George D. Henderson is a venerable New Zealand musician whose career stretches back to the mid-1970s. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Henderson moved to Invercargill, New Zealand, as a child in 1966. It was in Invercargill where he formed his first band, Crazy Ole and the Panthers, with his brother Ian Henderson and friend Lindsay Maitland in the mid-‘70s. Henderson moved to Dunedin in 1977, just as the city’s punk scene was beginning to foment. The following year he left for Wellington and formed The Spies. Alongside Shoes This High, the Wallsockets and the Ambitious Vegetables, The Spies were an early contributor to the nascent Wellington DIY scene. The Spies never released material during their lifetime; fortunately, their 1979 recordings were preserved by Siltbreeze with the posthumous release of 'The Battle of Bosworth Terrace' in 2014. The Spies morphed into the And Band after a move to Christchurch where they met kindred spirits, The Perfect Strangers. The And Band and Perfect Strangers released an incredibly rare split 7” EP in 1982 before folding.
Dormant after the demise of the And Band, George became galvanized by the sounds of the Chills on local Dunedin radio and formed his best-known group, The Puddle, in 1983. The Puddle was a vehicle for George’s songwriting, buttressed early on by a formidable lineup of Lesley Paris and Norma O’Malley (both of Look Blue Go Purple), Peter Gutteridge (Clean, Great Unwashed and Snapper), Ross Jackson and long-time friend Lindsay Maitland. The Puddle released a few excellent, lo-fi records on Flying Nun. By the time The Puddle was set to release polished-yet-excellent pop albums in the early ‘90s, Flying Nun stuttered. Personal setbacks derailed Henderson throughout the late ‘90s, but by the early 2000s he began to get excited about music again. George reformed The Puddle, releasing records on his brother Ian Henderson’s imprint, Fishrider. George is currently living in Auckland and playing with his new band, The New Existentialists, as well as the Puddle.

And Band - 1980 - photo by Stuart Page

TB: Tell me a little bit about growing up. You were born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and transplanted to New Zealand in 1966 when you were really young.
George D. Henderson: My father got a job here (in Invercargill). He was an agricultural engineer. He was looking for more opportunities, so he got onto this scheme where they’d pay his ticket if he agreed to work in New Zealand for a year. I remember a lot of stuff about Scotland. I remember going to school there and going to town in Edinburgh. I recall the voyage to New Zealand. We left on a ship. Invercargill is a very isolated place. It’s a large city, but isolated. Luckily, I fell in with a crowd who had access to new records. My best friend worked at a record shop. I got to listen to really great music quite early on that not many other people in New Zealand did.

TB: Right. I read an interview with you from 1986 where you mentioned that, although you were living in Invercargill, you were exposed to music like the Velvet Underground and Can in the mid-‘70s.
George: My friend Bob Sutton had a lot of Lou Reed’s personal record collection at one stage. Lou was touring New Zealand; he had bought all of these records in Japan and he had to leave them here, so all of these Japanese pressings of Velvet Underground and Roxy Music records, Bob got a hold of them. It’s just an example of being at the right place at the right time in Invercargill, against all the odds.

TB: Your brother Ian Henderson has posted tracks of your mid-‘70s band, Crazy Ole and the Panthers. Not only was Ian in the band, but future Puddle member Lindsay Maitland was in the group as well.
George: In Invercargill, there was this great band called Watchdog. My friend Bob (Sutton) was their roadie at one stage. I saw them when I was quite young at the town hall for some end-of-the-year, mixed-entertainment event. I must have been thirteen. They were doing glam covers. I thought, “I want to do this. I could learn to play guitar and look as great as that.” I wanted to have that kind of impact. I got a really cheap guitar—really rubbish. I hardly learned how to play it, but I did write some really basic things on it. I was already listening to the Velvets and the Stooges. We knew the music didn’t have to be too complicated. All the other stuff we couldn’t play. I also bought a tape recorder. It was a really old valve, mono, reel-to-reel tape recorder, but you could do all kinds of things with it. I must have had some book on tape recorders that told you how to do experimental recordings. I knew to cover up one of the heads so it would make loops and things like that. I was interested in all the odd things you could do with it.

TB: Tape manipulation-type stuff.
George: Yeah. We recorded a lot of stuff on cassette, but quickly moved to reel-to-reel. It opened up an opportunity to make reasonably good-quality recordings of everything we were doing. We’d experiment with different things. We couldn’t do sound-on-sound, but we could do tape loops and record our jams. We’d speed them up and slow them down.

