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.