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Th' Dudes To Be Inducted Into The NZ Music Hall Of Fame

Th' Dudes To Be Inducted Into The NZ Music Hall Of Fame

C.C. / Photo credit: Murray Cammick / Thursday 29th August, 2019 9:37AM

Dave Dobbyn and Peter Urlich's trailblazing group Th’ Dudes will be inducted into The New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa and presented the 2019 Legacy Award at this year's Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, taking place on Thursday 14 November at Tāmaki Makaurau's Spark Arena. Founded by Dobbyn and Urlich with Ian Morris and Peter Coleman in 1975, and later joined by Bruce Hambling and Lez White, Th’ Dudes invaded the airwaves with such iconic kiwi music anthems as 'Bliss', 'Be Mine Tonight' and the title track to their 1979 breakthrough debut album Right First Time. They squeezed out a second collection, 1980's Where Are The Boys?, before calling it a day that year. Th’ Dudes will be celebrating with a special performance at the VNZMAs, the band's first show together in over a decade.

Th’ Dudes are the second group of artists announced to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall Of Fame for 2019, with pop pioneers Ruru Karaitiana, Pixie Williams and Jim Carter to be recognised for their landmark contribution to Aotearoa songwriting, including creating 1949 classic tune 'Blue Smoke', at 2019's APRA Silver Scroll Awards in early October.

Experience a vintage clip for Th' Dudes' classic 'Walking In Light', from 1979's Right First Time (with a short intro from Francesca Rudkin)...

Press release:

Recorded Music New Zealand is proud to announce Th’ Dudes will be recognised with the 2019 Legacy Award and inducted into New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa.

They will celebrate their induction with a performance at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa on 14 November at Spark Arena.

Th’ Dudes rocketed into music stardom in the late 1970s, recording iconic kiwi anthems such as ‘Bliss’ and ‘Be Mine Tonight’.

Forty years on, the legacy of Th’ Dudes is etched in Aotearoa music history. Despite only releasing two albums, the band set a standard in original songwriting, in stage and performance, and album production.

Started by Ian Morris, Peter Urlich, Dave Dobbyn and Peter Coleman at Sacred Heart College in 1975, Th’ Dudes first built their reputation covering songs for surf clubs and private parties.

Joined by Bruce Hambling and Lez White, it wasn’t long before the band began recreating familiar riffs and hooklines, turning to experimentation of their own.

Combining their influences and emulating their heroes like the Stones, the Beatles, Iggy, Mott the Hoople, Bowie, the Velvets, Graham Parker, and Elvis Costello, the group began working on their own songs – and creating Kiwi music history in the process.

Peter was the perfect frontman: confident, good-looking, and a natural showman in any era. Bruce and Lez were one of New Zealand’s most idiosyncratic rhythm sections: Bruce’s solidity balanced Lez’ flamboyance.

Guitarists and songwriters Dave and the late Ian effortlessly created catchy hooks and bouncy guitar riffs that resonated with the era.

Songs such as ‘Be Mine Tonight’ and ‘Bliss’ became national anthems, and many others were equally as huge: ‘Walking in Light’, ‘Right First Time’, ‘That Look in Your Eyes’. They released their debut album in 1979 called Right First Time, which hit the bullseye as far as names go.

Their second album Where Are The Boys? was released in 1980, shortly before the group disbanded in May that year. When Radio With Pictures and Rip It Up announced the band’s demise, both outlets regretted that the band’s flash in a pan would result in them not receiving the credit they deserved.

Since then, the group have undertaken select tour dates over the years and last reformed in 2006 to remind New Zealand of their brilliance. Their songs have lasted decades and are still included among the classic songs of Aotearoa.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan said Th’ Dudes and their legacy made a massive impact on the future of New Zealand’s music landscape.

“Th’ Dudes created some of our nation’s most iconic songs and changed the way young musicians approached their own path into the music industry.

“They demanded respect from venues who normally looked upon bands as little more than a necessary nuisance who just happened to sell thousands of dollars of beer each night. And they changed this for all Kiwi musicians who came after them.

“Be Mine Tonight, Bliss, Walking in Light are all quintessential Kiwi tracks that are part of the soul of the nation. Th’ Dudes and their recordings bring kiwis together in such a unique and special way, we’re honoured to acknowledge their influence.”

Th’ Dudes and their impact on Kiwi music will be celebrated along with this year’s winners at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa, which will be broadcast live on THREE on 14 November from 8.30pm.


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