Ray Columbus joins British invasion, at last

Ray Columbus pictured in 2010 (Dean Purcell).
Ray Columbus pictured in 2010 (Dean Purcell).

An ailing Ray Columbus has been buoyed by having three of his songs revived on a British box set of 1960s Mod era tracks.

The 3-CD set Keep Lookin' includes three Columbus compositions - Yo Yo with his band the Invaders, solo track We Want A Beat and I'm Good For You which he wrote and produced for band The Troubled Mind.

The forthcoming 80-song compilation by label RPM of "Mod, Soul and Freakbeat Nuggets" also includes a fourth New Zealand song, Go Go by The Four Fours before they changed their name to The Human Instinct.

Said Columbus: "Health-wise life has been hard for me over the last 18 months and to have three of my songs on a major European reissue is a real tonic.

"During my early career I tended to focus on the USA as I always considered myself as too English for the English and thought that it was a bit like selling ice to the Eskimos.

"So it is a real honour for me to be featured on this groovy collection along side some of the most respected musicians in the world".

Other acts on the compilation include John Lee Hooker and the Spencer Davis Group.

Columbus is terminally ill, suffering from an immune deficency problem in the wake of heavy medication he has been on for a raft of health issues since suffering a heart attack in 2004 and a subsequent stroke.

The New Zealand pop pioneer has been nicknamed "The Modfather" after his early trans-Tasman hit with the Invaders, She's a Mod, and for his lasting influence on the local music industry.

Read about Ray Columbus and the Invaders in their heyday here

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