Graeme has left the building

THE PARAMOUNTS: Natty in their jackets and ties, 1965 Gisborne band The Paramounts, Michael Gallagher (left), Glen Houlahan, Graeme Swan and Noel Bell are snapped by Gisborne paparazzi. Pictures supplied
ROCK THE MAYFAIR: A 1980s, Gisborne covers band featuring the late Graeme Swan (centre) on bass guitar, Johnny Warren (left) on lead, drummer Trevor Shaskey and (out of frame) singer Grieg Mcgrannachan, rocks the Mayfair.

A Legend In My Own Mind is the name of a song written by Gisborne guitarist Graeme Swan. The musician died on January 21 but “Swanee” the legend is remembered here by former bandmates Johnny Warren and Trevor Shaskey.

A 1986 newspaper story headlined “New band with some old names” announced the formation of Jagged Edge, a local band with a “veteran line-up” of guitarists Graeme Swan and Johnny Warren, Grieg Mcgrannachan on bass, Trevor Shaskey on drums and Treva Rice on vocals.

“The group admits to being the consummate cabaret and function group playing rock music we will all recognise, and enjoy dancing to, while still harbouring their dreams to become millionaire songwriter musicians,” says the undated clipping.

The band was about to play at the Silver Lair nightspot for the first time, says Shaskey.

“If Swanee was an old name in the 1980s it serves as a testament to his talent that he was still gigging well into the 2010s. ‘Swanee happily wore the tag of Gisborne’s oldest teenager’, was a comment made at his service.”

Swan’s rock band trajectory started in 1965. As a 16 year old he was one of The Bel-Aires, and in the same year played guitar with The Paramounts. Two years later he performed with Crying Shame then in 1968 he joined The Grant Kennedy Trio. By 1984 he was playing with Grapevine then joined other veterans in 1986 to perform with Jagged Edge.

“Graeme got in contact with me because he wanted to get a band together,” says Warren.

“I was already playing music with Grieg Mcgrannachan. We were after a drummer and found Trevor Shaskey. We all hit it off. It was a lot of fun. I’ve got a lot of good memories. Graeme was a great guy to be in a band with.”

In the era of covers bands Jagged Edge played hits from bands of the 1970s and 1980s — The Cars, Bryan Adams, Dire Straits, Deep Purple, and Thin Lizzy.

“Jagged Edge pretty much had Gisborne sewn up in the ‘80s. We were gigging all the time,” says Warren.

“Basically A Legend In My Own Mind is about us. It got played on the FM station. That was a big deal back then.”

Jagged Edge also once played at Auckland’s Esplanade Hotel. The out-of-town band took the ferry to the Devonport venue.

“That was in the days you’d get 500 people turning up,” says Warren.

“There were five or six security guards in front of the stage. They didn’t mess around. Any mucking about by anyone and they’d throw them out. Great times.”

Shortly before he died, Swan was concerned about what would happen to his guitars. He asked Warren to give each one to certain people. One was left over so Warren said he would take care of it.

He plans to hang it on his wall in memory of Gisborne’s oldest teenager.

Swan was a great singer, bass player and guitarist — and always fun to hang out with, said Shaskey in a Facebook post the day after he heard of his old mate’s passing.

“As I said to him recently, we are kindred spirits. Let the magical mystery tour begin.”

A Legend In My Own Mind is the name of a song written by Gisborne guitarist Graeme Swan. The musician died on January 21 but “Swanee” the legend is remembered here by former bandmates Johnny Warren and Trevor Shaskey.

A 1986 newspaper story headlined “New band with some old names” announced the formation of Jagged Edge, a local band with a “veteran line-up” of guitarists Graeme Swan and Johnny Warren, Grieg Mcgrannachan on bass, Trevor Shaskey on drums and Treva Rice on vocals.

“The group admits to being the consummate cabaret and function group playing rock music we will all recognise, and enjoy dancing to, while still harbouring their dreams to become millionaire songwriter musicians,” says the undated clipping.

The band was about to play at the Silver Lair nightspot for the first time, says Shaskey.

“If Swanee was an old name in the 1980s it serves as a testament to his talent that he was still gigging well into the 2010s. ‘Swanee happily wore the tag of Gisborne’s oldest teenager’, was a comment made at his service.”

Swan’s rock band trajectory started in 1965. As a 16 year old he was one of The Bel-Aires, and in the same year played guitar with The Paramounts. Two years later he performed with Crying Shame then in 1968 he joined The Grant Kennedy Trio. By 1984 he was playing with Grapevine then joined other veterans in 1986 to perform with Jagged Edge.

“Graeme got in contact with me because he wanted to get a band together,” says Warren.

“I was already playing music with Grieg Mcgrannachan. We were after a drummer and found Trevor Shaskey. We all hit it off. It was a lot of fun. I’ve got a lot of good memories. Graeme was a great guy to be in a band with.”

In the era of covers bands Jagged Edge played hits from bands of the 1970s and 1980s — The Cars, Bryan Adams, Dire Straits, Deep Purple, and Thin Lizzy.

“Jagged Edge pretty much had Gisborne sewn up in the ‘80s. We were gigging all the time,” says Warren.

“Basically A Legend In My Own Mind is about us. It got played on the FM station. That was a big deal back then.”

Jagged Edge also once played at Auckland’s Esplanade Hotel. The out-of-town band took the ferry to the Devonport venue.

“That was in the days you’d get 500 people turning up,” says Warren.

“There were five or six security guards in front of the stage. They didn’t mess around. Any mucking about by anyone and they’d throw them out. Great times.”

Shortly before he died, Swan was concerned about what would happen to his guitars. He asked Warren to give each one to certain people. One was left over so Warren said he would take care of it.

He plans to hang it on his wall in memory of Gisborne’s oldest teenager.

Swan was a great singer, bass player and guitarist — and always fun to hang out with, said Shaskey in a Facebook post the day after he heard of his old mate’s passing.

“As I said to him recently, we are kindred spirits. Let the magical mystery tour begin.”

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Justin Swan - 5 months ago
Hey Johnny Warren, how about giving the guitar to Graeme's son Justin so he can put it on his wall to remember his father by!?

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