Zaine was born on the 4th October 1957 in Auckland, New Zealand. He was educated both in New Zealand and Tahiti by his Danish parents. Part of his early education included learning the guitar. Whilst in New Zealand, and still in his teens, Zaine joined Human Instinct. At the time zaine joined the band, Human Instinct were starting the second phase of their career. Already an established band who had released 3 LP’s Zaine played bass and wrote several songs with the band on three further LP’s, Snatmin Cuthin, The Hustler and Pegleg (unreleased). Human Instinct still have a significant cult following and their albums are considered so influential original copies sell for hundereds of pounds.
In 1973, at the age of only 16, Zaine left New Zealand and moved to London to expand his musical horizons. He became guitarist and vocalist for a band called Baby Face, who despite having little exposure in the west, once played to over 20 million viewers on a East German TV concert.
During this time Zaine was studing mime and movement with the renowned teachers Adam Darius and Lindsay Kemp. Another of his fellow students was the then unknown, Kate Bush. Zaine went on to appear in Kemp’s celebrated production, Flowers. Zaine’s song of the same name, on which Kate provides backing vocals is dedicated to Lindsay.
When the Kemp company left for a tour of Australia, Zaine deceided to stay in London to concentrate on his music. He joined Screemer and bass player and vocalist and they eventually secured a recording deal with Arista Records. Screemer released two singles in 1976 and 1977 called Interplanetray Twist and In The City.
Zaine Griff Band
It was Arista who encourgaed Zaine to go solo, (although ultimately he signed for another label) so, Zaine deceided the time was right to from his own band. At this time Chris Thompson from Manfred Mann heard Zaine’s songs and helped him to put his first demo’s together. In 1978 Zaine worked with The Kinks, playing bass on their LP, The Misfits. The Zaine Griff band played 150 gigs before Zaine decieded it was again time to move on.
Ashes & Diamonds
In 1979 Zaine finally got his solo break, signing to Automatic Records and subsquently Warner Bros. Zaine performed his debut solo gig at the Reading Festival in 1979. His band at this time included Hans Zimmer and Warren Cann (in between his Ultravox obligations). Three singles, Tonight, Ashes & Diamonds and Run were followed by the release of Zaine’s debut LP Ashes & Diamonds, in October 1980. The LP was co-produced by Tony Visconti, famous for his work with David Bowie. Through Visconti, Zaine met Bowie and Bowie re-recorded three songs using Zaine and his band.
Automatic Records sadly folded, but Zaine deceided to start work on his second LP. With the help of Hans Zimmer, Zaine booked into the Snake Ranch Studio in Chelsea. Zaine enlisted the help of Yukihiro Takahashi (from Yellow Magic Orchestra) on keyboards, Warren Cann on drums, Billy Kritian on bass, andy clark on keyboards, Richard Harvey on alto sax and Kate Bush and Linda Jardin on backing vocals. Unknown to Zaine, Warren passed a copy of the finished cassette to Chris O’Donnell who was so impressed contacted Zaine and helped him to secure a new deal with Polydor Records. Two singles were released, Figvres and Flowers before the release of Zaine’s second LP Figvres in September 1982.
Also in September 1982, an exhibition of Zaine’s drawings and paintings was mounted at the Ebury Gallery in London in aid of The Nordoff - Robbins Music Therapy Charity. The event raised £1,500.
To be continued...........