In the decades between the Sinatras' version of 'Somethin' Stupid' (1967) and 2009's 'Empire State of Mind', someone had the bright idea of pairing two Kiwi singers, and kitting them out in matching green and black. Fresh from two consecutive number one singles, ex Upper Hutt record factory worker Jon Stevens takes lead vocals on this breakup duet, which sees the magical arrival of Sharon O'Neill, 50 seconds in. The result got to number five on the local charts. This clip featured on after school show Tracy '80.
This dense, swirling number from Look Blue Go Purple’s first EP provides a more jaundiced view of the tale of the faithful Penelope waiting 20 years for Odysseus to return from the Trojan War. The video, directed by Pat O’Neill, is another example of a Dunedin band celebrating its local environment, and features LBGP driving a classic Borgward Isabella in and around Hoopers Inlet on Otago Peninsula, intercut with a performance from a mask party at The Oriental Tavern (with a rare on-camera appearance by Dunedin music identity Roy Colbert – in an ape’s mask). [This video is made available by The Film Archive]
In the tradition of novelty songs, ‘Culture?’ was catchy to the point of contagion. Fuelled by carnival keyboards, it was The Knobz response to Prime Minister Rob Muldoon’s refusal to lift a 40% sales tax on recorded music (originally instituted by Labour in 1975), and Muldoon's typically blunt verdict on the cultural merits of pop music (“horrible”). The giddy, hyperactive video comes complete with Muldoon impersonator (Danny Faye), and casts the band as the song’s 'Beehive Boys'. In the backgrounder, Mike Alexander writes about his time as the band's manager.