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Don Mills Collection


Beam - showing a transient line-up, towards the end of the life of the band (Free Ride era)
Chris Whitehead (Drums), Don Mills (Keyboards), Tony McMaster (Bass), Larry McKay (Guitar).

Originally formed in Christchurch as Beam Unity, but changing their name to Beam whilst on the pub circuit, Beam were essentially a quinessential "pub" band.  The original Beam Unity line-up featured Chris Whitehead (Drums), Phil Whitehead (Guitar), Wally Dunn (Bass Guitar), Don Mills (Keyboards).  When Laurie Dee (Vocals) joined they became Laurie Dee and Beam.  The group was a top forty band who spent most of their entire career on the road.  Wally was replaced by Tony McMaster on bass and Harry Lyon replaced Phil Whitehead on guitar.  Phil went on to a short stint with Human Instinct, before joining Think.  Touring the country was an entirely different experience for Harry, and despite a lack of enthusiasm for the chosen music, it was an exciting lifestyle at first, but after about three months, he joined the others in their boredom!  In March 1975, Don Mills left to join Phil in heavy metal band Think  Chris Whitehead soon called it a day  —   and the band was no more.


Ultimately the band had featured on the TVNZ Free Ride TV Show, which saw Laurie Dee invited to be part of Kevan Moore's musical covers show Sing - albeit without the band.  Harry Lyon went on to join Hello Sailor.  During their time, Beam recorded three singles, the first of which was Bus Rider // We Can Work It Out (as Beam Unity in 1972), then Teach Me How To Fly // The Road (as Beam in 1973), the last was Freedom // Harmony (recorded as Laurie Dee and Beam), in 1974.


Additional Beam and Laurie Dee information is available on the following individual pages .....


Use links to supplementary data Beam Unity   º    Beam   º    Laurie Dee and Beam Use links to supplementary data