TB: Did Crazy Ole and the Panthers perform live?
George: We got a couple of gigs, but we got chucked off stage. We weren’t very good, and we were never the kind of band an audience would want to watch in those days. We would have been filed under “noise music” by most people, although we did have songs. We did a lot of improvising. We listened to Can, Amon Duul II, Captain Beefheart, and the Velvet Underground. A lot of our best stuff happened spontaneously, but at the same time I was writing songs. I had a piano and I was learning how to write songs.

TB: That’s really precocious. MOR songs were really popular then.
George: It was glam that got me into it. Glam was relatively experimental. There were a couple of New Zealand bands I was into at the time. Watchdog started writing their own prog-rock stuff as time went on and that was really inspiring. They were doing their own material. Split Enz, in their earliest manifestation, they were quite psychedelic and experimental, especially on their first album. It was encouraging. It had the kind of theatricality that New Zealand music still has, at least to my ear. They were experimenting with sonic textures.

George D. Henderson with Bolex @ Deans Ave party, Christchurch. The Perfect Strangers played that night - 1985 - photo by Stuart Page

TB: You moved to Dunedin in 1977. Did you attend the University of Otago?
George: Yes, I went to the university but I didn’t actually study. I just went to live with the students and expand my mind. I wanted to get away from home. In that year in Dunedin, not much happened musically. Lindsay Maitland did turn up at the end of the year and we did jam a bit. We actually jammed with some of the guys who later joined Toy Love. It might have just been on one occasion. We were around, but we didn’t notice anything happening. The only thing I noticed in Dunedin was that people had horrible taste in music. No one had heard of Can. No one wanted to listen to the Velvet Underground. That would all change in a year. But people in Dunedin were listening to the latest Grateful Dead record, 'Sticky Fingers' by the Rolling Stones and Little Feat. That style of music didn’t really interest me then and it still doesn’t. It was a weird time. All the prog-rock bands had kind of gone funky and they were all really bad at it. People started listening to Steely Dan. I like Steely Dan, but when rock musicians start listening to Steely Dan it has a terrible effect on them. Only Steely Dan should sound like that. It should have never been a template for prog rock or hard-rock groups. That was happening in the mid-‘70s. Rock music was getting technical and funky, but nobody wanted to dance to it. It was a form of showing off and it left me cold, anyway. Punk came out in 1977. I left Dunedin to go fruit picking to see the country and make a bit of money. While I was fruit picking, I was watching television and I saw the Radio with Pictures documentary where Dylan Taite went and spoke with the Sex Pistols, and they showed a few clips of the punk bands. I got that: here’s the new revolution. I knew that I wanted to play music like early Pink Floyd. I wanted to be psychedelic. Punk was something else. But the psychedelic thing was dead and gone when I started learning how to play music. The chance of being part of some sort of counter-cultural revolution in music reappeared with punk. People kind of made punk into what they wanted it to be. For me, it was not about the aggressive, snotty-nosed ethos of it. Although I was young and had a little of that, it was the DIY part of it that appealed to me. It’s what the Rough Trade acts would pick up on a year or two later. They’d revive rawness and experimentation.

TB: I like the Scavengers, but listening to the Spies it’s clear you had eclectic tastes.
George: Yeah. We weren’t so self-conscious that we wanted to bury our knowledge of music to be more “authentic.” The Auckland bands, they might have been as musically aware as us, but they suppressed that. Any kind of musical ability they had was suppressed to appear authentic in front of their peers. For some reason, we didn’t end up doing that. We weren’t under pressure to do it because we didn’t have a healthy scene (in Wellington).

TB: There was a general suspicion of the Auckland bands, especially in the South Island, correct?
George: I was in Wellington then, but there was a suspicion that the Auckland bands were concerned with image. Image came first, music came second.

TB: Digressing back a little bit, it was in Dunedin that you met Susan Ellis who’d become one of your musical collaborators and later wife.
George: That’s right. I met Susan in Dunedin. We didn’t really collaborate much in Dunedin. There have been a few times in my life where I haven’t been really focused on music or recorded anything, and that year in Dunedin was one of those times. Susan and I met up again in Wellington the following year and I included her in the band (The Spies) that we were forming. I had joined up with these different groups in Wellington. It gets a little complicated; Lindsay (Maitland) was around again in Wellington. I can’t really recall how I met my friends. It’s like they just showed up in my life one day.

