Ian Morris got his start in the music industry as a recording engineer at Auckland's Stebbings Studio. A guitarist in Th'Dudes, he co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits with Dave Dobbyn (including 'Right First Time" and 'Bliss'). In 1987 he topped the charts as Tex Pistol with his cover of 'The Game of Love' (which he performed, arranged, engineered and produced). 'Nobody Else', a follow-up single with his brother Rikki, went to number one a year later. Morris also composed and recorded soundtracks for TV, film and commercials. He died in October 2010.
Musical brothers Ian and Rikki (Richard) Morris collaborated briefly in the late 80s. A former member of Th’Dudes, Ian had a solo number one hit in 1987 as Tex Pistol with his version of the 60s classic ‘The Game of Love’. The following year, Ian and Rikki topped the charts together when they joined forces to record Rikki’s song ‘Nobody Else’. Ian also engineered and produced Rikki’s debut solo single ‘Heartbroke’. It won Rikki the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award for 1991 and Ian was named Best Engineer at the NZ Music Awards.
The Beatles, Hendrix, The White Stripes, Cat Power, Aretha...popular music is strewn with acts for whom a cover song has proven no compromise to credibility. This collection proves that popular music in New Zealand is no different. Alongside chart toppers from The Holidaymakers, Tex Pistol and cover queens When the Cat's Away, Crummer does Clapton, Jon Steven goes slightly Jamaican, Head Like a Hole do Springsteen — and 'Nature' and 'Shoop Shoop' get soome added guitars.
For this lush, spacious ballad, then teenage director Paul Middleditch continues the striking visual style he had established a year earlier with his video for previous Tex Pistol hit, 'The Game of Love'. Tex (Ian Morris) wears the same outfit, while his brother Rikki is clad in the reverse — white shirt and black jeans. Backing vocalist Callie Blood appears again (although she didn't actually sing on this recording), a choir of children is added, and some behind-the-scenes shots of the crew — but the set is free of surface water or falling rain this time.
The video for Tex Pistol's chart-topping, electro-pop tinged remake of 'The Game of Love' is a stylish triumph for budding teenage director Paul Middleditch - and one of the high points of New Zealand music video making in the 1980s. Tex Pistol, aka former member of Th'Dudes Ian Morris, is dressed in black and white with silver tipped cowboy boots and big red semi-acoustic guitar; while the soundstage, covered in a sheen of water, and blacked out except for a handful of spotlights, is all reflective surfaces for Morris and backing vocalist Callie Blood.
Subtitled 'Waiting for Summer', this Radio with Pictures report looks at live pop music in Auckland in 1982. Chris Knox, Graham Brazier, Hammond Gamble, Ian Morris, Peter Urlich, Michael O'Neill (The Screaming Meemees) and Tony Waine (The Narcs) muse on everything from Auckland vs Wellington, oldies vs youth, to the weather’s impact on songs, and the lack of venues. There are visits to The Gluepot and Urlich’s A Certain Bar. Label directors, booking agents and managers give their (mostly downbeat) take on the state of the scene. Rip It Up editor Murray Cammick talks lyrics.
Th’ Dudes formed in 1976 — around a nucleus of Peter Urlich, Dave Dobbyn and Ian Morris (later Tex Pistol) — all fresh out of Auckland’s Sacred Heart College. Propelled by the accomplished songwriting of Dobbyn and Morris, Th’ Dudes followed in the footsteps of Hello Sailor and helped Kiwi rock’n’roll shake off its mid-70s lethargy. The band released two albums and a number of classic singles — including ‘Be Mine Tonight’, ‘Right First Time’ and ‘Bliss’. Baulking at the grind needed to make an impact in Australia, Th' Dudes split in 1980. In 2006 they reunited for a tour, and documentary Th' Dudes - Right Second Time.
The penultimate Pop Mechanix single was an exploration of carnality, anchored by chiming guitars with vocals by Andrew McLennan (Coconut Rough and 'Sierra Leone'). It was one of the first music videos directed by Spot On video competition winner Paul Middleditch, who was still at school. He went on to make videos for Tim Finn and Tex Pistol, commercials, and 2009 movie Separation City. The location was a cold, disused office. “Luckily,” says bass player Paul Scott, “we were into leather jackets, big coats and damn big hair because the place was absolutely freezing”.
Rikki (Richard) Morris is the younger brother of former Th'Dudes member, Ian Morris. After leaving school he worked as a touring sound technician and was briefly a member of The Crocodiles. In 1988 Ian (as Tex Pistol) recorded Rikki's song 'Nobody Else' (with Rikki on lead vocal). It topped the singles chart and won Rikki the Songwriter of the Year award. He won the APRA Silver Scroll in 1991 for his song 'Heartbroke' and released a solo album, Everest in 1996. He has also been a television presenter and run his own recording studio.
This soulful despatch from the end of a love affair won Rikki Morris the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award for 1991. It was produced by his brother Ian (aka Tex Pistol) who contributed a suitably epic 80s drum sound and won himself Engineer of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. The family connection extended to the music video where Rikki’s then wife Debbie Harwood (from When the Cat’s Away) played the former partner in the Super 8 footage (which the pair shot themselves). A stormy surf beach offers an appropriately tempestuous supporting performance.