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Hero image for Shona Laing - Give It A Whirl Interview

Shona Laing - Give It A Whirl Interview

Interview – 2022

Shona Laing wrote and sang her first top ten hit as a Wellington teenager, and was later heard around the globe thanks to her synth-driven single '(Glad I'm) Not a Kennedy'.

In this interview for 2003 TV series Give It A Whirl, Laing covers many topics, including:  

  • Being "signed, sealed and delivered" to Kiwi record company Phonogram as a teen, before she'd made her TV debut on talent show New Faces (4 minutes in)
  • How her early hit '1905' was inspired by an infatuation with actor Henry Fonda (5 minutes)
  • Adventures in London, including the arrival of punk and having a hit song but no actual records to sell (13 minutes)
  • Readjusting to an invigorated Kiwi music scene, after seven years overseas
  • The epic tale of how her 1985 single '(Glad I'm) Not a Kennedy' became a global hit, two years after first release (19 minutes) 

Read more about Shona Laing, 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.
... I was desperately infatuated with Henry Fonda, and that's the 1905: he was born in 1905. So it's just a song about how silly it was to be infatuated with a Hollywood star who was 50 years my senior. Simple as that.
– Shona Laing explains the origins of song '1905' (5 minutes into this interview)