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Dragon (band)

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Dragon
Dragon at the ARIA Hall of Fame Melbourne Town Hall, 1 July 2008 L–R: Kerry Jacobson, Rob Taylor, Todd Hunter, Alan Mansfield
Dragon at the ARIA Hall of Fame
Melbourne Town Hall, 1 July 2008
L–R: Kerry Jacobson, Rob Taylor, Todd Hunter, Alan Mansfield
Background information
Also known asHunter
OriginAuckland, New Zealand
Genres
Years active1972–1979, 1982–1997, 2006–present
LabelsVertigo, CBS, Portrait, Polydor, RCA, J & B, Liberation Music
MembersTodd Hunter
Mark Williams
Bruce Reid
Pete Drummond
Past membersMarc Hunter
Websitedragononline.com.au

Dragon are a New Zealand rock band which was formed in Auckland in January 1972,[1][2] and, from 1975, based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The band was originally fronted by singer Graeme Collins, but rose to fame with singer Marc Hunter[3][4] and is currently led by his brother, bass player and vocalist Todd Hunter.[5] The group performed, and released material, under the name Hunter in Europe and the United States during 1987.[6][7][8][5]

Keyboard player Paul Hewson wrote or co-wrote most of the group's 1970s hits: "April Sun in Cuba"[9] peaked at No. 9 in New Zealand and No. 2 in Australia;[10] "Are You Old Enough?"[11] reached No. 6 in New Zealand and No. 1 in Australia in 1978;[10] and "Still in Love with You"[12] reached No. 35 and No. 27 in each country respectively that same year.[8][5][10] Later hits, from when the band re-grouped in the 1980s, were written by other band members, often working with outside associates: The Hunter brothers, with Todd's partner, Johanna Pigott, wrote "Rain",[13] a No. 2 hit in 1983, while other, more minor hits were written by the Hunters and/or Alan Mansfield, frequently in collaboration with any combination of Pigott, Mansfield's partner Sharon O'Neill, Marc Hunter's partner Wendy Hunter, or producers Todd Rundgren and David Hirschfelder.[10]

The name "Dragon" came from a consultation of I Ching cards by founder vocalist Graeme Collins.[14]

Dragon has endured tragedy, adversity and notoriety, and three band members have died from drug-related causes. Problems began soon after the band's arrival in Sydney in late 1975, when all of their equipment was stolen. Several months later, in 1976, drummer Neil Storey died of a heroin overdose.[4] The following decade, in 1985, Paul Hewson died from a drug overdose.[4] Marc Hunter died from smoking-related throat cancer in 1998.[6][4] Several members of the group including Hewson and Marc Hunter were heavy heroin users during the band's heyday and the Stewart Royal Commission (1980–1983) which investigated the Mr. Asia drug syndicate[15] obtained evidence that Dragon members were clients.[3] Two members were involved in a serious car crash in 1977, when Paul Hewson's neck was in a brace as well as having a broken arm and Robert Taylor needed plastic surgery,[16] and Hewson also suffered from debilitating scoliosis and arthritis, the pain of which reportedly contributed to his heroin use. The band also undertook a famously disastrous 1978 tour of the US, supporting Johnny Winter, which ended when Marc Hunter abused a Texan audience as "faggots" and the band were pelted off stage, while Winter's band were said to have taken bets about how long it would be before Hunter was shot.[3] On 1 July 2008, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised the Auckland-formed band's iconic status in its country by inducting Dragon into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[6][17][18]

Discover more about Dragon (band) related topics

Auckland

Auckland

Auckland is a large metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country and the fifth largest city in Oceania, Auckland has an urban population of about 1,440,300. It is located in the greater Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, and which has a total population of 1,695,200. While Europeans continue to make up the plurality of Auckland's population, the city became multicultural and cosmopolitan in the late-20th century, with Asians accounting for 31% of the city's population in 2018. Auckland has the fourth largest foreign-born population in the world, with 39% of its residents born overseas. With its large population of Pasifika New Zealanders, the city is also home to the biggest ethnic Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki Makaurau, meaning "Tāmaki desired by many", in reference to the desirability of its natural resources and geography.

