Billy Karaitiana

ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame
First Name· Last Name· Groups· Venues· Events· Entities· Submit· e-Mail· Links· About
Previous ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame entry .... ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame complete list .... Next ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame entry ....

Full Name:  Billy Karaitiana (a.k.a. Billy Kristian)
Born:  Wiremu Aata Te Rangi-amoa Karaitiana
Musical Background:  
Instruments Played:  Bass Guitar, Piano
Career Began:  1958 with Max Merritt
Groups:  Meteors, Invaders, Night ........
Record Labels:  Zodiac, HMV, Warrior, WEA
Tours:  Searchers, Stones, Orbison, Chuck Berry, Doobies, Who

Award presented 2007 Award presented 2007

Billy (circa) 1964

With Max Merritt and Peter Williams

With Ray Columbus + Invaders

Billy comes from a family of entertainers.  His father, Kahu Kuranui was a tenor of repute, and his mother Violet Edith was an expert of the Hula and led a troupe of dancers and singers on many shows throughout the forties, fifties and sixties.  His career started in 1958 when a young man called Ray Columbus asked him to join his band, which he did.  This band did not last very long and Billy moved on to join Saki and the Jive Five, 1959-61 Max Merritt and the Meteors, in 1962 Ray Columbus and the Invaders, he then rejoined Max Merritt and the Meteors.  Next were The Keil Isles, followed by the C'Mon Showband and the Jimmy Sloggett Band.

The Cmon Backing Group


With Peter Nelson + Rennaisance

In 1969 Billy left for Hong Kong to join Renaissance International whom he worked with for 2 years.  On his return to New Zealand 1971, he was asked by his long time friend Tommy Adderley to join the Headband, a band which played many tours throughout the country.  1973, post-Headband saw the forming of Kristian, Walker, Hamlet and Hill for Jock Ruddock's Tainui Tavern featuring Billy Kristian, Michael McLean Walker, Chris Hamlet Thompson and Ian James Hill (Jimmy Hill).  Billy went to Australia in 1975 and joined Billy Thorpe's Million Dollar Bill.  In 1976 he made his way overland to London from Kathmandu where he and some friends, Chris Thompson and Michael Walker formed Filthy McNasty, a blues band which played at the Bridgehouse in east Canning Town E16.  This band featured Stevie Lange, Geoff Whitehorn, Clive Edwards and later Robbie McIntosh who went on to play with the Pretenders, Paul McCartney's Wings, Nora Jones and John Meyer.  Pacific Eardrum was the next band Billy joined 1977.  Billy performed with Nucleus at the 1st Jazz Yatra in Bombay (now known as Mumbai) India 1978.  Filthy Mc Nasty signed a deal for 2 Albums for worldwide release with Richard Perry of Planet Records. Two songs off the 1st album went in to the Billboard Top Twenty.  Hot Summer Night at 18 and If You Remember Me at 17.  While recording the 1st album in Los Angeles, the name of the band was changed to NIGHT, which also toured for 3 months as support for the Doobie Bros Summer Tour 1979.



Billy returned home to N.Z. in 1983 and started the band Billboard which included Martin Winch guitar, Beaver and Barry Saunders on vocals.  Billy next managed Mascot Recording Studios built by Doug Jane for Hugh Lynn, and while there he produced 2 albums for Pacific/Reggae band, Herbs.  On leaving Mascot, Billy and his long time partner Tric Mateparae started their own studio in Kingsland, Auckland called Muscle Music.  After 12 years in Kingsland they decided to head for the Far North of NZ and so far Billy has produced 12 albums since living there, three of them being Tui Award Winners.  Billy is also Ray Woolf's bassist of choice, and has recently been seen working with Georgie Fame.