Larry McKay

Full name:   Larry McKay
Born:   November 11th, 1946
Hometown:   Christchurch, New Zealand
Instruments Played:   Guitar, Vocalist
Career Began:   1959 (The Vigilantes) at age 12
Other Groups:   Detours, Beam, Page One, Friar Tuck, Larry and Peter, Opposition, Icebreakers, Soul Agents
Residencies:   Laredo Nitespot, Pride Of Place, Thunderbird Inn, Mon Desir, Redwood Hotel, Sandridge Hotel, Russley Hotel, Papanui Tavern
Tours:   South Island Tour with Craig Scott (Page One)     TV:   Free Ride (1974)
Official Website:
Website (Detours):
Website (Vigilantes):

Merit Award


Larry McKay ...

Larry McKay joined what was to become The Vigilantes in 1959 at the tender age of 12.  The band played weddings and 21sts in dance halls, which included a regular but short-lived gig in Timaru (replacing The Downbeats) and hit the big-time when it became the second band at The Laredo Lounge (with Johnny Campbell and The Detours, and Les Stott) around 1963.  The band stopped playing at The Laredo in 1965, but continued to make records, accompanying The Southerners on such hits as South Wind, as well as making a few records itself, most notably Come Tomorrow and The Cruel Sea.

The Vigilantes The full line-up for The Vigilantes was: Brian Thomas (lead guitar, band leader and occasional singer), Larry McKay (rhythm guitarist and occasional singer), Dixon McIvor (vocalist), Derek (Willy) Withers (bass guitar and occasional trumpet), Tony Mason (drums), Bob Wilcock (tenor saxophone).
The Vigilantes in concert (ROCKONZ 2007)

The Vigilantes were resident second band at The Laredo Lounge from 1963 to 1965, and subsequently appeared on The Des Britten Coca Cola Show  A tour to Pohara Beach Motor Camp was an epic, and the band played lots and lots of dance halls and church halls.  Spencer Street and the reek of Old Spice is a particularly strong memory.  Recording was very demanding and nerve wracking, but yet strangely satisfying.