It’s a Happenin’ Thing….Kiwi Music Munff

According to John Dix’s monumental history of New Zealand music, ‘Stranded in Paradise’, Happen Inn – referred to in the previous post – was a less “hip”, more family friendly version of ‘Come’On, the 1960s pop show hosted by Pete Sinclair.

I’m too young to remember ‘Come On’ but I remember Happen Inn: it was the more pop version of ‘Country Touch’ the other music programme run by NZBC televsion in the late 1960s.

No one would call a programme ‘Country Touch’ these days.  They might, I suppose, call a programme The Grunt Machine, which was the later, mid-1970s, predecessor to Radio With Pictures.

Anyway, here’s a clip from, I think, Happen Inn, circa 1969.

This song came out round the time I started school. A wet winter, and I found school a huge disappointment. They expected me to sit still in class, not just in my chair but on the mat. With everyone else, and all.

Pfft.

And they wanted to read to me, rather than teach me to read. I felt quite short changed by this whole school thing.

Anyway, this was around on the radio at the time. This particular song was, as noted earlier, one of those songs which was a hit overseas – in this case, Greece, by Aphrodite’s Child. Their lead singer, Demis Roussos, later went solo. He was a large bloke, with a beard and I have a vague memory of him wearing kaftans.

He had a huge hit in the 1970s called ‘My Friend the Wind’, which I recall being subject to some inventive  and witty lyrical alteration when I was at high school.

This tune is a straight rip off of Pachelbel’s Canon in D (there’s a lovely version here by the London Symphony Orchestra), as are many other famous pop tunes. Everything from ‘Let it Be’ to ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ to ‘Don’t Marry Her‘ to…oh, this Canadian guy has a rant on the subject.

Later, the more venerated Radio With Pictures had great local clips like this one: Chris Knox’s first post-Toy Love offering, Nothing’s Going to Happen.

I seem to remember this clip being a big deal at the time: the nature of the video, in particular, was weirdly different, and the dolorous  but intriguing tune was the first inkling something new and interesting was being cooked up in Christchurch and Dunedin.

I don’t know if the Clean’s Anything Could Happen was intended as an Answer Song  – a bit like the Jim Reeves/ Jeanne Black He’ll Have to Go/ He’ll Have to Stay numbers from the early 1960s  – to the Tall Dwarf’s effort.

I would kinda like to think so, though.

I’ve written about this one before so I won’t ramble on it again.

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