Chris Knox returns to the stage

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 08:54 22/04/2012
Chris Knox
PHIL DOYLE/Fairfax NZ
ROCK OUT: Chris Knox plays his first gig at Real Groovy Records following a debilitating stroke almost three years ago.

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Almost three years after suffering a debilitating stroke, Kiwi rock legend Chris Knox has stormed the stage to inspire a new generation of rockers.

Knox surprised Auckland punk rock band Rackets by joining them in a performance at Real Groovy Records yesterday.

The band members - Jeremy Goatsman, Oscar Davies-Kay and Vince Nairn - said it was a nerve-racking, but thrilling experience.

Davies-Kay, who shared the microphone with Knox, said singing alongside him was a highlight of his career - and life.

"We didn't expect Chris Knox to perform with us. We were completely in the dark. It was pretty incredible because he's a hero of ours and a song-writing idol of mine," he said.

"His music is so inspiring to lots of bands and so honest. He's just one of those living legends where his music will be timeless."

Knox proved he was every bit still a rock star, leaving more than 100 fans jumping and screaming for more.

"He did really well - better than us. We were just so nervous and in shock," Davies-Kay said.

Knox has been absent from the stage since he suffered a stroke in June 2009.

However, his stage presence yesterday proved doctors were wrong when they initially told Knox he may never walk again.

Although his speech is still limited, Knox still managed to belt out the song Swimming Pool with Rackets.

Afterwards, Knox said he loved performing with Rackets and they had talent.

The performance at Real Groovy on Queen St celebrated the launch of a new album from Knox's former band Toy Love.

The limited-edition vinyl album is a recording of one of Toy Love's last live shows at The Gluepot in Ponsonby in 1980.

Knox started out as a punk star of the 1970s in bands Toy Love and Tall Dwarfs.

He went on to write love song Not Given Lightly, with the catchy chorus "Yeah, it's you that I love and it's true that I love".

The 1990 tune was crowned the 13th-best Kiwi song of all time.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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