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OriginNew Zealand
Years active1971–1975
Past membersBruno Lawrence
Geoff Murphy
Kemp Turirangi
Alan Moon
Corben Simpson
Murray Crooks
Tony Littlejohn
Fane Flaws
Eric Foley
Chris Seresin
Bill Stalker
Christine Barnett
Ian Watkin

Blerta ("Bruno Lawrence's Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition") was a New Zealand musical and theatrical co-operative active in the 1970s.[1][2][3]

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 departed on their tour. The group travelled around New Zealand in a very distinctive red bus, concluding in January 1973 at the first large outdoor music festival in New Zealand, The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival[4] before heading up the eastern seaboard of Australia and performing at the 1973 Aquarius Festival at the Northern Rivers NSW hippie town of 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, Ian Watkin, Mick Lieber as well as many others, of which some had previously worked with Bruno in bands and others joined along the way.[5] 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 from Lawrence's funeral.


Date of release Title Label Charted Country Catalog number
1972 Joy Joy
1974 This Is The Life EMI
1976 Wild Man
2001 The Return Trip.. EMI 535096.2


  1. ^ "Blerta Revisited | Film | NZ On Screen". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 17 August 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Newman, Keith (9 May 2013). "BLERTA – AudioCulture". Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Blerta | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Blerta". Bruce Sergent. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  5. ^ Noted. "From our archive: Bruno did his thing – The Listener". Noted. Retrieved 17 August 2017.

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