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Glyn Mason



ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1960's - Current

MUSIC GENRE: Rock, Blues Rock



BANDS / OUTFITS: Chain, Ariel, Roadrunners, Copperwine, Home, Stockley See Mason, Larry's Rebels, Jigsaw (NZ band), Bitter End, Home, The Richard Clapton Band, Tour de Force, Glyn Mason’s Loose String Band, Baby Loves to Cha Cha, Sharky and the Caddman band; The Pardoners (Current) and Field, See & Mason (Current)



Glyn Mason was born in the United Kingdom on September 12 1949. He moved with his family to Australia in 1952 and was slated for a music career. His father was a former choirboy in Wales and his London-born mother was a honky-tonk piano player.

The family then moved from Australia to New Zealand in 1958, moving to several ocations before finally settling in Lower Hutt.

Glyn went to high school with Chaz Burke-Kennedy, who taught him lots about playing guitar. Glyn received had a good education, but the world of the typical professions held no interest for him.

Then Chaz formed a band at school that included Glyn and was behind the formation of the Glyn's first group, The Roadrunners in 1964.

After the Roadrunners broke up, Glyn spent about nine months with The Bitter End, playing lead guitar before heading north following an invitation to join a new band. In Auckland in 1968 he helped form Jigsaw, which also featured Caz Burke-Kennedy and is remembered as a soul band.

Also inJigsaw was Drummer Tony Walton and George Barris on bass guitar, being the third member from Wellington.

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Glyn Mason (Mid Career Years)

Then came The Rebels, who were a high profile NZ band fronted by Larry Morris.

According to Glyn, “I was in Auckland playing with a band called Jigsaw. In the world of musos back then there was more social activity. There was never the competitive world in real terms. We’d come down to their club. They’d come down to ours."

One day Glyn was visited by The Rebels drummer, Nooky [Nooky Stott) and Willy (John Williams), the lead guitarist. They said, "Larry is not with us any more. Do you want to join the band?" Glyn responded with - "I’m in a pretty good band now. Thanks guys. What are you doing?”

They told him they were recording an album, about to embark on a tour, and going back to Australia.

The rest is history. Glyn joined them on the Australian trip, which led him to meeting many Australian musicians and bands and from there his abilities, and especially his voice, opened many doors to many bands.

The first was Chain. Glyn was with them for a year and a half. It was a lot of fun for him and he appreciated the heavy, straight blues, but felt he may hav e been out of his depth as he wasn't the greatest musician to join that band. However, his voice more than carried him, through.

He recorded one album with Chain, Chain – Live. Then Chain split!

Glyn unfettered by bands or partners headed for the UK where he tried out with several bands but ended up in the backing band for a Ceylonese guy, Frankie Boy Reid. Joining him was Tony Cahill (second drummer with The Easybeats) who played bass in this line-up.

After a very long trip back to Australia he ended up in working in Darwin. According to Glyn -“The guys in Chain somehow found out I was back in the country. It was like the Blues Brothers – ‘Let’s get the band back together’ – so down I came to Melbourne.”

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Wendy Saddington with Chain (Glyn Mason - centre) at the Ourimbah 1970 Rock Festival

The line-up he had been in the previous year reformed; this time he was in Chain from November 1971 to January 1972.

“We did a second album, Chain Live Again, and a couple of other singles. But typically all that time away they had had their most successful period with Matt Taylor” (This was in the period they had huge hits like ‘Black And Blue’.)

In 1972 he joined Sydney band Copperwine, replacing Jeff St John. Following his time in that band and still in Sydney, he joined country-rock band Home.

Following the demise of Home very early in 1975, Glyn joined Ariel. This was the the band Mike Rudd (ex-Chants R&B) formed from the ashes of Spectrum. The band headed for the UK but only lasted 5 months and they returned to Australia.

When Harvey James, who played guitar in Ariell, went to join Sherbet, Mike and Glyn shared the guitar duties. Bill Putt was still there on bass but when Tony Slavich (keyboards) joined, their sound had evolved.

While Glyn was with Ariel they released the album Goodnight Fiona. For a time Mike and Glyn were doing lots of songwriting individually. Together they wrote ‘Rock Critic’ and ‘Caught In The Middle Again’, while originals from Glyn sung by Ariel include ‘Redwing’, ‘It’s Only Love’ and ‘I’ll Not Fade Away’. In Ariel’s final line-up when Ian McLennan replaced Nigel Macara on drums, there were four songwriters in band.

Ariel folded in late 1977 and Glyn played for a short time with Richard Clapton and for a short time he formed Glyn Mason’s Loose String Band.

In 1978 Sam See and Chris Stockley had come back from overseas after the band they were in broke up, allowing Stockley, See and Mason to come into being.

The three of them were backed by drummer Dave Stewart (whose group Daniel had been produced by Mike Rudd), and Geoff Rosenberg (Hot Air Band) on bass.

The five-piece band played country rock. Early their emphasis was on country; later more on rock. They became extremely popular very quickly and by 1979 they were termed one of the hot acts for that year, receiving a lot of great press.

That group is best remembered for was Beg, Steal Or Borrow which both a live album; a song and a 60-minute movie

In 1982 Glyn formed Tour de Force in Melbourne with drummer Dave Stewart (Stockley, See and Mason) and Joe Imbroll on bass. At the time they were described as “a collective of three musicians combining the best of their diverse backgrounds into a tight, unique R&B-based sound, coloured with a texture of today’s contemporary themes.”

But Sydney beckoned, so in 1984 Glyn based himself there to live and work.

While in Sydney he was in a band named Baby Loves to Cha Cha doing soul covers and Motown songs. During his stint singing with them, he lost his voice for the second time in his career. The first time having been in Auckland.

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Glyn Mason (Later Career)

Glyn had developed polyps on his vocal chords and he feared he might never sing again.

After leaving the band, Glyn took a break from music and started a landscaping business with a mate; and according to him it was at this time that he was the fittest he had been in his life. But the city experienced its highest rainfall in something like 42 years, so his timing in starting a landscaping business was unfortunate. He quit and sold his equipment to his business partner.

Glyn then became a sucessful on-the-road rep for Fender musical instruments in 1989 and he lasted 21 years during which time he kept in contact with many of his old band mates.

He did his first return to music gig with Sam See in 2002, in Mordialloc at the food and wine festival. Out of the success of this came The Pardoners, a two-piece group that Glyn and Sam still work today.

With The Pardoners Glyn returned to writing and he and Sam put out two albums. The Pardoners and, Indulgences.

They are widely regarded as one of Australia's best duos. They sing their own songs and surprising rearrangements of much-loved songs with unique harmonies over a high-energy bed of acoustic guitar and a stomp-box and they ROCK! They also have a solid following colloquially known as "The Stalkers".

In 2014, they began working with Lindsay field (ex-Original Sin) in Field, See and Mason, performing a mix of originals and covers. The three-part harmonies they deliver are stunning and the trio has released a CD, Down Under The Covers, which is an excellent representation of their live act.

They still work this group today.

By Rob Greaves



Parent Category Page Links: Major Musicians - New Zealand Major Musicians - Australia

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