3.22.2008

The La De Las: La De Las (1966)

BAND INFO

Rutherford High School in Te Atatu Auckland was the origins of what was to become the La De Da's. Schoolmates Kevin Borich, Brett Neilsen and Trevor Wilson got together in late 1963 and formed a band, calling themselves the Mergers. They were inspired, like so many other groups around Auckland at the time, by the sounds of the Shadows. They managed to play at a number of local dances and socials. They very soon became such hot property on the Auckland school / football club circuit that the occasional weekend work became a regular occupation and mid-week engagements began to roll in as well.

In January 1966, Eldred Stebbing invited the band to record a couple of songs he had from the US that he thought could be local hits. The songs featured an organ, which is why he was interested in hearing the group play them. Because the songs were so obscure, there seems to be some contention as to whether the songs were by the Blues Magoos or the Changin' Times. The songs were "How Is The Air Up There" and "Pied Piper". The single came out on the Phillips label in late February and was an instant hit with Auckland teenagers. On May 13 the song entered the recently started New Zealand Hit Parade, eventually peaking at number 4. The song was picked up by Sydney radio stations and before long it was number one on the Sydney charts. For the next two years, nobody in New Zealand could rival them for popularity and record sales. Only Larry's Rebels came near. Despite being featured regularly on the "C'Mon" television show, the La De Da's generally lacked a strong public relations machine and more written space seemed to be devoted to the Gremlins and Larry's Rebels. Although Stebbing was an effective manager, his flair was more toward production than promotion.

EARLY YEARS, 1ST ALBUM 1965-66

Despite the unexpected success of "How Is The Air Up There" in Sydney, the La De Da's decided to build up their New Zealand following before venturing further afield. They toured the country extensively before releasing their follow-up single. It was a Howard-Wilson original called "Don't You Stand In My Way" backed with "I Take What I Want". The single was a dismal failure and didn't even chart, prompting Stebbing to insist on another cover for the next release.
They chose a John Mayall song called "On Top Of The World". The single was released in November 1966 with "Hey Girl" on the reverse and before long it was number two on the National charts. Now with two hits behind them, Eldred Stebbing offered the group residency at his nightclub, the Galaxie. They accepted and the fashion conscious band adopted a Mod image, setting Auckland trends with their tartan trousers, satin shirts and buckle shoes.
In November 1966 they reached the finals of the Loxene Golden Disk awards with "How Is The Air Up There". There were a lot of rock fans who felt that they should have won, but that's history. In the meantime they began laying down tracks for their self titled debut album. It was a collection of their stage favourites and although they were all covers, each one was a gem. The "La De Da's" LP was released prior to Christmas 1966 and sold out of its first pressing.

+INFO ABOUT THE BAND (am)

Aside from Ray Columbus & the Invaders, the La De Das were New Zealand's most popular rock group of the '60s. As big fish in a very small pond, their work doesn't hold up to scrutiny in the company of the era's top American and English acts. But they did record some fine garage/pop numbers in the spirit of the Rolling Stones in the mid-'60s. A few of these ("How Is the Air Up There?" and "All Purpose Low") were big N.Z. hits, and they reached the Top Ten with covers of John Mayall's "On Top of the World" and a version of Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby." In 1968, they recorded a psychedelic-tinged children's concept LP, The Happy Prince; which bears resemblance to modern twee. After a failed attempt to crack the British market, the group soldiered on for quite some time with pedestrian hard rock that — like even the best of their early work — was very derivative of overseas trends.

The La De Das were a leading New Zealand / Australian rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. Formed in New Zealand in 1963 (as The Mergers), they enjoyed considerable local success in this period in both countries until their split in 1975. The band is probably best known as the lanching place for the career of guitarist Kevin Borich, and for their recording of Australia's first concept album, The Happy Prince (EMI, 1968).(W)

23 comments:

Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mateus Paul said...

Aaaaaaaaaaah!!! Não acredito!
Procuro por este LP há muito tempo! Baixarei agora mesmo (depois posto as impressões que, com certeza, serão ótimas!)!!
Obrigado, mais uma vez, por compartilhar essas preciosidades dos 60!!!

Mateus Paul said...

O password não está funcionando! =/

Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...

hey guys... try this way, cause the password is the right one. .. the trouble is that you have to make DOUBLE CLICK in the word (pass) and copy and stick it in the password. .. when you do that make sure that is one space after the last word , do u understand me ? ? let me know if somthing happens... try that way M Paul

esmenard.victor said...

I've tried every way possible and I couldn't open the file. Sorry.

Mateus Paul said...

Querido amigo Pablo, tentando das mais diversas maneiras ainda não consegui abrir o arquivo...

Anonymous said...

Hello,

this Password "lasdelasquien" is
not correct.
I cannot open the File.

Please help

Mike

Anonymous said...

stil wrong password :(

Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...

OK ! ! ! THIS IS IT ! ! ! NEW LINK , NEW PASSWORD ! ! ! SORY FOR ALL THE INCOVINIENCE ... REALLY SORY ... HERES THE DEAL ...
PASSWORD: cz

Anonymous said...

thank you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Too many comments about this post, all regarding the password!
Giandu

Anonymous said...

HELLO i'm sorry but i don't understand
what is the password :lasdelasquien
or cz ???
Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thank you and bye
THIERRY (France)

esmenard.victor said...

The password is cz for the new link. And the album is superb.

Anonymous said...

thanx!

Mateus Paul said...

Obrigado, Pablo!
O link agora está funcionando perfeitamente...e que disco! Covers poderosas, além da clássica garageira "How Is The Air Up There"!
Totalmente recomendado!

Anonymous said...

I think the reviews here undersell this music ... and "How Is The Air Up There?" is a noisy inspired snotty ragged piece of brilliance that ranks with the best singles of its time, anywhere ... worth the download all by itself and there's plenty of other pleasures to go with it.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog and a great album. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to listening - Aus person who saw them live once. I think.

PaulNZ said...

I downloaded this but can't undo either of them can you please put up one for me with no password or one that works

Anonymous said...

the pass is

cz

Pedro from Argentina said...

Podrías publicar más de este grupo por favor?.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this one!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!
Zeno