Phil Judd

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About Phil Judd

A founding member and early creative force behind New Zealand's Split Enz, Phil Judd quickly became disillusioned with the music industry and dropped out of the band in 1977. After rejoining Split Enz and leaving again, he spent a short time with two legendary New Zealand punk bands -- Suburban Reptiles and Enemy -- eventually setting up his own three-piece band, Swingers. Swingers had some minor success in their homeland (including a number one hit with the unforgettable "Counting the Beat") but fell apart by the early '80s. Judd released his first and only solo album in 1982, Private Lives (edited down to the Swinger EP in the U.S.). It was virtually ignored and Judd changed directions, focusing more on composing film music and pursuing art. In 1986, he joined with former Split Enz bandmates Nigel Griggs and Noel Crombie, along with guitarist Michael Den Elzen, to form Schnell Fenster. After two albums, the group broke up in 1992. Judd then returned to film music, including acclaimed scores for The Big Steal, Death in Brunswick, and Mr. Reliable. In 2006, Judd returned with a solo album, Mr. Phudd and His Novelty Act. Despite consistently producing some really terrific music, Judd's eccentric approach to pop music and skewed outlook have sadly been overlooked. ~ Chris Woodstra

New Zealand
March 20, 1953
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