Classic Affair

Keith Murch, Reggie Ruka, Peter Topp and Peter Timperley in 1969.

    Peter Timperley (Lead Guitar)
    Pat Pukeroa (Organ)
    Reggie Ruka (Bass Guitar / Vocals)
    Peter Topp (Drums)

The Classic Affair originated in Whangarei in 1968. They traveled to Auckland in order to get work and successfully auditioned for a gig at the Monaco. With this success they decided to move to Auckland permanently, but Pat Pukeroa had commitments in Whangarei so he was replaced by Keith Murch. 

The relocation took place in January 1969 and they found regular work at the Galaxie and Bo-Peep nightclubs. Billy Williams from Omnibus was recruited to take over bass duties to allow Reggie to concentrate on fronting the band as vocalist. Keith Murch decided to leave about the same time and was replaced by Bob Patient from the recently disbanded Green and Yellow. No further line-up changes occurred and this combination continued together until they broke up in 1970.

A Hammond organ was introduced into their sound and with their constant exposure at the Auckland clubs, their popularity grew. They appeared on the C'mon television show in 1969 and recorded a single for HMV. It was "Little Red Book"/"Love Machine" and released in December 1969. The group then headed off on the '69 C'mon Stage Spectacular tour of the North Island.

After the tour, they took up residency at the Oriental, also playing at times at the Forum, the Monaco and the Tabla. Eventually they took over the residency at the Monaco when the Dallas Four moved to the Tabla.

In 1970 they performed at Super Pop '70 in front of royalty and then went on tour as support group to the 1910 Fruitgum Company, after which they disbanded.

Reggie Ruka moved to Australia where he joined Everton Park and later he changed his name to Andre Santos and spent a few months with Mississippi. Peter Timperley went on to join the Dallas Four, Karma and Uncle Remus. Peter Topp didn't play anymore and died in 1993. Bob Patient went to Australia and joined many groups over there.

Billy Williams had the most success. He went on to join Space Farm, played with Freedom Express, Blerta and the reformed Ticket before moving to Sydney where he played in Band Of Light, the group Phil Keys from the La De Da's formed. Later he and Ticket vocalist Trevor Tombleson went to England and for a couple of years had a band called Slipstream. When he moved back to Australia he worked in the Barry Leef Band, Barry having originated from the Simple Image. Billy also played in the Leon Berger band and in King Cobra, before forming Monsoon with other Kiwi musicians, Ray Goodwin, from Dragon, and Trevor Tombleson.


New Zealand Music