Neville Claughton

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      Award presented 2007

Neville Claugton Collection


Neville Claughton

Neville was born on November 13th, 1943 in Christchurch, New Zealand.   He started his apprenticeship at Beggs Christchurch, often working in the Musical Instrument Department on Friday nights where he met and got to know all the working musicians of the day.  Guitars were mainly Jansen, Hofner, Framus, Commodore etc., and amplifiers were Concord, Jansen, and the odd bootleg import (Selmer/Vox etc.)  Neville was a brass band chap although he attended church and feature dances back in the day.  During his stint in National Service in 1964 he met Stan Kidd (The Silhouettes) who suggested he take up bass, so off he went.  On his discharge from the Army he bludged a Commodore bass from Beggs, and built a cabinet with eight 8-inch Plessey speakers (as the Beggs radio tech said that was the way to go - yeah right!).  He hand cut the speaker holes in 1-inch solid wood with a keyhole saw, and still has the blisters to this day.  His first band was with Andy Hobbs, and the first gig with Andy, Bob Heinz and Royce Richards was at the Salt Water Creek Hall circa June 1965.  That gig evolved into a group with Greg Mooney, Neil Falconer, Doug Armstrong and Pat Kearns at one point, with Neville playing bass - a Simpson Invader Bass and was head-hunted by The Viscounts replacing Merv Thompson, as apparently Neville could sing (although the jury is still out on that score).  That was in 1965 and was with Greg Mooney, Neville Wilkins and his brother Neville Wilkins' brother Les.  After a short time The Viscounts morphed into Rhythm and Bland (Norm Bland, Bruce "Puck" Truman, Pete Sidery, Pete Challis and Neville.


The Viscounts

Five Degrees

The Inspiration



Late in 1966 he got the call from Dave Whiting to join the ex-Raves guys Laurie Herdman, Allan Brown, Dave Whiting and new recruit (replacing Roger McArthur), Dave Diver of Librettos notariety, and Neville became an original member of the band which was The Five Degrees with Neville playing bass and later organ.  They headlined at The Scene with The Echophonics for a while before being snatched by Trevor Spitz for a move to The Pride Of Place/Montmarte, during which tenure he was back in retail at Beggs and running the Musical Instrument Department, eventually in the company of Dave Whiting, Charlie Jemmett, Murray Cullen and a bunch of others - great days they were!1967 saw Neville on bass with Pete Ward and The Prophets which morphed into The Inspiration - John Storey, Allan Brown and Pete Ward (who was replaced by Royce Richards).  The advent of late closing saw The Inspiration become the resident band at The Valley Inn, later moving on to The Blenheim Road Motor Inn and a truck-load of private stuff.  At that time he was playing keys (Vox Continental) and bass lines/vocals - a very busy boy.  1969 saw Neville involved in a brief stint with The Secrets with Geoff Cavender and Wayne Allen.1971 Neville had made a move to the White Heron with Harry Voice and Dean Howe, latterly playing bass for Tradition with Dave Whiting, which led eventually to his playing organ.  In 1972 Neville joined Page One with Larry McKay, Mike Mitchell, Mike Lewis and Don Gutry, and that same year formed Link with Dave Kennedy, Dave Gillies and Craig Nicholson.


Page One





1973 saw him in Rock ‘n’ Roll Spinach with the Sammons brothers and Doug Petrie, then 1975 saw him in Shannon with Kevin Toneycliffe, Ross Nicol and Maurice Sammons.  From this point through to the late 1980s he was with various bands recording at Tandem Studios and ending with Remedy before a shift to Auckland in 1988 from which time he worked Clubs and Functions with a quartet.In 1998 he shifted to Nelson and is still currently working there, having formed The Solid Gold Band with Radioworks, currently running and performing with four groups, NZ's Classic Hits Band, Mr Music Allstars Function Band, a 6-piece Jazz Group and a 5-piece Function Band with Zoe Jackson and others.  2007 sees Neville fronting The Classic Hits Band as bassist/vocalist, Mr Music Allstars, Steve Flemming Quintet and Z Incorporated with Zoe Jackson and others.


Neville in Christchurch Cathedral - SSR 2006

Neville Claughton Bassman

Neville Claughton Keyboardist

Neville at the SSR Aftermatch 2006


Being involved with many bands, also involved many residencies at local nitespots, and these included - The Scene, The Pride Of Place, Montmartre, Valley Inn, The Sandridge, The Black Horse, The Gladstone, The Blenheim Road Motor Inn and Christies.  Neville has toured with Mr. Lee Grant with Five Degrees, and appeared on numerous TV Shows including Onwards, Popco, Norman and Opportunity Knocks.  Neville is a multi-instrumentalist playing several brass instruments as well as organ/keyboards and bass guitar.