Don Mills

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      Award presented 2009  

Don Mills

Don was born in Christchurch and began his musical career at eight-years-of-age learning the piano accordion.  As a youngster, he won many awards including New Zealand Accordion Champion in 1961.  Don left school at 16 and worked in Sedley Wells music shop for 4 years.  It was at this stage that he turned to playing the organ, which remains his main love to this day.  He has fond memories of sneaking out the back door of Sedley Wells on a Friday night to play at Chequers Nightclub which was in the same building.  Don then joined Pete Ward and the Prophets at the Caledonian Ballroom.  Later came the Premiers, and then a band called Beam who toured the North Island and backed many top artists.  Beam performed at many Christmas/New Year Holiday Shows together with the entertainers from the hugely popular Happen Inn and Pop Co television series before securing a slot themselves on the top television show Freeride which featured Ray Columbus and saw them performing every second Saturday night.  In 1975 Don joined the heavy metal band Think who wrote and played almost all of their own material as well as covering numbers by Pink Floyd and Deep Purple.  Think played at many of the top hotels and clubs in the country and won the New Zealand Battle of the Bands in October of 1975.


Don Mills in an early iteration of The Premiers

Don Mills with Laurie Dee and Beam


Don Mills - Think promo for Atlantic Records

Don Mills well and truly stacked
with Think - Bendigo, Australia

Don Mills with About Time 2006



Think opening for The Doobie Brothers
Western Springs, Auckland 1976



Don Mills and Peter Gillette demonstrating at a Music Expo