Marc Hunter

Marc Hunter

Marc Alexander Hunter was a New Zealand rock and pop singer, songwriter and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Dragon, a band formed by his older brother, Todd Hunter, in Auckland in January 1972. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. He was also a member of the Party Boys in 1985. For his solo career he issued five studio albums, Fiji Bitter, Big City Talk, Communication, Night and Day and Talk to Strangers. During the 1970s Hunter developed heroin and alcohol addictions and was incarcerated at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland in 1978. He was recklessly outspoken and volatile on-stage. In November 1978 during the band's American tour, supporting Johnny Winter, they performed in Dallas, Texas, where "he made some general stage observations about redneck buddies, illegal oral sex and utility trucks" and called the audience members, "faggots". Upon his return to Australia, in February 1979, he was fired from the group by his brother, Todd.

April Sun in Cuba

April Sun in Cuba

"April Sun in Cuba" is a song recorded by New Zealand group Dragon, released in October 1977. It is the first single to be released from Dragon's fourth studio album Running Free. "April Sun in Cuba" first charted on 7 November 1977, peaking at number 2 on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart and staying on the chart for 22 weeks. It also reached number 9 on the New Zealand singles chart. The b-side of the single, a non-album track called "Telephone", was credited to "Dr. Agony".

Are You Old Enough?

Are You Old Enough?

"Are You Old Enough?" is a song by New Zealand rock band Dragon, released in August 1978 while the band were still based in Australia. It was released as the first single from the group's fifth studio album O Zambezi (1978). The song peaked at number one on the Australian Kent Music Report, becoming the group's first number-one single.

Johanna Pigott

Johanna Pigott

Johanna Paton Pigott is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and screenwriter. Her best known hit songs are Dragon's "Rain" which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart in 1983, and John Farnham's "Age of Reason". "Rain" was co-written with her partner, Dragon's Todd Hunter, and his younger brother, Marc Hunter. When "Age of Reason" reached the top of the charts in July 1988, Pigott became the first Australian woman to have written a No. 1 hit. It was co-written with Todd Hunter.

David Hirschfelder

David Hirschfelder

David Hirschfelder is an Australian musician, film score composer and performer. As a musician he has been a member of Little River Band and John Farnham Band. He has composed film scores for many films, including Strictly Ballroom, Australia, The Railway Man, The Water Diviner and The Dressmaker. He was nominated for Academy Awards for his scores for Shine and Elizabeth.

I Ching

I Ching

The I Ching or Yi Jing, usually translated Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), the I Ching was transformed over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500–200 BC) into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of East Asian philosophical thought.

Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer develops from tissues in the lip and oral cavity (mouth), larynx (throat), salivary glands, nose, sinuses or the skin of the face. The most common types of head and neck cancers occur in the lip, mouth, and larynx. Symptoms predominantly include a sore that does not heal or a change in the voice. Some may experience a sore throat that does not go away. In those with advanced disease, there may be unusual bleeding, facial pain, numbness or swelling, and visible lumps on the outside of the neck or oral cavity. Given the location of these cancers, trouble breathing may also be present.

Arthritis

Arthritis

Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints. Symptoms generally include joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints. In some types of arthritis, other organs are also affected. Onset can be gradual or sudden.

Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter

John Dawson Winter III was an American singer and guitarist. Winter was known for his high-energy blues rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s. He also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Australian Recording Industry Association

Australian Recording Industry Association

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) is a trade association representing the Australian recording industry which was established in the 1970s by six major record companies, EMI, Festival, CBS, RCA, WEA and Universal replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers (AARM) which was formed in 1956. It oversees the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties.

ARIA Hall of Fame

ARIA Hall of Fame

Since 1988 the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has inducted artists into its annual ARIA Hall of Fame. While most have been recognised at the annual ARIA Music Awards, in 2005 ARIA sought to create a separate standalone ceremony ARIA Icons: Hall of Fame event as only one or two acts could be inducted under the old format due to time restrictions. Since 2005 VH1 obtained the rights to broadcast the show live on Foxtel, Austar and Optus networks; and each year five or six acts were inducted into the Hall of Fame with an additional act inducted at the following ARIA Music Awards.

