New Zealand Fantasy Band
New Zealand Fantasy Band 1970; Picture from left to right. John Carroll Vocals; Ron “Bert” Harris Lead Guitar; Michael Brown Bass; Mike Cassidy Drums
(Editors note: This contribution was made possible by Mike Cassidy and John Carroll who both contributed information on this band. Massive thanks to them both.)
A band out of nowhere. Won a Sydney Hoadleys Battle of the Bands with an instrumental version of the classical piece “The Sabre Dance”. 4 piece, high energy, high risk, 50% original repetoire, 3 Kiwis & 1 Aussie (Mike).
Michael Brown and Ron Harris came to Sydney Australia from New Zealand in early 1970 looking to form the NZ Fantasy Band and were joined by Mike and John. The Band mainly worked ‘residencies’ at Kings Cross clubs like The Electric Circus, The Groovy Room and the Downunder Club but also played many gigs at other venues across Sydney including supporting bands like Axiom at Caesars Palace. They also won the Rockdale heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Bands beating hot favourites Flake. They then proceeded to the NSW Final at the Capitol Theatre which was won by The Flying Circus.
Mike Cassidy left the band in March 1970 and was replaced by former Plum drummer Derek Pellicci who in years to come joined The Little River Band. The NZ Fantasy Band then moved to Melbourne playing at venues like That’s Life, Thumpin’ Tum, Catcher and many more. They disbanded in late October 1970.
What happened to Ron Harris and Michael Brown is currently unknown. Mike Cassidy now lives in the Hunter Valley and still performs.
John Carroll moved back to Sydney and joined King Fox and began to record Radio Jingles and did vocals on many well-known tracks including the 1270 2SM Rocktober jingles. He then became a successful Radio Announcer and has worked at 1270 2SM, 2MMMFM, 2DAY FM and many more. John recently retired after a 4-year stint as a Talk Back Announcer at the Superadio Network.
John has met and interviewed many Rock Legends including Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Elton John and many more. He is well known for his laid-back approach to Radio and his interviewing style. John quotes his most memorable moment in Radio is interviewing and getting to know Sir David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and was also the Music Director of Music Max (now known as MAX).
John is a tireless supporter of Aussie Music and is a member of Support Act founded by the late Billy Thorpe and Michael Chugg.
- Mike Cassidy – Percussion & Vocals
- John Carroll – Vocals
- Ron “Bert” Harris – Guitar
- Derek Pellicci – Drums
- Michael Brown – Bass
Many great memories of my 11 months in Oz from 1969 to 1970 with NZ Fantasy Band (which went on to become ODYSSEY here in NZ). Am currently living in ChCh NZ and still playing the Les Paul was playing then… Ronnie Harris
Ron!!!!! Come on down! https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarrollBroadcaster love to hear from you. That Les Paul of yours was/is incredible! What happened to Brown?
anybody there? get’n sick of this fkn machine. John C, or Mike C.
anybody there? cannot work this machine to good, jus’ got it, John C, or Mike C, or am I on the outer? John Carroll
M Brown, what a surprise! How are you doing? cheers jc
Do you have Facebook? https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarrollBroadcaster
broadcaster? there`s me thinking you were a streetfighter, jus` from memory. good ta hear you done well and are ok,you were a great singer too.all good with jonbud?
How are you going ?
no facebook yet John but am working on it…