Zaine was born on the 4th October 1957 in Auckland, New Zealand. He was educated both in New Zealand and Tahiti by his Danish parents. Part of his early education included learning the guitar.
Whilst in New Zealand, and still in his teens, Zaine joined Human Instinct. At the time zaine joined the band, Human Instinct were starting the second phase of their career. Already an established band who had released 3 LP’s Zaine played bass and wrote several songs with the band and played on two further LP’s, 'The Hustler' and 'Pegleg'. Pegleg was recorded but never released as planned, however it was finally released in 2001. Human Instinct have a significant cult following and their albums are considered so influential original copies sell for hundereds of pounds. In recent years Maurice Geer reformed the band.
Human Instinct 1974 - Zaine on the right on bass guitar
In 1975, at the age of only 17, Zaine left New Zealand and moved to London to expand his musical horizons. He became guitarist and vocalist for a band Called Baby Face, who despite having little exposure in the west, once played to over 20 million viewers on an East German TV Concert.
During this time Zaine was studing mime and movement with renowned teachers Adam Darius and Lindsay Kemp. Other fellow Students included then unknown, Kate Bush and Tim Dry ('Shock', ' Tik & Tok' & 'Return of the Jedi'). Zaine went on to appear in Kemp's celebreated production, 'Flowers'. Zaines's song of the same name, on which Kate provides backing vocals is dedicated to Lindsay.
Photo © Allan Warren
When the Kemp company left for a tour of Australia, Zaine deceided to stay in London to concentrate on his music. He joined Screemer and bass player and vocalist and they eventually secured a recording deal with Arista Records. The band consisted of Zaine, Rob Norman, Adrian Shepherd and Alan Coates. Screemer released two singles in 1976 and 1977 called 'Interplanetray Twist' and 'In The City'.
Screemer gigged extensively in 1977 being regulars at both The Marquee Club and The Bridge House pub. Zaine's last gig with Screemer was in July 1977.
Rob Norman, Adrian Shepherd and Alan Coates then joined Gary Dean (the original lead volcaist with Screemer before Zaine joined), and Steve Stroud to form 'Sprinkler', who continued to gig at The Bridge House pub and went on to win the 'New Faces' UK TV show twice later in 1977. They were signed to Ariola Hansa and released the single 'Face to Face'/'Jenny' in November 1977.
Rob Norman (Keyboards), Zaine Griff (Bass Guitar & Vocals), Adrian Shepard (Drums), Alan Coates (Guitar), Dave Wells (Lead Guitar)
The Zaine Griff Band
It was Arista who encouraged Zaine to go solo, (although ultimately he signed for another label) so, Zaine deceided the time was right to from his own band. At this time Chris Thompson from Manfred Mann heard Zaine’s songs and helped him to put his first demo’s together. In 1978 Zaine worked with The Kinks, playing bass on their LP, The Misfits. The Zaine Griff band played 150 gigs before Zaine decieded it was again time to move on.
Ashes & Diamonds
In 1979 Zaine finally got his solo break, signing to Automatic Records and subsquently Warner Bros. Zaine performed his debut solo gig at the Reading Festival in 1979. His band at this time included Hans Zimmer and Warren Cann (in between his Ultravox obligations). Three singles, Tonight, Ashes & Diamonds and Run were followed by the release of Zaine’s debut LP Ashes & Diamonds, in October 1980. The LP was co-produced by Tony Visconti, famous for his work with David Bowie. Through Visconti, Zaine met Bowie and Bowie re-recorded three songs using Zaine and his band.
Automatic Records sadly folded, but Zaine deceided to start work on his second LP. With the help of Hans Zimmer, Zaine booked into the Snake Ranch Studio in Chelsea. Zaine enlisted the help of Yukihiro Takahashi (from Yellow Magic Orchestra) on keyboards, Warren Cann on drums, Billy Kritian on bass, andy clark on keyboards, Richard Harvey on alto sax and Kate Bush and Linda Jardin on backing vocals. Unknown to Zaine, Warren passed a copy of the finished cassette to Chris O’Donnell who was so impressed contacted Zaine and helped him to secure a new deal with Polydor Records. Two singles were released, Figvres and Flowers before the release of Zaine’s second LP Figvres in September 1982.
Photo © Harry Van Heerden
Also in September 1982, an exhibition of Zaine’s drawings and paintings was mounted at the Ebury Gallery in London in aid of The Nordoff - Robbins Music Therapy Charity. The event raised £1,500.
2011 and Beyond
In 2011 Zaine released his long awaited third album 'Child Who Wants The Moon', and is currently putting the final touches to his forth scheduled for release in Autumn/Winter 2012. Zaines first two albums , 'Ashes & Diamonds' and 'Figvres' have just been released on CD for the first time, and Zaine is hoping to reprint his poetry book 'Figvres'. He will return to the London stage in October to showcase material from all four albums.