The Cresendos (aka the Crescendos)

The Cresendos, from left: Graham Johnston, Ian Irvine, Max Johnston and Bryan Stewart
The Cresendos, from left: Graham Johnston, Ian Irvine, Max Johnston and Bryan Stewart

The Cresendos (sic) consisted of Graham Johnston lead guitar, Max Johnston rhythm guitar, Ian Irvine bass guitar, and Bryan Stewart drums. The band began in 1965 in the small coastal city of Wanganui on the north island, about halfway between Wellington to the south and New Plymouth to the north.

In 1966 Allied International A&R man Fred Noad saw them at a talent contest. Supposedly they recorded their only 45 in a local warehouse. The label released it at the start of 1967 with their name misspelled on the label as the Crescendos – except their name was misspelled in the first place and you could say the label got it right.

“Now She’s Mine” is a great original by Ian Irvine. The vocals and lyrics are excellent and Graham Johnston really helps distinguish the song with the variety of sounds he lays over it. The neat buzzy tone comes from a home-made fuzz pedal created by someone from the local post office.

“I Want Your Love” is a ballad with a cool echo effect on the opening chords. It was written by Johnston – Irvine – Berryman.

Photo and most of the info from the liner notes to Wild Things vol. 1.

2 thoughts on “The Cresendos (aka the Crescendos)”

  1. hi looking to contact a hard case from wanganui in the 1970s max run a disco and did sign writing. ipainted a nice painting of a child called kelly for him and his neat wife but lost contact they were so kind and the picture was very important to them. im hoping to contact them so i can give them the painting as i lost their photo.they were so good to me .ive also kept the airbrush max lent me. he was driving a bus in aus andmaori wife was school teacher in wanganui.

    1. Hi – have just seen this site for the first time, and therefore your comment.
      Must be another Max as it wasn’t my brother. We both ran mobile discos in the late ’70s, but that would be the only common factor.

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