TB: You had a band in Wellington with Kevin Hawkins from Shoes This High called Jellyfish.
George: Joining Jellyfish happened when I first moved to Wellington and met Kevin. He already had an interesting band, The Amps, that had gigs. One of the members left, so they had room for another musician. The Amps did punk, mostly covers with a little bit of psychedelia and reggae. They were all high-energy covers. As people left the band and the lineup shifted, we came up with more original material and named ourselves the Jellyfish. We then kind of split into two bands. My band became the Spies; Kevin’s band became Shoes This High.

TB: Tell me about the Spies. Did you have trouble finding shows in Wellington like you did later on in Christchurch with the And Band?
George: We formed the Spies in Wellington. The band consisted of me, Susan Ellis, Richard Sedger and Chris Plummer on drums who’s not on the album ('The Battle of Bosworth Terrace') much. We did do some gigs (in Wellington). We kind of went about it professionally. We wrote some songs and recorded them on a cassette. We took the cassette to the manager of a bar called Willy’s Wine Cellar. We did do some gigs there, but we got chucked out and weren’t invited back. There were too many young kids there, possibly some kids taking drugs. There was no real trouble, but likely too much trouble for the bar owners. But we had a weekend residency there. Our friend Mark Thomas, who was kind of on the fringes of the band and would play with us sometimes—he’d be in the And Band later—he and some members of the Wallsockets approached the Wellington City Council. They wanted access to this stage that had been set up in downtown at one of the malls, and got permission to use it on the weekends and started setting up free concerts, so we had a place to play regularly. We supported Toy Love at one stage when they came through. We had our opportunities to play. But we didn’t have access to recording. Recording in those days was very expensive and you had to work with engineers who had no interest in what you were doing. We saw this Revox reel-to-reel recorder downtown at a music shop. We really liked that. It was expensive. This wasn’t my idea—I wasn’t nearly brave enough—but as a group we ended up stealing the Revox and a few microphones and other things we needed from the shop. When we thought the heat had died down, we got all the recording equipment out of hiding and began using it. Within a couple of days, we got busted; the story is in the liner notes (to 'The Battle of Bosworth Terrace'). We got punished for it, but we got the tape back. The police handed it back to us. That was discovered years later. The Spies actually managed to get an album out of that stuff.

TB: Posthumously, decades later.
George: It’s more experimental than our live set would have been. Our live set would have consisted of three-minute songs. The And Band was the same way. Live, the focus would have been on concise, communicable musical ideas. The recordings came out more experimental.

TB: You mentioned Toy Love earlier. Prior to the success of Flying Nun, Toy Love seemed to be light years ahead of almost everyone in New Zealand at the time.
George: Absolutely. I saw the Enemy, the band that became Toy Love, and they really impressed me. They were full of energy and musical ideas. It wasn’t just kind of punk—basic, repetitive ideas. They had melodic ideas and great lyrics. They were excellent musicians, too.

TB: Paul Kean was already a great bass player back then.
George: Mike Dooley (who later drummed for Snapper) was an amazing drummer. He was one of the guys I jammed with back in Dunedin. I thought, “Man, this guy sounds like Drumbo.” He’d play these amazing rolling drum patterns that I hadn’t heard before. Toy Love was very inspiring.

TB: Besides Lindsay Maitland, another figure who appeared to have a big impact on you was Mark Thomas (Perfect Strangers).
George: Lindsay and I met Mark in Wellington. I have no idea how we met him; Mark just came into our lives. Mark was coming from a different place. He was adopted and although he had a good home, he’d spent some time on the streets. He had a really good voice and an aptitude as an entertainer. He could make up funny songs that’d entertain you. He could write political songs—something I never did at that stage. Mark had great wordplay. I realized that a lot of these people that I surrounded myself with were masters of wordplay: Mark, Susan (Ellis), Bill Vosburgh and Lindsay Maitland. I wasn’t particularly confident in my lyric writing. I think a lot of my ability I picked up from being around these people.
I taught Mark how to play guitar. We would jam and record together. We bought a tape recorder. It was a really common thing that’d happen in my history: we’d buy a reel-to-reel and make some tapes and that’s where the music would solidify. Mark and I would sit up all night with an acoustic guitar, an organ, and some bongos and write some songs, record some tracks.

