Intimate Blues Connection


    Les Neil (Lead Guitar)
    Lawrence Brothers (Rhythm Guitar)
    Billy Brothers (Bass Guitar)
    Max Wolfgramm (Keyboards)
    Jon Drinkwater (Drums)
    Jerry Brown (Vocals)

The Intimate Blues Connection were a wild group who were around only for a short time during 1967 and 1968. They modeled themselves on groups like the Pretty Things and the Who. Their wildness caused them not to get too many return invitations to perform at various venues, so they established themselves at their own venue, the 410 Club in Queen St Auckland.

Billy and Lawrence Brothers had previously played with a group called the Purple Hearts. Jerry Brown, who was a second year university science dropout, was introduced to Billy and Lawrence in 1966. They played a few rehearsals at the Brother's home in Point England, before hiring a warehouse space above the Doll's Hospital on Karangahape Road. They decided to look around for a lead guitarist and drummer. As Jerry recalls, "we were lucky to get Les, who was a warped genius and Jon, who was an excellent psychedelic drummer". They called themselves the Intimate Connection, which in its day was rather controversial, because of its sexual innuendo. The Blues was added sometime later.

In 1967, they rented a disused nightclub at 410 Queen Street, with Jerry Brown as the tenant. It was accessed downstairs via a very narrow stairway. The group began playing there. They considered themselves to be R&B and mostly covered Dylan, Rolling Stones, Byrds, Donovan and English pop. Lawrence and Jerry did write a few originals. The style was not pop, but more emphasised and raucous. They were very visual behaviorally and on a few occasions the loyal and excited audience would lose control a bit. They received an eviction notice after a month or two, when the owner paid a surprise visit during a performance. There had been complaints from upstairs, and the owner finding Jerry on the floor screaming with Les doing an extraordinary feedback wail as Drinkwater slammed the drums, and the audience jumping on tables like monkeys, led to the termination of their lease.

Max Wolfgramm left the group and joined Le Frame in 1967. When Jerry Brown left, he was replaced by Tony London, and they changed their name to Clockwork Orange. Apart from several appearances at The Monaco, other gigs were rather infrequent and hard to get, so after only a few months they called it quits.

Billy Brothers also had a stint with Le Frame. Jon Drinkwater moved on to a new psychedelic outfit called the Velvet Bubble, and in 1971 joined Noazark.


New Zealand Music