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Dragon

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Full Name:  Dragon
Principals:  Todd and Marc Hunter
Hometown:  Taumarunui
Career Began:  1973
Recording Labels:  CBS, Polydor, Vertigo
Awards:  Legacy Award (New Zealand Music Awards) 2007
Awards:  Inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame 2011
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Official Dragon Website:  www.dragononline.com.au

  Award presented 2010


  Dragon

The new Dragon

 

In 1970, having finished school, Todd moved to Hamilton to attend Teachers’ College, where he formed a succession of short-lived bands, including Zeek and Heavy Pork - British-influenced power trios in which he played guitar, and OK Dinghy, a more American, hippie-style group, for which he shifted to bass.  By 1972 he had moved to Auckland and was trying to reconcile his determination to make original music with the reality of surviving as a professional musician.  He wound up playing in a nightclub band to punters who only wanted tunes they knew.  They called themselves Staff, because that's how they felt they were treated, but with New Zealand's first major outdoor music event on the horizon (The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival), Todd saw a chance to progress.  With the current Staff line-up - Todd Hunter (bass), Ray Goodwin (guitar), Neil Reynolds (drums) and Graeme Collins (formerly of Wellington pop act The Dedikation) on vocals and keyboards - he worked up a set of originals, changed the group's name to Dragon (at Collins' suggestion which was inspired by a session with the I-Ching), and secured a slot at the January 1973 event, alongside Black Sabbath, Fairport Convention, and a virtually unknown Split Enz.  Though their Ngaruawahia performance went largely unnoticed, Dragon had indeed been born.

  Dragon

Todd and Marc Hunter

Dragon

Receiving the "Legacy" Award 2011

Dragon

Mark Williams in concert

 

By mid-73 drummer Neil Storey, formerly of Billy TK's Powerhouse, had replaced Reynolds while Ivan Thompson had taken over Collins' role on keyboards - and they had found a powerful frontman in 19-year-old, 6 foot 3 inch Marc Hunter.  Since leaving school Marc had been drumming in cabaret bands, taking occasional turns as singer, and ”Misty” was his showpiece.  The demands of fronting a rock band were somewhat different from crooning in cabaret, yet the role proved ideally suited to his imposing stature, powerful voice, supreme self-confidence and mordant wit.

  Dragon

Performing at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, April 4th, 2009

 

Over the life of the band, the following illustrious group of musos have appeared in various roles:  Neil Storey (drums), Todd Hunter (bass, vocals), Marc Hunter (vocals), Ray Goodwin (guitar), Robert Taylor (guitar), Paul Hewson (keyboards, vocals), Alan Mansfield (guitar, keyboards), Terry Chambers (drums), Kerry Jacobson (drums), Mark Williams (vocals), Graeme Collins (vocals, keyboards), Ivan Thompson (keyboards), Neil Reynolds (drums), Richard Lee (electric violin, guitar), Billy Rogers (vocals, saxophone), Doane Perry (drums), Tommy Emmanuel (guitar), Bruce Reid (guitar), Pete Drummond (drums)

  Dragon

A 1970's Dragon

Dragon

Dragon (circa) 1976

Dragon

Dragon (circa) 1979