Mark Thomas - 1980 - photo by Stuart Page

TB: How did the And Band/Perfect Strangers (1982) split EP come about?
George: We moved down to Christchurch. Bill Vosburgh was living down there and we were looking to get out of Wellington. We ended up living with a band called The Perfect Strangers in their practice room, which was Bill and his friends; they practiced at their house. We bought another tape recorder and started recording stuff. At some point, we thought, “Well, we could actually put a record out if we hired a good tape recorder like a Revox.” We found a place that could do that. Susan’s parents lent us some money to hire it. We made some recordings—one side from us (And Band), the other side from Perfect Strangers. It was a 33 1/3 RPM record. It just kind of worked out. We didn’t necessarily put our best material on it. It was what we were doing at the time. The Perfect Strangers stuff isn’t typical of them at all, I think. There was some exceptional stuff Bill was working on at that time. It was more of a freeform, free-jazz thing they wanted to do on the record.

TB: Didn’t Roger Shepherd and Roy Montgomery work at the EMI record shop in Christchurch? Did you take the EP to them to sell in the store?
George: No, I think we just gave it to our friends. I don’t think we could have gotten it into a record shop. It was just being sent around the country to people we knew who were asking for it. Some of them might have paid us, but I don’t think money had a lot to do with that. I don’t remember hearing it had been sold to any shops.

TB: I knew the original pressing was of a small quantity, but it’s rarer than I thought.
George: Yes. At that stage, we were part of some big underground network and we weren’t connected to anything official, and we didn’t trust those people.

TB: Stu Kawowski (Axemen, Above Ground) and Steve McCabe (Axemen) both told me how influential the And Band and Perfect Strangers Rotunda gig was to them and others in the Christchurch scene. Do you remember that show?
George: That show was later into our period in Christchurch. By this time, Mark was singing with Perfect Strangers which he hadn’t started out doing. He was singing with us too, and we had lost Richard Sedger. We were a three-piece then: Susan, me and Mark. Mark with the Perfect Strangers was more of a high-powered, rock-n-roll machine. He was a great rock ‘n’ roll singer. Their songs became more riff based. The Rotunda gig was just us looking for free shows. We were likely chucked out of the pubs we were playing at. The Art Center might have thrown us out as well. We were looking for any venue that would have us. The folks who showed up to the Rotunda gig—a lot of them we’re still friends with today.

TB: Did the And Band wind down when you and Susan had a child?
George: Yes. It was kind of winding down anyways. I didn’t feel like playing music as much. I didn’t really like Christchurch. Things hadn’t worked out the way I wanted them to. Susan and I went to Dunedin to have our child, Emmie. We ended up moving outside of town on the harbor. I remember recording some music out there, but I didn’t have any ambition with music at that stage. One night, I was listening to the radio and they started playing the Chills; songs off the 'Dunedin Double' EP (June 1982). I thought, “This sounds like Syd Barrett. And they’re playing it on the radio. Maybe the time is right for me again.” Eventually, I started going into town and seeing these bands and getting to know the people in them. I especially got to know Peter Gutteridge and Ross Jackson. Ross had never played bass, but because we were hanging out a lot I taught him how to play so we could do some songs together. The Puddle slowly formed around me and Ross. The real coup was getting Lesley Paris in the band to drum, because she was a reliable, good drummer. She made the whole thing sound viable, so I started writing songs again.

TB: You always put together good bands, but that early version of the Puddle had some amazing members: Lesley Paris and Norma O’Malley from Look Blue Go Purple, Peter Gutteridge, Lindsay Maitland and Ross Jackson.
George: It was great. I’d like to think that they liked my songs which is why I was able to get them in the group. There were some other people involved early on before that lineup stabilized. For some early demos, Bill Vosburgh played drums. Later on, we did a one-off gig with Shayne Carter on drums and that was the first really good gig that we played. Ian (Henderson) played drums once as well early on.

