying and it was a wonderful thing to be in. And, I think, we made some good records and did some really good shows with that band. Thereís a song called ďCall for HelpĒ which is one of the first ones I wrote for Blam Blam Blam. ...I suppose itís about fear of the unknown in the countryside and I didnít know where it came from, it sort of came from a dream. It proved to be... the first of a whole series of songs like that that Iíve done. I still donít know really where they come from but it seems to be a recurring dream that then wants to be made into a song. Iíve made quite a few songs like that with The Front Lawn and with The Mutton Birds, but ďCall For HelpĒ was sort of like the blueprint for it. 

So the Whiz kids travelled around the country being a band and made a record and did all the things that bands do. I was a member of that for the last year, I think, playing saxophone and guitar, none of which I could play very well, but it seemed like a good thing to be... a good thing to do. I didnít really want to finish my university degree, so I was kind of a bit at a loss at that stage."


ã Copyright  Radio New Zealand Ltd 1998.  All rights reserved. Used with permission.