Hamish Kilgour Gone At 65

The influential New Zealand musician and songwriter had been missing for several days

Hamish Kilgour (Image: Reddit)

After going missing on November 27th, legendary New Zealand musician Hamish Kilgour was sadly found dead today in his native New Zealand.

Along with his brother David as members of The Clean, Kilgour was an important architect of the punk rock scene in New Zealand based around the city of Dunedin. It was there one of the earliest indie rock movements in the world formed around the Flying Nun Records label, who released The Clean’s 1981 single “Tally Ho!,” which quickly gained international attention for both the band and the imprint. 


VIDEO: The Clean “Tally Ho!”

I asked him once over Facebook Messenger what The Clean were digging back in those early days.

He wrote back, “directly inspired by punk-before that glamkrautrockpsychedeliasixties pop50s rock n roll country easy listening lounge music latino jazz and all musical strands going back to the start of the 20th cent.” 

Their sound would find its biggest influence in America through the works of acts like Galaxie 500, Pavement and Yo La Tengo. And it would be in the States–New York City, at that–where Killgour would form his next great band The Mad Scene with ex-wife Lisa Siegel, releasing four albums together between 1993 and 2012, particularly 1995’s Sealight, which has always been considered their best. Hamish also led the NZ space rock ensemble Bailter Space as well.



In the last ten years, Hamish would release two solo albums, 2014’s All Of It And Nothing and 2018’s Finklestein, as well as one last LP with The Clean in 2009, the underrated Mister Pop. The band would be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2017.

“Hamish was inscrutable in his kindness, his love of music, and his politics,” said Ben Goldberg, co-founder of Ba Da Bing! Records who released Kilgour’s solo material. “Even at his lowest moments, he never lost sight of his ideals. You can hear his heart in every beat, strum, and syllable he made.”

No cause of death has been revealed at press time. 

Hamish Kilgour was 65.


VIDEO: Hamish Kilgour Trio “Point That Thing Somewhere Else” (Flying Out in-store 7/3/19)



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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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