TB: I really like Peter Gutteridge. You both seemed to have some things in common and similar sensibilities. What was working with Peter in the early Puddle like?
George: I think I met Peter through Ross. They had non-musical interests in common. We’d hang out with Peter a lot. He was interested in the same things we were—not having a job and going on long walks. Peter liked experimenting with sound as well as writing stuff. At one stage I kind of briefly joined the Great Unwashed. Before I started the Puddle, Pete had joined the Great Unwashed. He joined up with the Kilgour brothers again and Ross Humphries played bass. About the time they put out their EP, they played Christchurch and I sat in with them for one of their gigs. Then David left; he didn’t want to finish the tour. I think they were getting too big for him. The band wanted to finish the tour, so they asked me if I wanted to take over for David for a bit. Those were pretty big shoes to fill, but I gave it a go. I played the last couple of gigs with them. That was the first experience Peter and I had of playing music together. Pete was keen on playing keyboards. I couldn’t play the keyboards in my band because I was playing guitar. I got him to do it. Pete toured with us in early ’85. That’s the version of the band that got recorded (on 'Pop Lib'). He played quite a few gigs with us. Later on, he started playing guitar. Pete actually played some of his future Snapper songs with us. They were sort of proto-Snapper songs. He was developing them before he left us to form the group. We would discuss experimental ways of making sounds and recording. Pete was frustrated because he was more into the sound of that. I’m the kind of guitarist that won’t even bother with an effects pedal if I think I can get by without one. I don’t even know what the settings on my amp are. As long as I can hear it properly, I don’t even want to mess with it. Pete was the exact opposite. He was more interested in the texture of sound. We drifted into two different camps eventually.

TB: You got the Puddle going in about ’83, correct?
George: We started the band in ’83, but it got going in ’84; we started playing live that year. We recorded ('Pop Lib') in 1985. Lindsay died in either 1986 or 1987. We were taking too many drugs, the guys in the band anyway. We lost Lesley and Norma because we were so unreliable. By the end of the ‘80s, we ended up with a few different drummers. I went to prison for a short while around 1990. I was walking into labs and getting ether which I was really into; chemist shops as well. I got caught and it made me refocus my ambition on getting the Puddle together as a pop group. I wanted to make a focused, non-experimental album, if you know what I mean. Around this time, the start of the 1990s, you got dance culture in rock music. I could relate to that. I understood that stuff. I was listening to Prince before other folks in Dunedin were. I knew what needed to be done. I started up a band that had the old elements of the Puddle, but it had a relaxed feel around things. We got some good players in on that band. We released a single on Flying Nun and we recorded the album 'Songs for Emily Valentine' that was released later (recorded in 1992, the album came out on Powertool Records in 2006). That was our most commercial period I would say.

The Puddle @ Christchurch Technical College - 1985 - photo by Stuart Page

TB: What was your relationship with Flying Nun like? Obviously, you had a connection with Lesley Paris. It seemed like she was the person responsible for singing all the good acts after the Mushroom buyout.
George: Thanks to having Lesley in the band we were able to get our albums released. I don’t think they would have been otherwise. They weren’t released on Flying Nun’s main catalog; if you look at our catalog numbers, they got their own set of numbers apart from the label’s main series. That was fine by us! God bless them, because we never would have had records out had they not pressed them. On the other hand, kind of dealing with them was really frustrating. They were an indie label; they really didn’t know how to make money or market stuff. So when we started doing material that was commercial, that would have been worth promoting, they didn’t have a clue what to do with it. It felt like we had something more commercial at the time than anything else they were doing, and I mean that in the right way, and Flying Nun did nothing with it. It’s the dilemma of the indie label.

TB: On that note, the “Thursday” single you released in 1993 was exceptional pop. It was your last Flying Nun release and I think one of your strongest songs from that period.
George: I think so. We had an album of that stuff, but we couldn’t get them interested in it.

TB: 'Into the Moon' (1992) was great. I realize it has 'Pop Lib' on it, but the new material, like “Everything Alright,” is exceptional.
George: That’s the best album from that period. What we’re doing there is a live set that we played a lot. We were very familiar with the songs. They were songs that worked well live that we recorded.

TB: Was it the lack of enthusiasm from Flying Nun that caused the Puddle to lay dormant for over a decade?
George: No. It was always hard keeping a band together when not enough people were coming to the gigs. People hadn’t heard the records. It was never a problem in Dunedin, but if we went on tour it would be a problem. People didn’t really know about us in the rest of the country. In Dunedin, we had a following and a reputation.
I got sick with Hep C. I had a drug habit. I didn’t feel particularly creative for years at a time again. It was typical of me. I do stuff in spurts. I’m motivated and enthusiastic about the possibilities of what I’m doing, and once I’ve done that I’m not going to keep repeating myself. It was a bit of all of that. It was a combination of being sick at the time, but I had also played out what I was trying to do.
In the mid-‘90s I was in a band called Mink. It was sort of a techno-pop group that would do maybe a third of their stuff with my songs. I had that outlet for my songs. I was writing stuff that wouldn’t necessarily fit in with a rock group. There were a variety of different musicians in Mink. By the end of the ‘90s, I had fallen out of music. I wasn’t really well enough to play. In the early 2000s, I started getting my shit together. I was getting healthy. I started playing with Ross (Jackson) again and the drummer from Mink, Heath Te Au. We started playing live again, playing well I thought. One night we were playing at this place called Chick’s Hotel (in Dunedin) and a woman came up and introduced herself. I had known her earlier in the ‘90s. We clicked. She ended up doing the cover art for our next record. The very next day, I got a phone call from someone we played with back in the ‘80s, a guy named Richard Steele, who said, “I really want to make a record. Do you want to record an album for me?” Two life-changing things happened to me within a day of each other. We ended up making the album that became 'Playboys in the Bush' (released in 2010). It was the first really proper studio recording that I had done. We recorded that in 2005.

