Peter Gutteridge, a singer and multi-intrumentalist who was a founding member of New Zealand indie bands the Clean, the Chills and the Great Unwashed and is synonymous with the influential Kiwi label they were signed to, Flying Nun, died Monday morning of unknown causes. According to various reports, Gutteridge was in his early ’50s.
He’s remembered as a great talent, and a cornerstone of the alternative music scene in his hometown of Dunedin. During his career he helped shape the so-called “Dunedin Sound,” a sub-genre of indie-pop that features jangly guitars, loose rhythms and stripped-down bass
Gutteridge was a member of the original line-ups for the Clean, the Chills and the Great Unwashed in the ’80s, and then fronted the noise-rockers Snapper in the ’90s.
Gutteridge was also responsible for a good deal of “beautiful solo material,” notes Flying Nun in a statement, which included the 1989 solo album release Pure (Xpressway Records) which was reissued recently by 540 Records.
“All of us, and so many people around the world, have been touched and affected by his music, whether it be the swirling fuzz of the guitar or haunting piano melodies, Peter was a true hero of New Zealand music, and will be deeply missed,” notes Flying Nun. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”
Gutteridge performed his debut U.S. show Sept. 1 at Palisades in Brooklyn, where he played the Pure album in full. He was billed that night as “the man who launched a thousand Flying Nun bands.”