Higher Trails by NZ artist John Hanlon

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John is the only NZ artist to win song of the year and songwriter of the year for 3 successive years which he did in the 1970’s. Probably his best-remembered song is the song that was written for an advert but became a massive protest song at the time of the Save Manapouri campaign “Damn the Dam”.

This song, “Higher Trails” and the video was the closing scene of the NZ Tourism movie “Off the Edge” where two North American skiers came to ski our Tasman Glacier. Most people thought that the song was written for the movie but in fact, the closing scene was filmed for the song. The two guys in the movie were on a recce and heard the song on the radio and it was the song that inspired the hang gliding scene off the Glacier.

This video of the same song gives more background of the movie

The movie was a massive hit both here and overseas and has been credited with having a significant effect on the growth of the skiing industry here.

In the early 80’s John moved to Australia for work but returned to NZ in the 2000’s. He is living in the Muriwai area and has his own music blog www.johnhanlon.co.nz  which contains many new songs he has written and recorded over the past few years. He has a health issue but it isn’t holding him back as he works on more great new music.

He’s a great guy who writes incredible music and deserves to be heard again.


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