Don McGlashan will always be the center of attention as the leader of The Mutton Birds, but he had his first hit single (the notorious anti-establishment anthem ‘There is no depression in New Zealand‘) with bizarre music troupe 3-piece Blam Blam Blam (plus he’d been playing percussion with From Scratch since 1979).
One of Propeller Records signature bands, they created warped pop through-out the early 80’s, touring the country from their Auckland base with the likes of ska outfit The Newmatics, fellow Propeller figureheads The Screaming Meemees, and even the early incarnations of The Netherworld Dancing Toys – whom they split a live LP with (‘The Story of Blam Blam Blam’).
Formed by Tim Mahon and Mark Bell in 1980 (originally as The Whizz Kids) McGlashan joined the band to add a more eclectic-leaning to what was at the time a more sturdy post-punk outfit.
McGlashan’s use of the euphonium quickly characterized their sound, particularly on their second hit ‘Don’t Fight It Marsha (Its Bigger Than Both Of Us)‘ which is by all accounts an utter pop gem.
- Tim Mahon (Bass, 1980 – 1982)
- Mark Bell (Guitar/Vocals, 1980 – 1982)
- Don McGlashan (Drums/Euphonium/Vocals, 1980 – 1982)
- Blam Blam Blam (EP 1981, Propeller Records, REV10)
- There Is No Depression In New Zealand/Got To Be Guilty 7″ Single (1981, Propeller Records, REV11)
- Don’t Fight It Marsha 7″ Single (1981, Propeller Records, REV14)
- Luxury Length (1982, Propeller Records, REV204)
- Call For Help 7″ Single (1982, Propeller Records, REV17)
- The Blam Blam Blam Story (1984 W/ Netherworld Dancing Toys, CBS, SBP237993)
- Don’t Fight It Marsha 7″ Single (1992 Reissue, Propeller Records, REV28)
- The Complete Blam Blam Blam (1992, Propeller Records, REV502)
Simon Griggs’ punk, punk-pop and two-tone label from the early 80’s.
Has occasionally resurfaced with one-off releases (including the follow up label Furtive – who had the distinction of debuting The Tall Dwarfs lengthy recording career) and has compiled a number of the labels low run 7″ singles into some very memorable compilations.
Propeller was instrumental of The Screaming Meemees phenomenal success, securing the rarest of the rare, an independently released New Zealand number one single with ‘See Me Go’ in 1981 – paving the way for future success from the likes of Flying Nun.
Propeller (like its short-lived successor Ripper) was initially formed to release the great catalog of underground punk bands that were still relatively unheard outside their regional fan-bases at the turn of the 80’s.
With the original two releases from The Features and Spelling Mistakes, respectively; Propeller started a swell of activity in the New Zealand scene that would eventually be documented by the Bigger Than The Both Of Us compilation LP, which featured releases from both Ripper and contemporary labels.
Propeller currently operates as Huh! Records, the home of revivalist hip-hop outfit 3 The Hard Way and Grigg’s various compilations, such as the reissued Bigger Than The Both Of Us, and the Give it a Whirl documentary soundtrack, both with domestic distribution through major-label Universal NZ.
- The Class Of 81 [1981 REV201]
- Doobie Doo Disc [1982 REV206]
- We’Ll Do Our Best [1983 REV209]
- Its Bigger Than The Both Of Us Double-Lp [1988 2rev210]
- Ak79 Reissue [1993 Joint Reissue Venture With Flying Nun REV503]
- Give It A Whirl Double-Cd [2003 REV504]
- Its Bigger Than The Both Of Us Reissue [2003 REV505]
- Propeller Records
- PO Box 6284
- Auckland 1036
- New Zealand [postal address]