Home The Mods Galleries The Music Gig Guide Links Contact

The Mods - The story so far 1964 - 2012
"Move It" from the Mods 48th Anniversary gig at Altitude Nightclub in May 2012. The original 1964 lineup of Kevin McNeil on bass, Wayne Reynolds on lead guitar, Neil Reynolds on drums and John Bisset on rhythm guitar was augmented by Chris Gunn on keyboards with Abbie and Sarah doing backing vocals.

The Mods play The Founders Theatre 1994, their 30th Aniversary. Songs "I Feel Fine, Hang On Sloopy and Build Me Up Buttercup. The lineup Kevin McNeil Bass, Liam Ryan Keyboards, Dean Adamson Acoustic Guitar, Peter Mathews Lead guitar and Jeff Downey Drums. The occasion was supporting Ray Columbus and The Invaders on their last Tour.

The Band was originally formed from the remnants of “Wayne Reynolds and the Surf boys in December 1963 and from early 64 they performed as Wayne Reynolds and the Mods, the lineup was Wayne and brother Neil along with Kevin McNeil and Mike Griffin. When Mike decided to leave a few months later guitarist John Bisset joined and so began the original Mods.

The Mods established themselves through the Waikato and Auckland Area as one of the leading 4 piece groups. It was about this time that news got through to Stebbing Studios (Zodiac Records) in Auckland of the band's popularity and a recording deal was offered. From the first session came “Love,Love,Love"/"Its in Her Kiss", which made number 5 on the NZ Charts and gave the band a leg into major clubs in both Auckland and Wellington as well as offers to back Top Solo artists, including Ray Columbus (who in 1965 had split with the Invaders) along with the Chicks, Dinah Lee, Shane, Tommy Adderly, Sandy Edmonds and Alison Durban

The band recorded another single in early 1966, “Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble” (a cover of the Manfred Mann song) b/w a John Bisset original “Ill be on My Way”, not a bad intro to song writing from the then 16 year old John.In late 65 Clive Coulson joined the band (from the Auckland group “The Rayders”) as lead Vocalist and they travelled to Wellington for a six month tour of the night clubs and Sunday Clubs and it was during this period they formed a friend ship with Midge Marsden and The Breakaways, (originally Barry and The Breakaways). They traveled the country playing top Night Spots in Auckland and Wellington and became recognised as one of New Zealands leading groups.

In 1966 they were booked to play support for the “Sonny and Cher” but due to differing tastes in music the band members decided to go their separate ways. John moved to Auckland to join “The Action”, Kevin McNeil to the Auckland “Rayders” and Wayne and Neil the “Ways and Means”. Clive moved to Australia and then to England and eventually ended up on the road with “Led Zeppelin” first as a road Manager and then into sound and management.

In 1987 John, Wayne, Kevin and Neil got back together for a brief period, this was to become the start of “The Mods 2”, a combination of at least 2 of the original guys playing with other musicians, the common denominator being volcalist/bassist Kevin McNeil, who has played with every line-up of the Band since 1964.

In 1989 “The Mods 2” recorded 6 track mini album featuring covers and 3 originals from John Bisset. The Original 5 members got back together in 2004 for their 40th Anniversary. Sadly in 2005 Clive Coulson passed away suddenly and as a tribute to him, Wayne, Neil and Kevin had one more re-union this being their 45th.

The Mods have been largely overlooked by authors of publications covering the 60s NZ music scene, especially as they were highly rated by their peers. They are now one of the few 60s groups (worldwide) who can currently perform with the original four members. Most of the top NZ soloists of the 60s at some time were supported or backed by the Mods, and all held them in high regard as musicians and entertainers. Their greatest supporter over the years has been Ray Columbus who played many gigs with the Band.

Other Mods over the years have included: Dean Adamson, Rob Port, Graham Dukeson, Peter Matthews, Jeff Downey and Liam Ryan (from “The Narcs”, along with Morris Taylor, Athol Ryan, Denis Newby, and Steve Crossland.
Early mods 1964-65

Wayne,Kevin, Neil

The Recording sessions 1965/66
The Mods went into the Studio in 1965 when it was located in Saratoga Avenue in the basement of Eldred Stebbings House.They had been approached by a representative of Zodiac whilst they were playing at a Dance in the Catholic Hall in Te Aroha who said that they had heard of us through the grapevine and would we be interested in making a record. Of course 4 teenagers from Hamilton jumped at the offer and within a short period of time an acetate of the song that Stebbings had picked arrived, it was “Love Love Love”, they were given the opportunity of selecting their own B side which was “Its in Her Kiss” (The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everit) a version they had heard the “Searchers” play on one of their tours of NZ.

The making of “Love Love Love” was unique in that it featured the use of a Fuzz Tone unit designed and built by Eldreds son Robert who was starting to show an interest in the electronics of the time. Thus the distorted guitar you hear on the song was Wayne Reynolds playing through the unit. A humorous side to the visit was that the guys had heard about the famous groups going into Studios overseas and consuming copious quantities of alcohol during sessions, so the boys turned up with a crate of beer and were promptly told to get rid of it by the engineer, John Hawkens. They redeemed ourselves by recording the backing tracks for “Its in Her kiss” in one take. The whole session took a single day as was the case in the 60s.

The single had its fair share of airplay on the local charts and helped set “The Mods” up for national recognition. Another bonus was that Zodiac Recording Artists all got to play at Eldred Stebbings Night Club, the Galaxy Ballroom, which was a great way to get known around Auckland. In 1966 the band went back into the studio and recorded a cover of Manfred Mann’s “ "Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble” b/w "Ill Be On My Way”.

Love, Love, Love 1965