The beginning of the Enz
As well as being the home of Ticket, Levi’s Saloon on the corner of Customs and Queen streets had a short shelf-life but an enduring legacy as the birthplace of New Zealand’s best beloved pop band.
Split Enz (who were then Split Ends and comprised of Tim Finn, Mike Chunn, Phil Judd, violin player Miles Golding, and Mike Howard on the flute) had their inaugural outing there in December 1972 with three newly minted songs that had been created in a single day by Tim Finn and Phil Judd. Mike Chunn describes the moment he heard them as ‘‘a bit like Moses giving the sermon on the mount. Completely mind blowing.’’
The gig had come about after Chunn’s brother Geoff mentioned a folk gig his band Rosewood was playing there: ‘‘Even if there had been just one song we would have played. I was so proud of them,’’ says Chunn.
Two things happened after the three-song set. Firstly, a girl from a band who’d played earlier came up and asked, ‘‘Only three songs? Can you play them again?’’
Secondly, promoter Barry Coburn asked Chunn if they had a manager. ‘‘I remember looking at Tim and thinking, ‘What’s a manager?’ We were so na¨ıve.’’