Trevor Rigby

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Trevor Rigby  —  co-founder and director of The Safari Lounge and The Mecca NiteSpot, Tuam Street, Christchurch

Here's Trevor's story in his very own words ....

I was born into a musical family, which often had jam sessions, with family members on piano, organ, guitars, and ukuleles.  My older brother Denver had a Hawaiian band, made up of family members, and he was a very good pedal-steel guitarist.  Sadly he died very young with a heart problem.  I tried to continue with the group, and learn steel guitar so I enrolled with Tommy Kahi (a well known Steel Guitarist) for lessons, and I was then approached by Bart Ball, manager of the Saints rock 'n' roll band, who said he needed a bass player, and Tommy had recommended me, and so I joined the Saints.  I enjoyed it for a year or so, but missed the steel guitar group, so I left the Saints.

I then met Johnny Johns in the guitar group - he had found a large vacant warehouse, and said he would like to build a rock 'n' roll nightclub.  This was a massive undertaking for us and our many friends.  We needed to build a stage, alcoves, toilets and a fire escape, on the first floor.  Johnny was a skilful painter and artist, and painted life size animals all around the walls.  The warehouse was above Sedley Wells grand piano shop, and Sedley was far from happy with what was taking place above his shop.  The Safari opened and we enjoyed great crowds, and fabulous music from the many bands who played there.  After a few years The Safari closed, when a new club opened in Christchurch town, so I took over the lease and remodelled the club as The Mecca.  I employed Barry Johnston as manager, and the club went well so I decided to sell it.  I then got married and had four wonderful sons.  Music has been my life and my world, and I have made some lovely friends and met some very talented musicians, over the years, but at 84 I still play a guitar, and with my wife Ngaire l/we love to sing and play country music, in the Country music clubs, and Festivals.