a NOTE from Hugh …

•2-May-2010 • 7 Comments

I realized looking this blog the other day that kiwirock history of NZ rock’n’roll is a bit miss leading. The stories you will find here are about the international acts that came to New Zealand. Most of them I will have promoted but there maybe be others. Most of the stories are written by famous New Zealand rock’n’roll /music journalist. These stories will give you a flashback and the feel on what was happening at that time in New Zealand rock’n’roll. Most of the stories relate in some way to the posters that I’m selling. Which relate to individual artist that came to New Zealand at that time. But there are other articles about local artist.

More IT_Aroa info

•2-October-2013 • Leave a Comment

My profile Page for IT_Aroa 2013:



•30-September-2013 • Leave a Comment

Huge changes have been happening in the industry over the last thirty years. Technology… there are so many ways to communicate with each other now. I sometimes think, “How did I do it without mobile phones, internet, text?” But then we were in a different time space; everything was hard copy, with letters, landlines, teletext etc. Now everything is much much faster. So, this conference, IT_Aroa developed. It’s more about tribal business than music business… Although you’d have to say, that many indigenous peoples are involved in the music industry. Anyway, have a look at this website that has come to fruition recently for the IT_Aroa conference I am part of… I would be interested in what you think of it.


Here is the website: http://itaroa.co.nz/





•3-June-2013 • Leave a Comment

by Simon Grigg

warrior LPHugh Lynn, a major Auckland concert promoter and the owner of Mascot Recording Studio in Eden Terrace, founded Warrior Records in 1981. First release was the Penknife Glides double A-side ‘Laugh Or Cry’/‘Taking The Weight Off’, which was branded with the WEA logo, but was a Warrior release in every other way.

The label’s second release established the label’s importance – Herbs’ seminal mini-album What’s Be Happen? – a record that perfectly and forevermore defined the sound and ethos of Pacific reggae.

Further releases from Mantra, Diatribe, the Mike McGregor Band, The Pacific Band, Roy Phillips and Shot In The Dark followed, but Warrior will forever be associated with the extraordinary run of singles created by the wide-ranging line-up of talent that went under the name Herbs.

whats be happen

‘Sensitive To A Smile’, ‘Long Ago’ and the staunchly line-in-the-sand statement of ‘French Letter’ were among the most nationally embraced records made in New Zealand in the 1980s and all were massive hits. Herbs were not always embraced by commercial radio at the time. Despite its iconic place in New Zealand history, ‘French Letter’ was largely ignored by New Zealand radio at the time of its release.

Warrior was managed day to day by Herb’s original manager Will ‘Ilolahia, and the alliance with Mascot Studios, then one of Auckland’s best recording facilities, meant that the label had access to downtime at the studio, thus ensuring a steady flow of releases.

1988 saw Godzone Beat, a collection of mainstream New Zealand pop-rock bands that seemed to be at odds with the balance of the label’s more ground-breaking catalogue.

Warrior’s first incarnation didn’t last out the 1980s as Lynn’s music companies went into receivership and his personal commitments took precedence. Herbs then moved to Warner Music, who had always distributed Warrior. The group’s 1990 album Homegrown was on their own Tribal Records label, although a revived Warrior retained the catalogue and remastered and reissued the band’s albums in 2012 to coincide with Herb’s induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

In 2013 Warrior is scheduled to issue the soundtrack to the Polynesian Panthers feature length documentary.


•12-September-2012 • Leave a Comment

Hard tings an’ times

By Graham Reid, posted Sep 2, 2012

HERBS, NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012): Hard tings an' timesWhen Herbs emerged at the start of the 1980s they were a very different band from the avuncular, mainstream entertainers they became.The original five-piece was managed by the former president of the radical Polynesian Panthers, and the cover of their landmark EP Whats’ Be Happen, released in July ’81 during the Springbok tour, was an aerial photo of police evicting protesters occupying Bastion Point in ’78.

That alone was a significant statement, and the six tracks within were a watershed in Kiwi music.

The lyrics spoke with a righteous anger we seldom hear from our musicians. Toni Fonoti, who wrote most of the material, possessed an authoritative voice and the songs referred to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa (Azania), the realities of street life for Continue reading ‘HERBS, NEW ZEALAND’S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012)’

Herbs: Cultivating fame

•12-September-2012 • 2 Comments

Herbs: Cultivating Fame

By Alan Perrott 8:00 PM Monday Sep 3, 2012

Alan Perrott talks to homegrown band Herbs about their roots, growing up, being inducted into music’s Hall of Fame and missing out on worldwide success.

Dilworth Karaka (left), the only original member of Herbs left, and newcomer Leyton Greening at Whare Taphere, Herbs' home base. Photo / Natalie Slade

Dilworth Karaka (left), the only original member of Herbs left, and newcomer Leyton Greening at Whare Taphere, Herbs’ home base. Photo / Natalie Slade

Whare Tapere, the base of operations for Herbs in Auckland’s Kingsland since 1980, is a building in serious decay. Certainly, with the old banners, gold discs and skins that haven’t been touched since their late, founding drummer Fred “the Rock” Faleauto hung them on the wall, history is everywhere.

