The top live Band in Wellington in the late 60's, early 70's and every major Label courted them but they were not interested until the NZ Government decided to build a new Motorway and John MacGibbon and his family were hastily removed from their home which then sat vacant a year before being demolished. John was angry enough to write a song about it. Asking fellow artists which Label would play ball with him, they all said Tree. The B side was their most requested song at both at the James Cook Hotel and The Settlement, their two residencies. They also appeared on "Studio One", a music show made by NZBC-TV1, in 1972. No further records were made simply because the Band was not interested in a recording career. John died in July, 2007. Tracks 1 & 8.
Peter started his long and still active career in New Zealand as a Country & Western SInger. He rapidly rose to the top and appeared in every music programme ever made by the NZBC-TV1, had top billing in C&W Tours, held residencies in many top Hotels and even did a Cruise Ship Season. Well seasoned 'live', Pater's first record was "Six Days On The Road" for Viking, followed by "Diddle, Diddle, DUmplin'" for Tree. Tree wanted to do this song so it was agreed Peter could chose his second Single. He asked along his old Mate and working partner at times, Midge Marsden to join in. As Midge was still under contract to HMV, Tree had to hire him as a backing artist only for the original vinyl issue.
"Pickin' White Gold" was the result and it made it to #14 in New Zealand. The B side was written by a seasoned artists from the Viking stable who became a top Advertising Jingle writer. Peter Carter was a member of The Convairs. Peter Caulton moved to Australia in the 70's, made two outstanding Albums himself before visiting America and making an Album there too which was Nominated for 6 Grammy Awards. Today he lives in Germany and works Europe and includes Military Bases gigs in the Middle East.
Tracks 2,5,9 & 14.
An original member of the HMV recording group Barri & The Breakaways, Midge continued to play in bands and solo gigs while working for the NZBC Radio in Wellington. He soon developed a love of the Blues but has also performed C&W with Peter Caulton. He has toured Australia and America, made a number of records for Epic Records and still does session work for other artists' Albums. Tracks 2 & 9.
A nomadic Busker who travelled the world, singing for a crust. He cruised into Wellington, New Zealand, made a record for Tree then cruised on out again, never to be heard of again. All original material, he was assisted by Ian Cowie of Random Thought and classical guitarist Sylvia Bonallack who added the harmonics to "A Moving SIlence". Born in Malaya and educated in England, his full name is Roger Hartly Newton Mayson. Track 4.
Two native New Zealand part Maori sisters who harmonised well together. Tree recorded them to forefill a promise (which should never have been made) of a record release. Very young (mid to late teens) the girls displayed a natural talent and took to recording very easily. No more is known about them. Tracks 6 & 12.
THE TALISMEN DANCE BAND:
Another Upper Hutt Band with brass who wanted to make a record. Tree put the Harlequins and this band together to make it an all Upper Hutt production. They worked well together. No line-up information is known. Tracks 6 & 12.
Tree Records producer Dene Kellaway called on Record Shops to sell the Label's products. One day in Masterton, the young assistant in the top Record Shop asked Dene if he listened to Demos. He said yes, was handed a tape and the months and hours in the studio produced Tree Records best Album. It started as a low budget Country Rock Album and soon took on a life of it's own as a Roadshow piece. That young shop assistant was Neil Frances and the Band was calling themselves Haystack. They were in fact The Four Wheel Drive, a 3 piece Country Rock Bamd who's "cleaned up" two Season's on "New Faces" on TV1 and "Rock Quest" on Radio. A change of style meant a new name. School teacher Charlie Harter, who's father ran the local 4 Square Supermarket, was the main composer
and arranger. He is married to Marilyn, the mazing female voice of Haystack. MArilyn was 8 months pregnant when this material was recorded. Neil was also a solid songwriter but more Brit Rock and a keen Beatles fan. Tree hired Tom Swainson of Tom Thumb to be the session drummer. EMI Studios accidently (?) left a keyboard synthersizer in the studio when Haystack arrived for session number 4. "Can I use this?" Charlie asked. Hear the results. He also played Flute, piano and several guitars. One song was recorded in segments just so he could switch from acoustic to electric and back within a song. There was also a number of experienced musicians (Charlie's friends) who popped in and added bits throughout to complete this amazing Album. It's hard to believe these people did it all for fun, part time, a hobby to while away frosty winter nights in rural New Zealand. The original vinyl of this Album fetches $100 + USD on Ebay, these days. Tracks 7, 10, 13 & 15.
A College band in Wellington in the early 70's. Very popular in their own Suburb and at their College. Two brothers, Steve and Michael Robinson on guitars and vocals while Richard Campbell was the drummer. He used two full drum sets and Tree Records used this to create a real "around-the-room" drum roll effect. A girlfriend of Steve's who was too shy to go on stage, added vocals in the Studio. A broken leg put everything on hold and by the time it was healed, the brothers had gone their separate ways. The band no longer existed. Tracks 3 & 11.