L to R: Gerard Smith, Sjaaki Koolan, Ross Hindman & Shade Smith                                                                    

Surfires Line-Up:
    Shade Smith
    Gerard Smith
    Ross Hindman
    Sjaaki Koolan

Rumour Line Up:
    Shade Smith (Guitar / Piano)
    Gerard Smith (Vocals)
    Colleen Ralph (Vocals)
    Sjaaki Koolan (Guitar / Vocals)

The Surfires.

The Rumour originated in Huntly in 1963, when twin brothers John and Gerard Smith formed a school band called the Sapphires with fellow school friends, Ross Hindman and Sjaaki Koolan. John was also known as Shade. After leaving school they changed their name to the Surfires in 1966. They began writing their own material and got in touch with Eldred Stebbing at Zodiac Records, who listened to their songs and decided to record them. They recorded three singles for Zodiac in 1966 and 1967. They were "I Can't Wait For Summertime"/"Flying Saucers", "Friction"/"A True Gentleman" and "Notice Me"/"When Will The Seasons Bring".


The Surfires broke up late 1967 only to reform in 1969. At that stage it was only Shade, Gerard and Sjaaki. The group was then managed by Ray Columbus, and adding Colleen Ralph to the line-up, they changed their name to the Rumour.

During 1970 the Rumour played at many cabaret shows around Auckland and they entered the Studio One - New Faces competition, singing "What Have You Done". This song was subsequently released as their first single, with "Darling Kathy Baby" on the flip side.

By the end of 1970, Colleen Ralph had left the group and Ross Hindman came back in on bass guitar. A new recording contract with Polydor Records followed and so did the success. The first single on Polydor in 1970 was "We've Got To Learn To Live Together"/"Teach Your Children". The next single "Garden Of Your Smile"/"We Can't Know The Reason" began to get airplay towards the end of 1970.


In 1971 the first album "Garden Of Smiles" was released. From it came the next single "L'Amour Est L'Enfant De La Liberte"/"Nobody Knows". "L'Amour" translated to "Love Is The Child Of Freedom" went all the way to the top of the national charts in 1971.

The second album "Land Of New Vigour and Zeal" came out in 1972 and spawned two more singles, "Holy Morning"/"Two Ways To Look" and "No Money On Our Trees"/"When Will The Seasons Bring". These two songs reaching numbers 3 and 21 respectively on the national charts.


At the same time Shade Smith released a couple of singles under his own name, "The Life Of A Story"/"Beautiful To Me" and "Woman In My Life"/"I've Got To Stay".


Shade was a very in demand songwriter at the time. He wrote the very successful and popular "Sunshine Through A Prism" for Suzanne.

A third album "Holy Morning" was also released in 1972. It contained songs from the first two albums, plus a few new songs. Two more singles came out in 1973, "Like Children Do"/"The Fish and the Alley Of Destruction" and "Beautiful To Me"/"Play Mama Play".


1973 saw the release of the fourth album "An Evening At Home - The Best Of The Rumour".

That was about the end of the Rumour. Shade Smith did release another single in 1974, "A Better Way"/"Peter Costello Theme" on the Family label, and there were two other singles by the Rumour in 1977, but their time had long past.


A final single on Ode came out in 1982.

Shade Smith released one other album in 1983 under the name Somersault, a group which comprised Shade, Gerald, Sjaaki and Barry Rushton on drums. The album was called "Never Lose The Wonder".

Ross Hindman married Judy Donaldson from the Chicks in December 1971.

2009 saw the release of "The Rumour Collection". It contains all of the hits, plus two of Shade's singles and two songs from the Surfires.


The Surfires can also be found on the following compilations:-

The Rumour can also be found on the following compilations:-


New Zealand Music