“There’s mana there, you feel it when you walk into the room. It’s something … something good,” says the band’s newest member, Leyton Greening.

Since their beginning in the late 70s, dodging flying bottles in Onehunga’s notorious Trident Hotel, Herbs is the Kiwi band that keeps on keeping on.

Some call them our Rolling Stones – others, our Rolling Stoned – and if there is any downside to such a comparison, it’s that, like those English pensioners, people forget what they once were.

Herbs, once, were warriors.

They emerged from the Muldoon years as a multi-ethnic group united by righteous anger and reggae, before gradually evolving into a chart-friendly outfit with a reputation for amazing live performances.

Theirs hasn’t always been a happy, lucrative or even particularly pleasant story, but it’s one that cries out for their upcoming mass induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame on September 13.

Dilworth Karaka, a wharfie who’d loved performing ever since learning how to play You Are My Sunshine, is Herbs’ sole surviving founder. As a star of Auckland Watersiders Rugby League Club, he’d been considered a potential Kiwi until, on getting up from a heavy tackle on muddy Carlaw Park, he saw the back of his leg where his kneecap should have been.

The injury later got infected and he lost his leg to gangrene.

“My whole life changed,” says the now-62-year-old. “I was an outgoing sportsman with Continue reading ‘Herbs: Cultivating fame’

HERBS Albums Released Digitally For The First Time

•12-September-2012 • Leave a Comment

With Herbs’ induction into the APRA New Zealand Music Hall of Fame this week, five albums from the back catalogue are now available digitally for the first time.

HOMEGROWN; LIGHT OF THE PACIFIC; LONG AGO; SENSITIVE TO A SMILE; and WHAT’S BE HAPPEN? are now available from all digital retailers.

Three of these releases – WHAT’S BE HAPPEN?; LONG AGO; and LIGHT OF THE PACIFIC have been digitally re-mastered from the original master tapes.

Over 30 years, eight albums and 27 members, Herbs are arguably the founding fathers of Pacific reggae in New Zealand. Throughout the bands career, Herbs have kept their musical message clear in expressing gentle but effective protest.

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) is honoured to announce Herbs are the first inductees to be added to the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame for 2012.

Herbs broke down a great many doors when they came onto the scene in the early 1980s. They fused Pacific and Reggae sounds into something unique and relevant to this part of the world; they gave a voice to an emerging, politically-aware audience that had grown up with the Springbok Tour, Bastion Point and Mururoa, and they gave a generation of young Maori and Pasifika musicians and songwriters a new path to follow. Suddenly, the spotlight had moved, and original New Zealand music could be as culturally diverse as the people who make up this country.  That spotlight hasn’t shifted back; it’s continued to expand to this day, and the vibrant, multi-cultural music scene that we now enjoy owes much of its existence to this one band.” Don McGlashan, APRA New Zealand Writer Director.

Herbs members being inducted are: Dilworth Karaka, Toni Fonoti, Phil Toms, Spencer Fusimalohi, John Berkley, Fred Faleauto and Charles Tumahai (deceased), Maurice Watene, Tama Lundon, Jack Allen, Carl Perkins, Willie Hona, Thom Nepia, Tama Renata, Gordon Joll, Grant Pukeroa, Kristen Hapi.

Herbs will be honoured and inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards, Auckland Town Hall on Thursday 13th September 2012.

Kiwi rock celebrates 35 years with concert series

•24-June-2010 • 3 Comments

The Auckland Star 14 Dec 1989

NEW Zealand rock n roll will be celebrating 35 years of Its own series of concerts at Carlaw Park. Organised by Auckland promoter Hugh Lynn and rock writer John Dix(the concert series is based on Dix’s recent book, Stranded in Paradise on the history of Kiwi rock), Kiwi Rock Stranded in Paradise will feature a series of eight con certs starring many “famous old names.

It will coincide with the running of the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. First up, on January 13, will be The Devil’s Music RockS Godzone,starring the likes of Johnny Devlin, Dinah Lee, Maria Dallas and Tommy Fergusson,

The Swinging ’60s concert on January 17 will star Max ‘Merritt and the Meteors, Ray Columbus and the Invaders and The La De Dogs a combination of former members of The members of The La De Das and The Underdogs.

One January 21, The ’70s concert  the will star the reformed Street Talk, Hello Sailor and Mi-Sex. Blerta and Friends on January 23 will revive the ghost of the old hippie roadshow with Bruno Lawrence, Jenny Morris, Rick Bryant,The Croeediles,Mammal,Corben Simpson and Beaver getting together again.

On January 26, alternative music will be to the fore with The Best of Flying Nun and on January 31 The’80s will feature six acts of the last decade (still to be announced).

Local musical institution Herbs will feature in a retrospective on February 4, with Ten Years of Herbs. And the concert series will end on February 10 with Rocking Into the ’90s. The format is still to be finalised.

