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Mike Rudd

DESCRIPTION: Mike Rudd is a New Zealand born Australian based musician and singer-songwriter best known for his work in bands such as Spectrum and Ariel.


ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1960's - Current

MUSIC GENRE: Rock, Progressive Rock, Blues, Blues Rock



BANDS / OUTFITS: Solo Artist, Ariel, Spectrum, Indelible Murtceps, Mike Rudd and The Heaters, Mike Rudd's Instant Replay, Chants R&B, The Party Machine, W.H.Y., Spectrum Plays The Blues, Sons of the Vegetal Mother

RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Havoc, EMI, Mushroom, Rare Vision, Volcano

OFFICIAL WEB SITE: http://www.mikeruddbillputt.com/


Mike Rudd was born in Christchurch, New Zealand on the 15th June 1945. His influence on the Australian music scene cannot be overstated.

It was in New Zealand that he cut his musical teeth, developing a love for music and performing before moving to Australia in 1966.

The genesis for his musical career can be traced back to his work as a choirboy and chorister at the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral. This played an important part of his formal structured musical learning. However, after 4 years he found the intensity too much and pulled out.

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Mike Rudd (Early Years)

Attending art school allowed him to explore the more creative side of himself, and it was in this period on the early 1960's that great social and musical changes were sweeping the western world and Mike was by no means immune to them.

He embraced the music and rejected the limitations of graphic artistry and decided music was for him. It was at this period he built his first guitar and later his first amplifier.

Surrounding himself with like mixed people he developed his skills out and formed his first full-time group The Chants.

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Mike Rudd (The Chants)

However Mike saw the limitations of what was being played by the group which was in his opinion"superficial pop".

Using his own funds he made the decision to fly the entire group and equipment to Melbourne Australia in 1966, in the hope the group could grow and develop a better repertoire.

Shortly after his arrival, the Chants broke up but Mike had met up with Ross Wilson. Wilson was seeking a bass player for his band, Sons of the Vegetal Mother. Mike took up playing bass and joined the group.

Unfortunately for Mike and the band, Wilson had the idea of going to the UK to seek his fame and the group folded and Mike found himself without a band. He had seen and was highly impressed with Mark Kennedy, one of the top drummers in Australia.

Mike decided there was no option but to form a band and almost the first people that came through the door became the band. Mark Kennedy turned up with the guitarist from the group he was in, Bill Putt.

Out of this meeting the first incarnation of Spectrum came about in 1969 and, a life-long friendship between Mike and Bill would have its genesis.

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Mike Rudd ('The Party Machine')

Spectrum Version I consisted of Mike Rudd (who swapped bass for guitar), Bill Putt (who swapped guitar for bass), Mark Kennedy (Drums) and Lee Neale (Keyboards).

Spectrum gained a strong fan base which continued to grow as a result of the release of "I'll Be Gone". Written by Mike, it nearly failed as the original version had no harmonica and just failed to catch the imagination. In fact it was originally rejected by EMI.

It was a strong composition and Mike struggled for a while to work out what was missing. When he added the harmonica the track exploded and the rest became history.

During the 1970's pubs became key venues for bands and Mike recognised that as good as Spectrum was, it wasn't providing the music appropriate to pub audiences, and so, he formed the Indelible Murtceps.

However, the Murtceps was only one of many groups that Mike organised and developed and one of the best known after Spectrum would be Ariel.

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Ariel (Mark II)

Formed in 1973, the original Ariel line-up was Mike Rudd (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Bill Putt (bass), Tim Gaze (guitar), Nigel Macara (drums) and John Mills (keyboards). The group had a number of line-up changes that included bringing in such music luminaries as Glyn Mason, Harvey James and Tony Slavich.

However, not long after both Gaze and Macara left the group and Ariel version I was no more. It was during this period that Mike Rudd and Bill Putt began work on the ill fated, but quite unique musical opera - Jellabad Mutant

That work was eventually finished and released on CD in 2002. Rare Vision ‎(RVSN-004).

On the basis of the success of the Ariel Mark I album - A Strange Fantastic Dream, EMI promised the group recording time at the prestigious Abbey Road studios.

Mike then formed Ariel Mark II - where he added Harvey James (guitars) and John Lee (drums). In 1974 they arrived in England. However, the record company were unhappy with the line-up change and the material presented and Mike and the band had to fall back on playing reworked Spectrum songs.

However, as a result of recording session in Britain the album Rock 'n' Roll Scars resulted. At the time it didn't seem to some as groundbreaking. However it has since been recognised as an excellent album of music and a tribute to those that played on it.

On returning to Australia in 1975 Glyn Mason was added to the group increasing the vocal range of the outfit.

That group played successfully around Melbourne garnering a large following. Membership changed several times and finally the group folded in 1977.

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Spectrum in 2011

Over the decades Mike has continued to play and entertain in various groups of his invention but the main focus has been to continue on with the many faces of Spectrum.
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Mike Rudd and Maria

On the 7th August 2013 Bill Putt, who along with Mike was the mainstay of Spectrum, died.

The death of Bill hit Mike hard!

However Mike is a man who while very open with people, also has a very private part of himself that is not made public. There is no doubt the loss of Bill had a profound effect upon him because it was not just the loss of a long-standing musical colleague, but the loss of a very close friend.

At that time it was expected that one of Australia’s greatest progressive-rock bands of the 70s, who delivered one of Australia’s greatest rock hits ever ‘I’ll Be Gone’, would at last stop performing.

However, music for Mike Rudd is not simply a job or an outlet for creative energies, it is an imperative.

Mike currently resides with his partner Maria in the very leafy area of Mt Evelyn in Victoria.

He continues to play live and as long as he is physically able, it is likely that he will continue to perform and entertain.

By Rob Greaves



Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - New Zealand Major Musicians - New Zealand Music Artists / Outfits - Australia Major Musicians - Australia

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