Johnny and the Phantoms

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Tony, Ray and John, "Under Age and Living in Paradise" cover art

Johnny and the Phantoms were an original blues band that existed from the mid-1980s and through the 1990s. Their first release was an EP, Treachery, in 1992. This was followed by the 1997 Under Age and Living in Paradise album on Boat Shed Recordings, Tauranga, which included the popular song Smoke da Weed. The Phantoms name came from the engine of a Rolls Royce (the Phantoms 6), and founder Ray Stroud's liking of 'The Phantom' comics.

The band was originally fronted by Doone Barry, and later by John Stroud. By 1997, Johnny and the Phantoms comprised band founder Ray Stroud (bass, vocals, percussion, digeridoo, guitar), father of John, and Tony Van der Putten (drums, percussion, backing vocals). However, the band underwent a number of lineup changes though their existence, and at other times included saxophone player Scott Towers, later of Wellington's Fat Freddys Drop, Les Beale (drums) and Ray Chaber (bass). The Strouds and Van der Putten also recorded under the name Moby Trip. They are reputed to have averaged three four hour gigs a week in bars all over the country, over a peiod of more than twelve years.