Eugene Butcher

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Eugene Butcher lead vocalist for Desperate Measures

Eugene formed Desperate Measures in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1981.  The city was home to a thriving music scene and the group quickly found a following with their punk sound influenced by the likes of the Stooges and Killing Joke.  With the advent of the year 1982, the band had established a stable line-up featuring Eugene Butcher (Vocals), Erik Van Den Hoven (Bass), Greg Hussey (Drums), Shane O'Neill (Guitar).  They played the after party for The Clash’s Christchurch gig, and began working the local circuit which took in The Gladstone, The Star and Garter, PJ's Nightclub and the Student Union Ballroom.  Highlights for the band in their brief existence down under were playing the after-show party for The Clash where Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon met the band, and playing New Zealand’s most famous punk festival, Gerald Dwyer's Golden Showers in Wellington.

Releasing one sought after 7 inch, the 1984 E.P. in a run of 300 copies on their own Desperate Times label (it now sells for upwards of $100) and a live album, before splitting in 1983 with Eugene moving to the U.K. in 1984, where he is now the publisher and editor of a respected UK rock magazine, Vive Le Rock.  After a couple of well received reformation shows back home in New Zealand supporting the U.K Subs and Peter and the Test Tube Babies in 2009 and 2010 a new line-up was put together featuring the sole original member, Eugene, and the group has been fully active on the UK music scene, sharing stages with the likes of U.K. Subs, The Pack, Cockney Rejects, Subhumans, Nashville Pussy, alongside appearances at festivals such as Rebellion, Camden Rocks and HRH Punk.


Desperate Measures - Reunited 2009


Fronting a segment for What Now gave him a further (albeit very brief) taste of TV.  With a new family to support, he took a job in Malawi running a transport company owned by an uncle, but when his wife and child were refused permission to join him, he came back to New Zealand and found work as a taxi driver.  A note to the producer of Radio with Pictures, saying he was back in the country coincided with the search for a successor for host Karyn Hay.  He auditioned, and began on screen at the start of 1986, but six weeks in, his initial stint was curtailed for months by a dispute between TVNZ and the Recording Industry Association, over music video funding.  Radio with Pictures resumed in 1987, but Driver was never completely comfortable in the presenting role.  He thought there might be more of a future on the other side of the cameras — making programmes.  In 1988 he directed a film — the well-received documentary Hokonui Todd (about Sir Garfield Todd), and in 1994 he won a local television award for the youth show InFocus.  The following year he partnered with Karyn Hay, his Radio with Pictures predecessor, producing Music Nation, a music video show presented by Bic Runga and Ian Hughes (later Hugh Sundae).  A four-year stint followed as an Executive Producer, then Creative Director at then newly-formed company Screentime.  In 2008) Driver returned to the other side of the camera, as a judge on Prime TV's New Zealand's Got Talent, and in 2014 he was announced as the new managing director of Greenstone TV, semi-retiring in 2017 to become the company's Chairman.  In 2016 he joined the Digital Media Trust, the board which oversees NZ On Screen and its sister website, AudioCulture.  Sky TV launched the Documentary Channel in November 2006, with Driver in yet another screen role as owner and programmer.  In 2010 it was announced thath he'd sold the independently-owned channel to BBC Worldwide, the first time a local channel had sold overseas.  The BBC then relaunched the local channel as a retooled arm of its own channel, BBC Knowledge.


Additional Eugene Butcher information is available on the following individual pages .....


Use links to supplementary data Desperate Measures Use links to supplementary data