19 May 2024

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Glen Moffatt


1971: Glen Stephen Moffatt is born in Hastings, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. He is the first-born of truck driver and TQ midget racer Ken Moffatt and wife Jenny.

1975: The family, now including sister Sharlene, relocates to neighbouring Napier. Its record collection now consists of New Zealand country music stars John Hore Grenell, Ken Lemon and Maria Dallas, several 'Solid Gold Hits' volumes and hits collections of Freddy Fender, Glen Campbell, Roger Miller and Johnny Cash.

1977: Having battered several ukuleles, Glen receives a guitar for Christmas.

1980: Glen finally begins guitar lessons, at Porritt Primary School, under the tutelage of standard-three school teacher Ross Corbett.

1981: Coaxed with the promise of a $10 reward from his father, Glen sings on stage for the first time, at the Napier City Country Music Club. He enters and wins the first of many amateur country music talent contests over the next six years.

1984: Ritchie Pickett and the Inlaws' 'Gone For Water', with its lyrics about King Country farms and coal ranges, encourages Glen to get serious about songwriting.

1986: The simultaneous release of debut albums from Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle and Randy Travis refocuses Glen's attention on real country music. Glen's song 'Like Father, Like Son' reaches the final two of the New Zealand Country Music Association's Original Song of the Year competition. The song later appears on Glen's debut album.

1987: Glen begins playing in Hawke's Bay pub bands. At the end of the year he is taken on as a cadet reporter by Napier's The Daily Telegraph.

1990: With Ian Turbitt, Glen forms originals/covers band The Colonials, with the intention of performing 100% country material - a bold move in provincial Hawke's Bay. As a sideline, acoustic trio These Things Happen is born, covering the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, James Taylor and the Beatles.

1991: The Colonials release DIY cassette 'Living In Overdrive', which includes three of Glen's songs that later appear on his debut album. Having seen the Al Hunter Band (featuring Red McKelvie and Cath Newhook) while on holiday in Auckland, Glen moves to New Zealand's largest city at the end of the year.

1992: Glen and Red McKelvie form Cajun band Mumbo Gumbo, which sees Glen teaching himself to sing in pidgin French. He becomes part of the weekly country jam night at the Java Jive Cafe, which evolves into his Guns For Hire band.

1994: Sun Pacific Records invites Glen to contribute two songs to New Zealand country music compilation album 'Deep In The Heart Of The Pacific'. After recording his tracks, Sun Pacific bankrolls the recording of Glen's album, which starts in December.

1995: 'Somewhere In New Zealand Tonight' is released in June. Glen does a solo tour of the North Island. He is invited to perform Dave Dobbyn's 'Language' at the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Awards. Glen becomes engaged to Melissa.

1996: While on a solo tour of the South Island, Glen reaches the finals of the New Zealand recording industry awards in the Country Album of the Year, Rising Star and the coveted Songwriter of the Year. It is the one-and-only time a country songwriter has reached the top three in the latter section. After three and a half years, new management puts paid to the Sunday night residency at Java Jive. Glen tours the North Island with guitarist Rob Galley.

1997: Glen performs at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival. He begins recording the follow-up album to 'Somewhere In New Zealand Tonight'. At the New Zealand recording industry awards he is again in the finals of the Rising Star section, as well as performing Headband's 'Good Morning, Mr Rock and Roll' during a New Zealand music retrospective on the televised ceremony. Glen guests on Marian Burns' 'Time For A Change' album, singing Charlie Daniels' 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia'.

1998: 'A Place To Play' is released late in the year with a tour of the North Island by Glen and Guns For Hire.

1999: Glen and the band perform at the enormous Sweetwaters '99 festival, supporting Texas singer-songwriter Pat Green and Nashville legends the Amazing Rhythm Aces. Glen reaches the finals of Country Album of the Year at the New Zealand recording industry awards. The band brings in the new millennium performing at a private Waiheke Island party before sleeping on the floor of the hall and calling out a mechanic at 8am to fix the van in time to catch the ferry back to Auckland.

2000: Another change of ownership sees the Glen Moffatt Band back at the Java Jive Cafe every Sunday night for a year. Work begins on album number three. Glen and Melissa's son, Quinn Hamish, is born in November.

2001: The Guns For Hire moniker is laid to rest with the release of the album 'If That's What You Want', which is credited to Glen Moffatt Band. Glen performs again at the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival, this time with band in tow.

2002: For the first time, Glen attends Australia's legendary Tamworth Country Music Festival, performing spots with Bill Chambers, the Topp Twins and the Lawrie Minson Band. The Glen Moffatt Band makes its final New Zealand appearance, at Java Jive in May, before Glen relocates to Brisbane in August.

2003: Glen is a grand finalist in the Toyota Star Maker Quest at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Glen Moffatt & the Tallboys begin working around Queensland. Glen tours New Zealand with Bill Chambers, Ritchie Pickett and Chet O'Connell. December brings Glen and Melissa's second son, Reuben Cole.

2004: Glen appears on Ritchie Pickett's live album, 'The Wicked Piano Pumpin' Pickett', which is launched with another New Zealand tour by Glen, Ritchie, Bill Chambers and Chet O'Connell.


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