John Fearon

John Fearon

John Fearon was the drummer in Peking Man, a band that had a number one single and a top ten album in NZ in the 1980s. Lets find out how that happened, and what happened afterwards.

John has had a successful career in tech, and now enjoys retirement in the Blue Mountains

This is Dave Fearon, John’s brother and Manager of Peking Man.
I enjoyed the podcast and thought I would add a few more thoughts.
The music scene at the time was very active and welcoming of new bands.The venues would always have support acts and there were plenty of places to play.
At the same time, there were quite a few indie record labels but as you say the main aim was to get signed by a major!
We had some singles out on Unsung music (Venetian Blinds) and then we moved to Hit Singles for Scared of a Sound and then Lift Your head up High. This is where we first made the chart and as a result, we were able to make some TV appearances. TVNZ actual paid bands to film them!We were able to tour the North Island at this point getting good crowds at most venues.This is when we were signed to CBS. As John said Murray Thom was the force behind this and there is no doubt his drive was a large part of the single Room that Echoes making number 1.
However, I agree with John that NZ is small and so there was a bit of a dilemma after the album came out about how to proceed. Unfortunately for us, Murray Thom left CBS and his successor seemed a bit uninterested in us.
There were a lot of changes in Margaret Urlich’s life as well as she was also part of another group called When the Cat’s away which showcased the leading female vocalists at the moment. That was even more successful than Peking Man and I suppose showed Margaret that she had a lot of options. 
The record company made a decision and Margret left to go to Australia and so the band split.
I suppose we all kind of followed a similar path to John as we gradually drifted out of the scene and got proper jobs!
I find it slightly strange that after 35 years that period of time still is very fresh in my mind.

Dave Fearon

Track List


Recorded at the Blue Mountains Studio of John Fearon
Audio interface: Audient iD14
DAW: Hindenburg Journalist Pro
Mics: Shure SM7B, Blue Encore