Honorary Plague member Don McGlashan says…
"Sprung from the brain and heart of actor/writer/poet Richard Von Sturmer, The Plague showed that a band could be more than just louche young men playing riffs and striking poses - it could be theatrical, confronting - and at times celebratory.
The Plague was a sharp-clawed cat amongst the pigeons of seventies New Zealand music, and no-one who saw it came away unchanged."
Charter member Tim Mahon says...
“We were young very young 16 to 19. We weren’t in the cool gang as we didn’t yearn to play New York Dolls covers badly and take heroin we considered ourselves artists and we surrounded ourselves with other artists, photographers, painters, and poets. We were loved down the line and thence spent much of our time touring.”
Charter member Richard Von Sturmer says (in his History of The Plague)...
“The Plague formed in February 1978 as a reaction to the lack of vision and social awareness of bands in Auckland, as well as the negative atmosphere in New Zealand at the time. We decided to create a group that would unleash pure energy and madness on stage. Because we started as non musicians we worked from the words, not from a tune and this made us realise that, as performers, we had a responsibility to not only give our audience something visually exciting, we could make our audience think. In March 1978 we gave our first concert at Westlake Boys High School. We managed to perform seven songs to a very excited audience.”
Richard Von Sturmer
“In July 1978 we needed people who awareness went beyond just playing music in a band. After many weeks of disappointment we gained Andrew McLennan, Mark Bell, and Ian Gilroy the singer, guitarist, and drummer from the Warm Jets who had just disbanded. For the first time, The Plague had a firm musical foundation from which we began to develop.”
Members of the Plague would move onto groups who have become “fxcking legends maaate!” (and they are !) Blam Blam Blam, Pop Mechanix & Coconut Rough, The Swingers, and Fetus Productions. Richard would pen the lyrics for alternative NZ national anthem There Is No Depression In New Zealand while establishing a name for himself as not only a musician, but artist, playwright, filmmaker and most recently, the writer in residence at Waikato University.
Seventeen-year-old Tim Mahon talked The Plague onto the well-documented NZ alternative lifestyle festival NAMBASSA in January 1979. Members of the Plague took to the stage in front of a massive afternoon crowd wearing nothing more than body paint. Witness the performance online... it's fearless... and you can see part of it here. https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/nambassa-festival-1979 (go to Part Three, 4min 40secs)
The Panthers Of Sound
Think With Your Body
Leap From The Ground
Leap On The Back Of The Panthers Of Sound
Ride The Music
Around And Around And Around
Panthers Of Sound – Richard Von Sturmer
The Plague will play their first show in 42 years at NECK OF THE WOODS, Karangahape Road on Thursday 22nd April 2021. Joining them will be old friends of The Plague - The X-Features featuring Jed Town and Chris Orange and DJ for the night will be DUBHEAD. Tickets available from Under The Radar - $20 + booking fee.
Doors at 730pm – X FEATURES at 815pm, THE PLAGUE at 9 pm.
Private Property – Richard Von Sturmer