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Thirty years of the Finn brothers

Published: 2:14PM Monday June 14, 2010 Source: ONE News

Neil and Tim Finn are iconic Kiwis who many have followed over the years, but one fan's interest was so strong, he has written a book about the brothers' highs and lows.

Jeff Apter's fascination with the Finn brothers stems back to his teenage years and the release of the True Colours record in 1979.

He told TV ONE's Breakfast programme that he went to check them out as a teenager in Sydney. He says he went along knowing that he should expect something out of the ordinary but what he got was so much more.

Apter says their support band for the night was a shock rock band who performed a simulated sex act at the end of their set leaving him to wonder how on earth Split Enz could follow them after that.

However, what was to follow would leave a lasting impression on Apter.

"It turns out the set that Split Enz played on that night was really powerful and I was really scared by them. They had a lot of physical interaction on stage, they used to bounce off each other like pin balls, it was really something to see," he says.

He says Tim had a fierce presence on stage because of his towering mohawk and makeup running down his face.

Such was the first impression, Apter decided to follow the brothers for the next 30 years.

Before starting the book, called Together Alone, he says he knew the brothers' music and the basic outline of their life story but was suprised by some of the things he did discover.

He says in particular he was really surprised by their honesty and how Tim spoke openly about his envy when Neil started to rise with Crowded House.

"That level of honestly, particularly in a world like entertainment where you are supposed to keep on your happy face all the time was really, really surprising and refreshing and I'd like to think it's a New Zealand quality," Apter says.

Apter says his favourite music is the first Finn brothers record which came out in the mid 1990s and their work on Woodface, which was the first time they had sat down together in around 20 years and written songs together.

He says unfortunately Neil thought the goodwill that had come from those two weeks working together could continue when he brought Tim into the band.

"Never invite your brother into your band, is my advice to any budding young rockers out there, because it all fell apart," Apter says.