Southern  bands to make splash

Christchurch Bands DoIpIria. and the Catherine Wheel team up together for shows at the Venue this weekend. Both bands have tracks featured on Pagan Records’ recent left field music compilation positive Vibration and have made independent cassette good airplay on student radio.

Morris kicks off ‘Shiver’

Jenny Morris kicks off the New Zealand leg of her Shiver tour tomorrow night at Devonport’s Esplanade Hotel. Playing at the “Powerstation on Saturday, Continue reading ‘Kiwi rock celebrates 35 years with concert series’

Herbs to Tour with UB40

•24-June-2010 • 2 Comments


Herbs to Tour with UB40

By Simon Johnson



Herbs And UB40

Reggae band Herbs may tour with the English group UB4O later this year.

Herb’s manager Will Ilolahia says UB40 wants the Auckland-based band as its support group when ‘it tours Europe in November.

“But whether we can go hinges on finance,” says Will. “If we can get it organised,we’ll be off.” This year has been an exciting one for Herbs. Following hot on the heels of the UB40 request, is an Announcement from the Department of Foreign Affairs that Herbs has been chosen to represent New Zealand in the Asian Arts Festival.

Hong Kong is hosting this year’s festival in late October. Herb’s appearanee in Hong Kong will follow close behind their Pacific tour. The group is leaving for the Pacific on August 25 where it is scheduled to visit six Islands, ending with performances in Tahiti.

“We can’t wait to get up there,” says Ilolahia. “They think we’re all country musicians down here. They’ve only ever seen Brendan Dugan.”

Ilolahia believes the climax of the tour will be the band’s visit to Tahiti. Continue reading ‘Herbs to Tour with UB40’

Genesis follow lead of Phil Collins

•24-June-2010 • Leave a Comment

THE STAR, Saturday, November 28 , 1981

Genesis follow lead of Phil Collins

Genesis : “ Abacab” ( vertigo).   Tony banks and Mike Rutherford are not stupid – or proud. If Phil Collins can be much more success ful than they are quick enough to capitalise on his success for Genesis.

If Genesis’s latest epic is not the son of  “In The Air Tonight” it’s at least the illegitimate offspring.   Those huge drum beats which  crashed out of Collins’s album echo in “Abacab,” although the irony is that it was the influence of ex-Genesis leader Peter Gabriel that got them on  to Collins’s record in the first place.

Instrumentation by the other two is kept to the minimum so as not to overshadow the vocals of Collins, while they even repeat his use of the Earth, Wind and Fire horns for “ No Replay At All” and his composition “Man On The Corner” could have been an “In The Air Tonight” track.

But the most important feature is that “ Abacab “ is much simpler than the normal overblown Genesis effort – again a Collins influence. They’ve actually tired to sound as if they are improvising too ( sample “Who Dunnit?”), something which will shock their fans who are used to the strict disipline of the old days.

They still write little Scenarios, which either iritate or spellbind depending on whether you are a dedicated enough fan (try “Me And Sarah Jane,” which goes on ad nauseum).

Genesis have managed to play safe. By repeating bits of Collins’s solo effort and at the same time put on abrave face of at  at least attempting to break the old ground rules.

That virtually equal amounts of “Abacab” fail and succed is due to what  seems to be at least an attempt to progress, throwing out various curves in the hope that a few are caught.   I can’t see it stopping the rot that set in a few albums back, but I at least salute their attempt in trying. Meanwhile when is the next Phil Colins solo coming out?

Herbs headed straight up

•24-June-2010 • Leave a Comment

Wanganui Herald 1984

Time out Rock Music With Dave Rogerson

Herbs headed straight up

When “Pacific reggae” band Herbs formed late in 1980 after a musicians’ meeting  in a south Auckland classroom, they decided top plan for international recognition.

Time Out Rock Music with Dave Rogerson

Sure,  we’d heard it all before – there probably isn’t a band in New Zealand that hasn’t dreamed Of fame. But Herbs suceeded where many others failed.

Now, after four succes sive appearances at Sweetwaters, support gigs for Stevie Wonder,Black Slate and UB40 various singles, two albums, national tours ‘and two Pacihc itineraries (one including HongKong), the band can say it has achieved its aim.

And it shows no sign of quitting now. Herbs recently finished recording a third album “Long Ago”, at Auckland’s Mascot Studios, The album is for summer  release and the band is currently on a ” Long Ago NZ” national tour to publicise it.

Over the past couple of years, the band has had some line-up changes, but the founding duo of Dillworth Karaka (rhythm guitar, vocals) and fred Faleuauto (drums, vocals) is still there to provide continuity.

Other member  are Jack Allen (bass,Vocals), Tama Lunden (Keyboards, vokals) Carl Perkins (percussion , vocals), Willie Hona (lead guitar, vocals) and Morrie Watini (saxophone) Any song written and recorded by New Zealanders and released in this country between August 17, 1984, was eligible for nomination by record companies.

There were 26 nomination, which were for warded to all commercial radio stations, where local panels selected their top 10 songs.