History

1972–1975: Early years

Dragon formed in Auckland in January 1972 with a line-up that featured Todd Hunter on bass guitar, guitarist Ray Goodwin, drummer Neil Reynolds and singer/pianist Graeme Collins.[19][5] All had been in various short-lived bands in Auckland, and Collins is credited with using I Ching to provide the name Dragon. Their first major gig was an appearance at the Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival in early January 1973.[8] By 1974 several personnel changes had occurred, with Todd Hunter's younger brother, Marc Hunter, joining on vocals and Neil Storey on drums.[19][5] The band recorded two progressive rock albums in Auckland, Universal Radio in June 1974 and Scented Gardens for the Blind in February 1975 both on Vertigo Records.[19][5][20] Despite being one of Auckland's top live attractions by late 1974,[19] neither albums nor related singles had any local chart success,[19] and they recruited Robert Taylor (ex-Mammal) on guitar as they searched for a raunchier pop sound.[19] By early 1975, manager Graeme Nesbitt (ex-Mammal), who had obtained regular gigs and organised their first New Zealand tours,[8] felt they should tackle the larger Australian market.[20] Nesbitt was unable to travel with them to Australia as he had been arrested for selling drugs.[8][20]

1975–1979: Australasian stardom

Dragon relocated to Sydney, Australia in May 1975 and toured the country as support act to Status Quo in October.[19] They recorded one single for PolyGram ("Starkissed") but it was not successful. The band then sent for keyboard player Paul Hewson (no relation to Bono, frontman of Irish rock band U2) who had a reputation, in New Zealand, as a pop songwriter.[8] Hewson had been scouted by Nesbitt when Dragon were still in New Zealand but had declined to join at that time.[8] The group had originally intended to go to Canada, but opted to stay in Australia, settling to Bondi in late 1975, where they secured a residency at the Bondi Lifesaver club,.[19] On the recommendation of fellow NZ expatriate Mike Rudd, CBS house producer Peter Dawkins went to see the group at the Recovery Wine Bar in Camperdown, Sydney, in early 1976 and he was so impressed by their performance and Hewson's material that he immediately signed them to a contract with CBS Records[7][8][20] Often courting or creating controversy, the band was rocked by the heroin overdose death of 22-year-old drummer Neil Storey in September 1976.[3][14][20] By then, founding member Ray Goodwin had left the group and their single "This Time" had begun charting.[19][20]

Dragon considered disbanding after Storey's death, but Todd Hunter consulted with Nesbitt who advised him to continue and organised for Kerry Jacobson (ex-Mammal) to join on drums.[8] Between 1977 and 1979 the Hunter brothers, Taylor, Hewson and Jacobson had a string of major hits on the Australian charts with singles "April Sun in Cuba", "Are You Old Enough?" and "Still in Love with You" and albums Sunshine (February 1977), Running Free (November 1977) and O Zambezi (September 1978).[19] These releases, and their dynamic concert performances, made them one of Australia's most popular rock acts.[6][3] They attempted a breakthrough into the American market with a tour supporting Johnny Winter, starting in November 1978, but this was foiled after a disastrous show in Dallas, Texas,[19] at which Marc Hunter incited a crowd by suggesting all Texans were "faggots": band members had to dodge flying beer bottles.[7][8][20]

In 1994, Marc Hunter related his version of the Texas show to rock journalist Glenn A. Baker:

"I remember seeing someone standing holding a pistol and shouting 'I'm gonna kill you, you son of a bitch' ...  I didn't know it but by this point the rest of the band had left the stage. I was still singing because I could still hear the music in my head. It took ages to clear the pile of debris on the stage – broken glass, bottles, chairs, half a table – but I was totally unaware of this, I thought I was going over really well and I'm standing there in a crucifixion pose with my arms out, really gone, with heaps of eye make-up on, looking like some sort of twisted priest. And apparently Johnny Winter was taking bets on the side of the stage as to how long it would take before somebody shot me. Then I turned around and saw no one was on stage so I realised I wasn't going over too well after all and I went back to the dressing room and everyone was just standing there ... I said 'We went great, weren't we terrific?' At that stage of the band I was really a shocking sod. And all the record company people were just staring at me like I was an insectoid from Mars. And so that was it for us for that trip to America."[21]

— Marc Hunter, 1994

In their Seventies heyday Dragon were regulars on the teen-oriented national TV pop show Countdown, which greatly enhanced their sales and popularity, with Marc Hunter hosting the show on several occasions, but the band's darker side, especially Marc's unpredictable stage behaviour, were often in evidence at their live performances. Singer and actress Jane Clifton (who played Margo Gaffney in Prisoner) relates a time when she saw them live:

"I would see him do the most unspeakable things on stage. One night at Dallas Brooks Hall they had some long song about someone going down by the riverside and getting raped or something. He got some girl out of the audience, had her on her back and he was doing this whole rave to her. He had a bottle of champagne which he proceeded to spew from his mouth all over her. I thought: I don't believe this person is letting this happen to her."[22]

— Jane Clifton, 1993

Soon after returning to Sydney from the US, Marc Hunter was sacked from Dragon in February 1979 due to his drug and alcohol use, which was seriously affecting both his vocal performances and his general health.[19][8][3][20] According to Todd Hunter:

"Things like Dallas happened all the time ... Most of the time I wasn't drinking or anything and, from my perspective, this Fall of the Roman Empire thing was pretty wild. I hated a lot of it. People came along because they wanted to see Dragon decombust. They were enjoying it but Marc was just killing himself. We had to fire him or he'd have destroyed himself."[21]

— Todd Hunter, 1994

To replace Marc, the band recruited singer Billy Rogers, formerly of Perth group Last Chance Cafe, and violinist Richard Lee from Melbourne band Sidewinder. (This link is to a different "sidewinder".) Dragon recorded the commercially unsuccessful Power Play (September 1979) album before breaking up in December 1979.[19][8][3][5]

1979–1982: First split

Marc Hunter cleaned up in the post-Dragon years and released two successful solo singles, "Island Nights" (1979) from Fiji Bitter and "Big City Talk" (1981) from Big City Talk.[20] "Big City Talk"'s video was filmed in the Broadway Tunnel, a long and dreary pedestrian walkway linking Sydney's Central Station with Broadway. It captured the seedy and unsettling atmosphere of the tunnel, adding extra mood to the song's words.

Todd Hunter had meanwhile teamed up with his domestic partner (and later second wife) Johanna Pigott, formerly of indie punk group XL Capris, who later fronted the alternative rock band, Scribble.[5] Together they became a successful songwriting team, with credits including the John Farnham hit "Age of Reason".[6] XL Capris were not commercially successful, although their memorable re-working of crooner Tommy Leonetti's "My City Of Sydney" became a minor cult classic. Todd Hunter produced both their albums Where's Hank? (March 1981) and Weeds (October 1981), and was a member of the band for the second.[19][5]

Paul Hewson moved back to Auckland and joined the Pink Flamingos, who became one of New Zealand's top musical acts in the early 1980s.[19] They were led by Dave McArtney formerly of Hello Sailor which had toured with Dragon but had also split.

1982–1997: Reformation

Dragon reformed in August 1982 to pay off outstanding debts,[19] but Kerry Jacobson left the band soon after the reformation, for health reasons. He was replaced by noted British drummer Terry Chambers, formerly of XTC,.[19] Chambers, who quit XTC in 1983 after they were forced to stop touring (due to leader Andy Partridge's debilitating stage fright), had married his Australian girlfriend and settled in Newcastle, New South Wales. Dragon decided to stay together when their second comeback single, "Rain", proved to be a No. 2 hit in 1983,[23] American keyboard player and Dragon's producer Alan Mansfield also joined.[19][5] Mansfield had worked for Robert Palmer (including guitar for the "Johnny and Mary" single from Palmer's album Clues) and Bette Midler in the late 1970s,[24] by 1982 Alan Mansfield was living in Sydney and produced tracks for Marc Hunter.[25] Marc Hunter convinced Mansfield to also produce Dragon's single "Rain".[25]

Dragon's June 1984 album Body and the Beat became one of the biggest-selling albums in Australia and New Zealand and was certified gold in Australia in the week of release.[26] Their public profile was further raised by Marc Hunter's solo album, Communication. Its title track became a moderate hit in Australia and featured a loosely cabaret-oriented video-clip filmed in Amsterdam in which Marc – resplendent in a bright red cowboy hat – was flanked by two women who also danced away under red Stetsons. Body and the Beat yielded further successful Australasian singles, notably "Magic" and "Cry",[19] but the 'new' Dragon and the ascendancy of the Hunter-Piggot team also marked the rapidly declining influence of the band's former songwriting powerhouse, Paul Hewson, who only managed one co-writing credit on the album. Alan Mansfield and New Zealand-born singer-songwriter Sharon O'Neill met on Dragon's Body and the Beat tour: they later became domestic and professional partners.[27]