TB: I noticed on 'Playboys in the Bush' you recorded a song (“Purple Horse”) Lindsay Maitland wrote.
George: In the old days of the And Band and the Spies I wasn’t really a lyricist. I didn’t write many of my own lyrics and the ones that I did weren’t particularly great. I’d steal lyrics from whomever I could. The people around me were wittier than I was and I’d take their poems and put them to music. I might’ve chipped in with lines here and there. The gist of “Purple Horse” I wrote in the days of the And Band. Lindsay was in the room and he contributed those lines. I never finished the song until the 'Playboys in the Bush' session. I liked the idea and I wanted to finish it. They’re Lindsay’s lyrics finished much later. Like a lot of musicians, I keep the old stuff locked into my memory. Some of the contributions are from people who have passed. After working with Richard Steele, I started recording with Ian (Henderson) because he had a studio as well. That was the 'No Love, No Hate' album (2007) and 'The Shakespeare Monkey' (2009). We revived The Puddle in the 2000s.

The New Existentialists - 2015 - photo by Hayley Theyer

TB: You got really productive.
George: I did. I felt like I had wasted all this time. There is a lot to catch up on. I felt younger and full of energy. I enjoy playing again. It’s something that always goes well now, but that wasn’t always the case. I was traveling down to Dunedin to play with the Puddle and the other guys were traveling up here to Auckland to tour. I just thought, “I really need a band in Auckland.” I met these two young guys, Nathan (Bycroft) and Jamey (Holloway). We formed the New Existentialists. We got a little help from Chris Heazlewood of King Loser on synthesizer. We recorded an album a couple of years ago, and you got your hands on part of that (2017’s “Elton John/Mysteries of the Worm” 7” on Spacecase).

TB: I was pleased to see Chris on the track. I really like 'Cash Guitar', King Loser and Olla. Of course, he played in Snapper as well.
George: That’s right. The circle remains unbroken. What we’ve got now is a power-trio and it sounds like a power-trio should. But I’m not a flash lead player. I wanted to hear other sounds. Chris has this random synthesizer sound to throw in there. It’s like an Eno touch. Some of the great ‘70s bands, like Hawkwind, Amon Duul II, and Pere Ubu, had synthesizer players that were not really musicians. They put this electronic sound into the music. It’s not necessarily going along with the arrangements at all. I was looking for something like that.

TB: You’ve got the Puddle and the New Existentialists going. What’s on the horizon, George?
George: I want to do some shows to promote the single and put out a full-length with the New Existentialists. I’ve got two records worth of material. The album you pulled some tracks from is a tribute to the music that I listened to in the ‘70s. It might sound that way only to me, but the idea was to put music on it that could’ve only been made in the mid-‘70s. It wasn’t to have any form of styling or sound that was new after punk hit. It was the theme for the record. It was about hard rock before funk got into it. The earliest reference in it is to the Beatles and the newest reference is to the New York Dolls.

TB: In a way, the record is a reference to all the left-of-the-dial music you were listening to in Invercargill when you formed your first band (Crazy Ole and the Panthers) with your brother. You mention “Detroit punks” in one of the songs.
George: It is. A lot of that came from just reading the NME. We didn’t even necessarily have the records they were writing about. I could really relate to the prose—the myth people like Charles Shaar Murray were creating about the records.


GDH - 2017 - photo by Hayley Theyers

Fishrider Records website is HERE.
Browse George's extensive discography HERE.
The Puddle is on bandcamp HERE.
The New Existentialists are on soundcloud HERE.
The Puddle video for "Hydrogen 6" HERE.

Interview by Ryan Leach, 2017.

To purchase Bored Out, Ryan's collection of interviews, go here.

To read other TB interviews, go here.