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Johnny Devlin - Give It A Whirl Interview

Interview – 2022

Johnny Devlin began his musical life as New Zealand's answer to Elvis Presley. His long career has included successful stints in Auckland, the United Kingdom, and — most significantly  Australia. 

In this interview shot for the 2003 season of Give It A Whirl, Devlin covers many topics, including:

• The fashion and culture of 1950s rock'n'roll, and how small-town New Zealand reacted to it (starting 3 minutes in)

• Moving to Auckland from Whanganui to start a residency at The Jive Centre (9 minutes in)

• Cutting his first record (11 minutes)

• Recording his own original music (17 minutes)

• Major fangirl mania on his New Zealand tours (23 minutes)

• How cutting a tendon in his finger probably changed his career (35 minutes)

• Bringing the house down in Australia, and touring Australasia with The Beatles (36 minutes)

• Working in the United Kingdom (51 minutes)

Read more about Johnny Devlin, on AudioCulture, NZ On Screen's sister website

This interview was recorded for the 2003 season of TV series Give it a Whirl. All audiovisual content is copyright to Visionary Film & TV, and may not be reproduced.
At the time I felt like a little ant. You know I thought there's millions of ants around, and I'm just one little ant — how am I going to make a name for myself in this country? But through the powers of television, and then the recording started, then the offers of work came in...and before we knew where we were, in six months — another short space of time — we were a national name in Australia. When I say we, myself and the Devils.
– Johnny Devlin on unexpectedly finding success in Australia (37 minutes into this interview)