• Mark Bell

Mark Bell

Mark Bell is a guitarist and songwriter with an impressive track record of collaboration with a number of successful New Zealand and Australian artists. Perhaps best known for his work with short-lived but ground-breaking 80's trio Blam Blam Blam, his guitar playing helped establish this band as one of the most unique and progressive groups of this era with their hits 'There Is No Depression in New Zealand' and 'Don't Fight It Marsha It's Bigger Than Both Of Us'.

An invitation to form a new group with schoolmate Andrew 'Snoid' McLennan (Swingers, Pop Mechanix} saw the formation of Coconut Rough, a band which was signed almost immediately by WEA Records and sent into Airforce Studios to record a single. The resulting track 'Sierra Leone' received huge radio play and quickly ascended to the Top 5, in the process becoming something of a Kiwi anthem of 80's synth pop. A full length album produced by top Australian knob-twiddler Dave Marrett followed shortly after, and the band continued a hectic schedule of touring to big crowds until the time of Mark's departure to Australia.
After nearly three years gigging around Australian Mark received a call from old mate McLennan asking if he'd be interested in joining the re-formed Pop Mechanix - a recording session with LA uber-producer John Boylan (Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne) was in the pipeline. The collaboration threw up some great tracks but record company machinations ultimately meant the project was not released. The band however quickly re-established its reputation as one of the best live acts in the country.

Next came a stint with Dianne Swann (When The Cat's Away, The BADS) and a 45" single release 'The Real You'. Then a call from the head of WEA Tim Murdoch which went something like this: "What are you doing right now? We've got J D Souther (another LA legend and Eagles collaborator) in the studio with Jan Hellriegel, the drummer's not cutting it, band's not really up to it, when can you get down here?" That turned out to be the start of a very fruitful couple of years gigging and recording with Hellriegel, with her debut album 'It's My Sin' selling well and throwing up the hit single 'The Way I Feel'. Around this time he was asked to play on Rikki Morriss' solo album 'Everest' with producer Eddie Rayner (Split Enz).

Mark has a knack for coming with original and unique guitar parts that help a song stand out from the crowd, and in doing so has helped 5 different artists/groups achieve Top 10 hits. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a solo album - solo in the true sense of the word, in that he has written, arranged, engineered, produced, mixed and performed 98.3% of all the instruments and 96.8% of the vocals. Approximately.