Mike Rudd

ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame
First Name· Last Name· Groups· Venues· Events· Entities· Submit· e-Mail· Links· Search


Mike the Mod


Mike Rudd Collection


Mike Rudd

Michael David Rudd was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, on June 15th, 1945 and became soloist and head chorister in the famous Christchurch Cathedral Choir in the mid 1950s.


Christchurch Cathedral Choir 1959 - Mike Rudd 2nd from left
... 3rd from left is David McPhail latterly of "McPhail and Gadsby" fame

At Christ's College with
a homemade guitar

In Australia with
with an L-Series Strat

Christchurch Cathedral Choir 1960 - Mike Rudd top left
... also right is John Campbell, latterly of "Johnny Campbell and The Detours"


His musical inclinations and abilities led him into his first major group which was Chants R&B — highly successful in his home town, inhabiting the dark spaces of the subterranean King Bee Koffee Kellar which would eventually become The Stage Door, before the band moved to Australia and settling in Melbourne in 1966 - breaking up soon afterwards.


Chants R&B  —  Compton Tothill (Bass), Trevor Courtney (Drums), Mike Rudd (Guitar/Vocals/Harp), Jim Tomlin (Guitar), and Stan Major (Sax)


Pete Hansen, Mike Rudd, Jim Tomlin and Trevor Courtney

Chants R&B on stage at The Stage Door

Trevor Courtney, Jim Tomlin, Mike Rudd and Pete Hansen


Mike then joined The Party Machine led by Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford, who later formed Daddy Cool.


The Party Machine - 1968

The Party Machine - 1968

The Party Machine - 1969


After The Party Machine split up in late 1969, Mike was involved in a group known as Sons Of The Vegetal Mother, in which he played bass guitar.  Shortly thereafter he formed his own group, Spectrum, one of Australia's first progressive rock groups.  This also marked the beginning of his long association with bassist Bill Putt.  Spectrum released four LPs and several 7" singles, including their national No.1 hit single I'll Be Gone, which has remained one of the best-known songs of the period, and the first Australian rock double album, Milesago.


Spectrum - Australian TV Week 1971
Lee Neale, Bill Putt, Mike Rudd and Ray Arnott

Spectrum - live on stage

Spectrum - Australian TV Week 1973
Mike Rudd, Bill Putt, Lee Neale and Ray Arnott


Spectrum at The Thumpin Tum, Melbourne 1971

Indelible Murtceps

Spectrum - 50 years on


Spectrum also worked under the pseudonym Indelible Murtceps and recorded one LP under that name.


Spectrum - I'll Be Gone

Spectrum's most famous song, recognised amongst the greatest songs of the era is Mike Rudd's composition I'll Be Gone.

Mike describes the development of the song:    "The song didn't actually take very long to write, but it changed over the period of about a year.  Initially, I didn't have the harmonica in it, and that was a big transition  —  e went to Bill Armstrong's studios in Albert Park to record a couple of tunes to advertise the Launching Place Festival.  We recorded Launching Place Parts One and Two and the producer, Howard Gable, said: Have you got any other songs?  Remembering what Ross Wilson had said, I replied, Yeah, I've got this other one.  We were in Sydney when it was finally released.  We heard it on the radio and it had been edited, so we were slightly shocked, but fortunately, we'd also made a video for the song with Chris Lofvén.  I think the video helped tremendously.  TV stations were hungry for anything and this was one of the earliest clips."    Although recorded in August 1970 the song was not released until January 1971 due to the 1970 radio ban, which was a dispute between radio stations and major record labels over payments for songs being broadcast.  Chris Lofvén went on to direct the video for Daddy Cool's debut single Eagle Rock which also peaked at #1 later in 1971.  The Launching Place Festival was a minor festival held on 31 December 1970 at Launching Place 60 km east of Melbourne, and other acts included Wendy Saddington, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, Healing Force and King Harvest.  Spectrum recorded Launching Place Part One and Launching Place Part Two to promote the festival.