Paul Hewson left Dragon in late 1984 and returned to New Zealand where he died of an accidental drug overdose on 9 January 1985.[20][28] During 1984 Hewson had shared an apartment in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, with singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, who had recently arrived from Melbourne, and was trying to relaunch his career. He and Hewson became close friends. In May 1985, four months after Hewson's death, Kelly released his breakthrough solo album Post, which dealt extensively with themes of addiction and was dedicated to Hewson's memory.[29] Terry Chambers and Robert Taylor left some time after.[19] Dragon performed three songs for 13 July 1985 Oz for Africa concert (part of the global Live Aid program) – "Speak No Evil", "Rain" and "Are You Old Enough?"; which was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US.[30] American drummer Doane Perry replaced Chambers, and Taylor was eventually succeeded by local Sydney guitar ace Tommy Emmanuel.[19] This line-up went to America to record the Todd Rundgren-produced Dreams of Ordinary Men album in August 1986 and toured Europe with Tina Turner under the name Hunter in 1987. By this time Alan Mansfield was writing with Sharon O'Neill; they wrote "Western Girls" for Dreams of Ordinary Men and then three tracks for Sharon's 1987 fifth solo album Danced in the Fire.[27]

Dragon briefly split up in 1988 but the Hunter brothers and Alan Mansfield then regrouped with guitarist Randall Waller and drummer Barton Price (ex-Models) for the Bondi Road album released in April 1989 on RCA,[19] it also featured Emmanuel's guitar work.[5] Bondi Road reached No. 18 on the Australian albums charts[10] and the single "Young Years" written by Alan Mansfield and Sharon O'Neill[31] also reached No. 18.[10] The pair had written two other tracks: "Ice in this Town" and "Good Time Girl".[27] Dragon continued to record and tour with varying line-ups centered around the Hunter brothers and Mansfield. They also supported Elton John for his 1990 Australian tour. Todd Hunter worked on Heartbreak High (TV series) from 1994 for six years as Music Composer, he retired from Dragon in 1995 after the release of Incarnations.[3][5]

Dragon continued on without Todd Hunter. Then, in November 1997, Marc Hunter was diagnosed with severe throat cancer and died on 17 July 1998.[3] A memorial service for him was held at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney, followed by an all-star benefit concert to raise money to support Marc's widow and child. A compilation CD, Forever Young, was released on Raven Records, highlighting his solo career.[5]

1997–2006: Second split

Dragon broke up a second time after Marc Hunter's illness had been diagnosed. Todd Hunter continued composing music for TV and film with Heartbreak High to 1999, Walk the Talk (2000 film), Out There (2003 TV series) and Out of the Blue (2008 BBC-TV series).[32] Alan Mansfield and Sharon O'Neill continued songwriting including "True Love" co-written with Robert Palmer[33] for his 1999 album Rhythm and Blues.[34] They both performed with Leo Sayer during his tours in 2006 and 2007, Sharon O'Neill would sing "Young Years" in honour of Marc Hunter.[27]

2006–present: ARIA Hall of Fame and Mark Williams years

Todd Hunter (bass) reformed Dragon in 2006 with a line-up of Mark Williams (vocals, guitar), Bruce Reid (guitar) and Pete Drummond (drums).[5] The new line-up released Sunshine to Rain on the Liberation Blue label.

On 1 July 2008, Dragon were inducted by Richard Wilkins into the ARIA Hall of Fame, Dragon were joined on-stage by James Reyne and Ian Moss to perform "April Sun in Cuba" and "Rain":[35]

Dragon's performance featured Ian Moss and James Reyne on vocals, alongside founding member Todd Hunter. During a fiery version of "April Sun in Cuba", the late Dragon singer Marc Hunter was incorporated into the chorus via a stirring performance video shown on a huge screen behind the band. Reyne said: "I used to go and see Dragon play in the mid to late 1970s before I even had a proper band, so it's great to be able to do this. I'm a big Dragon fan, and did tours with them when Marc was alive, and I knew him quite well. He'd think this is a blast." According to Todd Hunter, Dragon has had, at last count, 35 members and umpteen reincarnations. "Well, Wikipedia says 35 members so far", he said. "We had a long break as a band, but we started doing acoustic shows a couple of years ago. But we couldn't be heard above the crowd because they were singing so loud, so now we're back doing electric shows."[36]

— Andrew Murfett, James Reyne, Todd Hunter

In March 2009, Dragon released online albums of previously unreleased material, including live albums.

