Cassandra's Ears was formed in 1985 at Otago University when then Working With Walt vocalist and keyboardist Jan Hellriegel was asked to perform solo at a women's festival.
Feeling a bit shy at the time, Hellriegel enlisted several friends to play with her for moral support - and although none of them could actually play their instruments initially, they got it together in time for the festival - with the drummer finally mastering a rock beat the night before the first gig.
From that precarious beginning, Cassandra's Ears soon flourished in the nurturing and exciting Dunedin music climate. After completing their studies, the band members moved north to base themselves in their hometown, Auckland.
They played locally, toured nationally and eventually released two EPs, 'Private Wasteland' in 1988 and 'Your Estimation' in 1990. Cassandra's Ears also toured with the Straitjacket Fits and supported Australian bands The Johnnys and Hunters And Collectors. They played numerous music festivals and criss-crossed New Zealand countless times in the five years they were together.
Cassandra's Ears disbanded in 1990, with Jan Hellriegel going solo and the others going on to have successful careers outside of music.
The core members of the band were Jan Hellriegel (lyrics, vocals, guitar and keyboards) Felicity Morgan-Rhind (bass), Zan Wright/Sarah Macnssab (backing vocals), Vanessa Anich (drums) and Leanne Ibell (guitar). Additional musicians on their recordings included Debs Frame (saxophone) and Danny Manetto (cello).
Jan Hellriegel (guitar, vocals)
Felicity Morgan-Rhind (bass)
Zan McKendree Wright (percussion, backing vocals)
Sarah Macnab (percussion, backing vocals)
Vanessa Anich (drums)
Leanne Ibell (guitar)
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