Vet­eran rocker still mak­ing new mu­sic


Two heart at­tacks, a death and two years have passed since singer and ac­tor Andy An­der­son be­gan work­ing on his lat­est al­bum.

Now liv­ing in Palmer­ston North, the vet­eran show­man says the record­ing, An­der songs, launched last Fri­day, is the re­sult of quite a jour­ney.

Open­ing track, the au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Hey, I’m Alive, sums up An­der­son’s feel­ings and in­sights on reach­ing the age of 69, de­spite the ear­lier ex­cesses of a rock’n’roll life­style.

An­der­son suf­fered his first heart at­tack on a plane en route to a film gig. He tried to ig­nore it, but was so dis­ori­ented he couldn’t per­form and had to check in to a hospi­tal.

‘‘I said, ‘I may be a drama queen, but I think I’ve had a heart at­tack’. I had, as it turned out.’’

In the 60s, An­der­son, a 17-yearold from Nae­nae, joined the Kiwi mu­sic in­va­sion of Aus­tralia as drum­mer and vo­cal­ist for chart­top­ping Aussie band The Miss­ing Links, and then with band Run­ning Jump­ing Stand­ing Still, de­vel­op­ing some­thing of a rep as a wild man.

It was a life­style that left him with acute pan­cre­ati­tis.

In the fol­low­ing decades, An­der­son made his name as an ac­tor.

He made a big im­pact in the ac­claimed Aus­tralian TV se­rial The Sul­li­vans, win­ning a Lo­gie Award for play­ing Jim Sul­li­van. There were roles in Pris­oner, Gloss, and Packed To the Rafters.

About two years ago, An­der­son set­tled in Palmer­ston North and he has been back into mu­sic, record­ing his al­bum at the $30-an­hour Stom­ach. Dur­ing the ‘‘18-month labour of love’’, he suf­fered his sec­ond heart at­tack.

How­ever, vet­eran gui­tarist and good friend Tony ‘‘Phan­tom’’ Robin­son was less lucky and died of a stroke dur­ing the record­ing. The al­bum is ded­i­cated to him and An­der­son is full of praise for the lo­cal mu­si­cians who backed the record­ing.

‘‘The lo­cal mu­si­cians were able to pick up where Phan­tom left off. Jeff Carr [at mu­sic Planet] is a mas­ter­ful gui­tarist. Hay­den Lau­rid­sen, and other mem­bers of the band, added so much.’’

Given the al­bum’s ges­ta­tion, it’s no won­der it has a spir­i­tual side.

‘‘It’s the only place you can go when you’ve been through things like that,’’ An­der­son said.


Andy An­der­son’s lat­est al­bum has been a labour of love.

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