When Spectrum split in April 1973, Rudd and Putt formed a new group, Ariel.  Along with keyboard player John Mills they joined forces with two leading Sydney musicians, guitarist Tim Gaze and drummer Nigel Macara from pioneering progressive band Tamam Shud.  They released one successful LP - A Strange Fantastic Dream, in December 1973, but Gaze and Macara left the band soon after it was recorded.  In early 1974 Rudd and Putt began work on an extended concept piece, The Jellabad Mutant, and began rehearsing the music with drummer John Lee, ex-The Dingoes.  Lee then brought in a friend, lead guitarist Harvey James, and this arrangement eventually coalesced into the second line-up of Ariel.  They recorded a full-length demo tape of the planned LP, called The Jellabad Mutant, and presented it to their record label EMI, but to their surprise it was rejected, however, by this time the band had gained some critical praise in the United Kingdom, thanks in part to leading disc jockey John Peel, and this led EMI's parent office in London to invite the group to record their next album at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios.  However the rejection of the Mutant Album left the band with no new material, and when they arrived in London they discovered that EMI were expecting the line-up that had recorded the first LP.  Rudd hastily wrote a number of new songs, but to complete the LP they were forced to fall back on Rudd's back-catalogue, recording new versions of several Spectrum/Murtceps songs.  The resulting album, Rock'n'Roll Scars, was mixed by famous EMI recording engineer Geoff Emerick, who had worked with The Beatles.  In January 1975 Ariel was expanded to a five-piece with the addition of respected New Zealand singer-songwriter-guitarist Glyn Mason.  This line-up recorded only one single and lasted until early 1976.  Lead guitarist Harvey James left to join chart-topping Australian pop band Sherbet in March (he was replaced by keyboardist Tony Slavich) and drummer John Lee quit to join English band Dirty Tricks during Ariel's second visit to the UK in April.  He was briefly replaced by Nigel Macara, who quit again in October 1976 to be replaced by Iain McLennan.  Ariel continued to record and perform until July 1977, when they announced their break-up.  They performed their farewell concert at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne on 31 August 1977; the show was recorded and later released on two LP's: Aloha; then Ariel Live!! - More From Before.


Ariel  —  1975

Ariel  —  Goodnight Fiona Version

Ariel  —  ABC TV's GTK Series 1973

Ariel  —  EMI Version 1976 - with Glyn Mason


Over the years of their existance (1973-1977), Ariel included approximately 10 members.  Mike Rudd (Lead Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica), Bill Putt (Bass), Tim Gaze (Guitar), John Mills (Keyboards), Nigel Macara (Drums), John Lee (Drums), Harvey James (Guitar), Glyn Mason (Guitar), Tony Slavich (Keyboards/Vocals) and Iain McLennan (Drums).  During that time they made 11 recordings for EMI, Harvest, CBS and Image


Ariel  —  their final concert at Dallas Brooks Hall, Melbourne 1977


A Strange Fantastic Dream

Rock and Roll Scars



Goodnight Fiona


Ariel Live - More From Before

Ariel Live In Concert

The Jellabad Mutant


After the demise of Ariel in 1977, Mike moved into promotion and production for a time.  He produced the debut album for Newcastle bands Daniel and Jab and demos for Jane Clifton (ex-Melbourne band Stiletto).


Love Comes, Love Goes - K8712

Mike Rudd and The Heaters - 1980s

Australian Girl - K7780


Live at The Sydney Myer Music Bowl

Promotional Poster

Australian Girl


Rudd and Putt later formed a succession of groups, Mike Rudd's Instant Replay, Mike Rudd and The Heaters (1979-1982) (both also with Tony Slavich) and the more electronically oriented W.H.Y (Weird Harold and You) - a drummer-less trio comprising Rudd, Putt and John Moon and featuring Weird Harold, an early but cantankerous drum-machine.  None achieved the same level of success as Spectrum or Ariel.


Party Machine - Gas Mag

Party Machine - Gas Mag

Instant Replay





Although Rudd was forced to withdraw from performing for several years due to the illness and subsequent death of his wife Helen, Mike and Bill sustained an enduring musical partnership, including reunions of Spectrum during the 1980s, and a duo album in 1996, Living on a Volcano.  A new 3-piece incarnation of Spectrum, with drummer Peter Robbo Robertson, debuted in the late 1990s as Spectrum Play The Blues with a CD Spill, which took them back to their musical roots.  Ariel also reformed for occasional gigs with varying line-ups, including a final reunion of the Mark II line-up with Harvey James and John Lee, which took place not long before Lee's untimely death in July 1998.  Rudd, Putt and Robertson continued to perform and record as Spectrum, with occasional help from keyboardist Daryl Roberts, until Bill Putt's sudden death in Strathewen on 7 August 2013, ending an enduring 44 year partnership.  Spectrum now continues as Mike Rudd with Broc O'Connor (Bass), Peter Robbo Robertson (Percussion) and Daryl Roberts (Keyboards).  Mike Rudd's entire back-catalogue was re-released on Spotify and iTunes in August 2015.




Additional Mike Rudd and Chants R&B related information is available on the following individual pages, as well as the Audio Culture Website .....


Use links to supplementary data Mike Rudd   º    Chants R&B Use links to supplementary data


Use links to supplementary data   º Use links to supplementary data