Artist Fane Flaws won't forget his first memory of his friend and band member Geoff Murphy.

The film pioneer and artist who passed away at age 80 called Waimarama home for 12 years when he began as a member of the travelling group of aspiring musicians, actors and film makers who became the Bruno Lawrence Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition'' or Blerta.

The band achieved something of a mythical status in New Zealand 20th century culture, and shone in the spotlight once more when APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) voted on New Zealand's top 20 four years ago.

Flaws, who now lives in Napier, said his memory of Geoff Murphy found him waiting at a bus stop in Roseneath with his flatmate David Green, ready to head downtown for a typical "stoned Saturday night out" in Wellington.

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As a film director, Murphy was described as a key pioneer in the New Zealand film industry, with hits including Goodbye Pork Pie and The Quiet Earth.

He made the movie which stamped his mark on New Zealand cinema while he lived at the Blerta family commune, Snoring Waters, at Waimarama.

Murphy was appointed officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit 2014.