Blerta

From Wikipedia: Blerta ("Bruno Lawrence's Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition"), was a New Zealand musical and theatrical co-operative active in the 1970s. It was the idea of Bruno Lawrence to arrange a group of musicians, actors and friends, who would travel around New Zealand on a tour to get away from the pressure of the music and movie scene. He organised the travelling group, and in October 1971, they started touring. The group traveled around New Zealand in a very distinctive red bus. Blerta also traveled up the east coast of Australia performing at the 1973 Aquarius Festival at Nimbin.

The group lived in a commune for many years. Three families, including Bruno Lawrence's and Geoff Murphy's, lived together. The group came to the attention of those in the New Zealand film industry and were at times employed to create work for TVNZ. The group were labeled as hippies during this time and were looked down upon by some in the industry despite the quality and nature of their work.

Throughout the years that Blerta traveled the line up changed, over time members included Lawrence, Fane Flaws, Beaver, Geoff Murphy, Tony Barry, Mick Liber as well as many others, of which some had previously worked with Bruno in bands and others joined along the way. The original line up was Bruno Lawrence, Corben Simpson, Kemp Turirangi, Geoff Murphy, Alan Moon, Tony Littlejohn, Beaver, Eric Foley, and Chris Seresin. The great adventure and experience of Blerta finished in 1975 when the troupe went out with one last tour.

Although Bruno Lawrence and Geoff Murphy were friends for many years the two had a falling out five years prior to Bruno Lawrence's death. The two never reconciled and Murphy was absent at Lawrence's funeral.

Listen to this comprehensive audio documentary produced by Radio New Zealand National.....

Part 1: BLERTA is coming..... (19' 55")

Part 2: Chaos in Christchurch..... (20' 05")

Part 3: Dance All Around the World..... (20' 44")


Watch this wonderful film compilation, Blerta Revisited, directed and produced by one of the original founding member, Geoff Murphy. The film (in 7 parts) is an anarchic collection of comedic skits, short films, and musical interludes culled from the Blerta archives......