The original news item to it was linked by Peter McLennan who now includes today’s item from the NZ Herald media column; Simon Grigg has commented with insight on the news, and both he and Graham Reid rue the departure of EMI NZ managing-director Chris Caddick. Why? Because, while still being a good businessman (a real “record man” – ie, he is passionate about the record business) he also genuinely loves music. (Thanks for introducing me to Richard Thompson, Chris!)
For a long while EMI was based in my home town, perched among some very unsalubrious light-industrial buildings in Petone. And of course there were EMI record stores in most New Zealand towns in the 1970s and 80s. I thought I’d share some images from EMI’s heyday, the 1970s. I remember reading in NME in 1981 that the success of the Beatles was so massive that their sales alone brought this massive international corporation a profit all the way until 1975. Plus, of course, there were the enormous sales of Fred Dagg’s Greatest Hits.
So turn off your mind, relax and float downstream ... perch yourself in a vinyl beanbag in the “sound lounge” of EMI’s Lower Hutt corporate headquarters.
Break out the buddha, we’ve got Cliff’s Devil Woman to audition ...
Meanwhile, in the nerve centre – sales – the “girl” in the cowl-neck jumper from Carters and Kiki Dee hair-do is hiding it well that the fellow looming over her has splashed on too much Brut.
For EMI men it’s been Mo-vember ever since the legendary 1973 staff conference held at the Chateau. Cold Duck flowed like water, but it wasn’t a good leg opener as the girls all turned up in dungarees. Blame Linda McCartney ...
Things got so out of hand that EMI head office sent out their apprentice career manager to prove himself. Here he is on the phone back to Britain, worrying about the fruit-and-flowers expenditure (nudge nudge, wink wink) of hot New Zealand recording act Rockinghorse. Mr MS Wells – “Mike” to the ladies – had just arrived on the corporate jet from EMI Argentina. He’d had plenty of experience sorting out men who wore medallions.
Coming up, Lower Hutt as Muscle Shoals: EMI’s recording heyday.