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Think's 1976 album "We'll Give You A Buzz"

 


Don Mills Collection

 
 

Think - 1976
Phil Whitehead (Guitar), Don Mills (Keyboards), Ritchie Pickett (Vocals), Neville Jess (Drums) and Allan Badger (Bass)

Progressive rock band Think were the first New Zealand act signed to WEA, releasing We'll Give You A Buzz on Atlantic in 1976.  After struggling in Australia through 1977 they found themselves in the offices of Mushroom Records, being given assurances they would be a priority act if they could just hold on a bit longer.  They couldn't, but as a revamped version of the band was grinding to a halt back in New Zealand at the end of 1979, their original guitarist Kevin Stanton, the man who had come up with the Think vision, was riding high in the Australian charts with his new band Mi-Sex and a collection of songs he'd written in reaction to his unsavoury departure from Think.  18-year-old Stanton was a man on a mission in late 1973 - he'd played in Auckland garage bands in his mid-teens but decided he had to change his whole approach upon hearing the era's guitar heroes (Clapton, Hendrix and Page), and from the end of 1970 to the end of 1971, Stanton stuck to a routine of rising in the morning, having a cup of coffee and a slice of toast and playing guitar on his bed for eight hours, seven days a week for the entire year, believing he was now at a standard to start gigging he formed Duchess, Battle of the Bands winners in 1972.  By the end of the next year, Stanton was in a band called Transformer but was intent on starting a group that performed only their own songs and bypassed the regular pub work for concerts.  Any jam situation he was in he would be eyeing up the other players as to whether they would fit his new plan.  Their sole LP - We'll Give You A Buzz is still a highly sought after chunk of vinyl all around the globe, and although the master tapes were allegedly stolen from Stebbing Recording Centre in the 1980s, when a bootleg CD from an American web site was obtained years later, it was found to be direct from the missing master tapes.  A pristine copy was returned to Warner Music New Zealand and finally made available digitally.

 
 

Phil Whitehead


Neville Jess (Drums), Ritchie Pickett (Vocals), Don Mills (Keyboards),
Phil Whitehead (Guitar) and Allan Badger (Bass)


Don Mills

 
 

Opening for Deep Purple at Western Springs 1975


Think with "the truck"


Opening for The Doobie Brothers at Western Springs 1976

 
 

Think in Australia


Think


Think promo shot for Atlantic Records

 
 

Good Morning for Think Records


Arrived In Time for WEA Records


Peanut Joe for Think Records

 
 

In the end, on moving to Australia, Think were undone by a lack of good management.  The tried-and-true formula of self-booking two months of work at a time in New Zealand was based on four or five years' worth of contacts and experience in previous touring bands such as Beam.  Sydney and Melbourne were completely different beasts where agencies would use lesser-known bands such as Think in a new venue and once they had built up a good crowd they would be shoved out the door, replaced by Kevin Borich Express or the like.