With all the big Summer music tours about to start, NZ On Screen Content Director Irene Gardiner looks back at past rock star visits to NZ via some vintage Radio with Pictures interviews.

Radio with Pictures was the not to be missed TV music series through the 1980s, with its mix of local and international alternative music. The show also scored interviews with many of the big name rock acts who visited New Zealand during that time.

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, in NZ again this weekend for a concert at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium, was also here in 1988, but without the Stones this time. He was promoting his second solo album Primitive Cool, which meant more of an emphasis on media interviews than is needed for a Stones tour. RWP host Dick Driver did the interviewing honours, and the chat was relaxed and wide-ranging.

You can see the Radio with Pictures interview with Mick Jagger here:
Radio with Pictures - Mick Jagger

Later the same year, legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was also on a promotional trip downunder, and again the interviewer was Dick Driver. Despite being sick with a cold, Mitchell was a charming and generous interviewee, who even picked up her guitar to play stunning acoustic versions of her songs Number One and Night Ride Home.

You can view the interview and songs here:
Radio with Pictures - Joni Mitchell

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A more challenging interview for Radio with Pictures was the late Lou Reed, but when ONE news reporter and occasional RWP interviewer Keith Tannock talked to him at the time of his 1985 tour, he didn't fare too badly with the notoriously tricky interviewee. From behind impenetrable aviator shades, Reed was always on guard but still an interesting commentator on life.

Watch the Lou Reed interview here:
Radio with Pictures - Lou Reed
David Bowie has visited New Zealand a few times, and in 1982 he was here to star in the feature film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. Radio with Pictures director (and future MTV Europe boss) Brent Hansen interviewed him on the set of the film. Bowie discusses stage and screen acting, the use of his music in recent films and his own directing aspirations. He is also looking forward to making his next album, which turns out to be the huge commercial success Let's Dance.

View the David Bowie interview here:
Radio with Pictures - David Bowie

The same year as the Bowie interview, the late Dylan Taite talked to UK punk rock legends The Clash at Auckland Railway Station during their 1982 NZ tour. Squinting in the sunlight, frontman Joe Strummer is typically passionate about the power of music to effect change. With songbook at hand, the band perform willing if somewhat ramshackle acoustic versions of Woody Guthrie's Who's Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet and the folk standard Shenandoah.

Watch the RWP Clash interview here:
Radio with Pictures - The Clash

You can see a more comprehensive selection of Radio with Pictures rock star interviews here.

- nzherald.co.nz