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Zoo - from the album liner Cowboys and Engines

After one last New Zealand tour Pop Mechanix made the jump across the Tasman in 1981.  A Sydney group called Popular Mechanics objected to the name Pop Mechanix as being too similar, and an injunction and court battle followed, with the case making legal history, and Pop Mechanix losing control of their name in all but Canberra and The Northern Territory, effectively ruining the band in Australia.  Tragically, for a mere few thousand dollars, the name rights could have been retained.  The group settled in Sydney and, being billed as NZ Pop Mechanix, began playing around the city (including a support slot for Joe Cocker at Sydney's Capitol Theatre on July 7, 1981), growing their audience up before venturing further afield.  They played Bombay Rock in Melbourne in mid-June and returned early the following month to the Seaview Hotel at St Kilda.  August found them back again for five dates around Melbourne.  They also visited Canberra's Jamison Inn that month for a show.  In September, they were back at The Electric Ballroom in Melbourne, and Waurn Ponds Hotel in nearby Geelong.  Then in October, there were more dates in Melbourne and in Geelong.  They were forced to play and release a single Texas // Cowboys under the name NZ Pop.  The had not gone down well with Australian rock fans, who were confused, and the honeymoon was over.  They weren't pulling big enough crowds to do more than subsist and Andrew McLennan, for one, was angry - he left the group in late November 1981 to join The Swingers.  When Pop Mechanix returned to Melbourne on January 21, 1982, they were again billed as NZ Pop, having re-recorded Ritz on Countdown.  NZ Pop recorded their first album Cowboys and Engines with Eddie Rayner at AAV Studios in Melbourne, and it was released in January 1982 under the name Zoo.  Onr of the album's tracks - Ritz - was released as a single Holidays // Ritz under the name NZ Pop. Their fans were now really confused.  Meanwhile, as Zoo they were playing three or four shows a week in central Sydney, the North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs, with 70 songs in their repertoire.  After the tension of McLennan's last days, the four original members closed ranks and started to feel alive again.



Zoo - Cowboys and Engines

SBP237832 Side 1

Zoo - Cowboys and Engines Back Cover

SBP237832 Side 2



ROCKHAPPENZ features the three iterations of this group  —  POP MECHANIX  —  ZOO  —  NZPOP  —  Click any selection to load that page