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Ragnarok

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Ragnarok 1974
Ramon York (Synthesiser/Guitar), Mark Jayet (Drums/Percussion), Andre Jayet (Drums/Synthesiser) and Lea Maalfrid (Vocals) and Ross Muir (Bass Guitar/Synthesiser),

Ragnarok were formed in Auckland in 1974, from the ashes of Sweet Feet.  Andre Jayet, Ross Muir and Mark Jayet were originally from Christchurch, where, in the early 70s they had a three-piece group called Flying Wild before going on to form Sweet Feet, and moving north to Auckland, where they played the pub circuit.  In 1974 the group disbanded, and they met up with Ramon York and Lea Maalfrid.  Applying glitter, dressing loud and developing an eclectic soundscape they formed Ragnarok, quickly establishing themselves as the ultimate acid band of that mid-seventies era.  Their instruments featured guitar synthesizers, keyboard synthesizers and mellotron, and they all shared vocals duties, but were also very fortunate to have Lea Maalfrid, one of the finest female vocalists around at the time, as a member of the group.  During 1974 they had a residency at Granny's and also appeared regularly at the Buck-a-Head concerts, that saw them as popular as Split Enz and Dragon.

 
 

Andre Jayet, Ramon York and Mark Jayet and Ross Muir

 

 

Lea Maalfrid, Andre Jayet, Ross Muir, Ramon York and Mark Jayet

 
 

In January 1975, Tommy Adderley closed Granny's for renovations, and when he re-opened it two months later as Granny's Rock Palace, he decided not to run with resident bands.  This left Ragnarok without a regular place to play, so they decided to take to the road and toured the country extensively.  They became one of the country's top draw-cards during 1975, particularly in the South Island and around the provinces.  In August 1975, they released a self-titled album on the Revolution label, which had been recorded in Eldred Stebbing's new 16-track studio.  It sold reasonably well and from it came two singles, Fenris // Fire In The Sky and Cavier Queen // Born To Wander.  Fenris provided them with a minor hit that made the bottom reaches of the charts.  At the end of 1975, Lea Maalfrid left the group for a solo career, releasing one single on Atlantic in 1977 called Pleasure Machine // Lavender Mountain, before leaving for Sydney in June 1978.  She then later moved to Los Angeles and London, where she gained international recognition as a songwriter.  Ragnarok continued on without Lea, and in 1976 they released a second album called Nooks which yielded a single Five New Years // The Fourteenth Knock.