In October 2009, Dragon released Happy I Am on Ozmo Records, distributed internationally by MGM Records.[37]

In September 2011, Dragon released an EP titled Chase The Sun and in November, The Great Divide. The band continues to tour, including the Rhythm and Vines Festival in New Zealand in 2011, The 40th anniversary Tour, The Long Way to the Top, The Red Hot Summer Tour with Jimmy Barnes across 2012/13. A 2-CD set compilation was released in 2012 titled The Dragon Years – 40th Anniversary Collection which peaked at number 21 in New Zealand.

In 2012, their single "Are You Old Enough?" was used in the opening credits of Australian television drama series Puberty Blues.

Discover more about History related topics

I Ching

I Ching

The I Ching or Yi Jing, usually translated Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), the I Ching was transformed over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500–200 BC) into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of East Asian philosophical thought.

Marc Hunter

Marc Hunter

Marc Alexander Hunter was a New Zealand rock and pop singer, songwriter and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Dragon, a band formed by his older brother, Todd Hunter, in Auckland in January 1972. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. He was also a member of the Party Boys in 1985. For his solo career he issued five studio albums, Fiji Bitter, Big City Talk, Communication, Night and Day and Talk to Strangers. During the 1970s Hunter developed heroin and alcohol addictions and was incarcerated at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland in 1978. He was recklessly outspoken and volatile on-stage. In November 1978 during the band's American tour, supporting Johnny Winter, they performed in Dallas, Texas, where "he made some general stage observations about redneck buddies, illegal oral sex and utility trucks" and called the audience members, "faggots". Upon his return to Australia, in February 1979, he was fired from the group by his brother, Todd.

Progressive rock

Progressive rock

Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States through the mid- to late 1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing.

Graeme Nesbitt

Graeme Nesbitt

Graeme John Nesbitt was a music, arts and radio promoter from New Zealand.

PolyGram

PolyGram

PolyGram N.V. was a multinational entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disc gramophone, Emil Berliner.

Bono

Bono

Paul David Hewson, known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, activist, and philanthropist. He is the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of the rock band U2.

Mike Rudd

Mike Rudd

Michael David Rudd is a New Zealand-born musician and composer who has been based in Australia since the late 1960s, and who was the leader of Australian progressive rock bands Spectrum and Ariel in the 1970s.

Peter Dawkins (musician)

Peter Dawkins (musician)

Peter William Dawkins was a New Zealand record producer and musician, best known for his late-1960s to mid-1970s New Zealand hits and his 1970s productions for Australian-based pop artists, including Dragon, Australian Crawl and Air Supply. He won multiple production awards, including the Countdown Producer of the Year. In the late 1980s, he developed Parkinson's disease.

Camperdown, New South Wales

Camperdown, New South Wales

Camperdown is an inner western suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Camperdown is located 4 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district and is part of the Inner West region. Camperdown lies across the local government areas of the City of Sydney and Inner West Council.

Columbia Records

Columbia Records

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded on January 15, 1889, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1991, its recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.

Kerry Jacobson

Kerry Jacobson

Kerry Samuel Jacobson is a New Zealand musician, educator, ARIA hall of fame inductee and former drummer of rock band Dragon. Jacobson was a member from 1976 to 1983, played at their 30-year reunion and at the 2008 ARIA Hall of Fame in Melbourne, Australia. He continues to write and play with Ian Moss and is the drummer for Mondo Rock and his own band The Filthy Animals.

Are You Old Enough?

Are You Old Enough?

"Are You Old Enough?" is a song by New Zealand rock band Dragon, released in August 1978 while the band were still based in Australia. It was released as the first single from the group's fifth studio album O Zambezi (1978). The song peaked at number one on the Australian Kent Music Report, becoming the group's first number-one single.

Personnel

(Members are listed in chronological order.[19][5][38])

Current members

  • Mark Williams – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards (2006–present)
  • Bruce Reid – guitars (2006–present)
  • Todd Hunter – bass, backing vocals (1972–1979, 1982–1995, 2006–present)
  • Pete Drummond – drums, backing vocals, keyboards (2006–present)

Former members

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Mark Williams (singer)

Mark Williams (singer)

Mark Williams is a New Zealand singer with Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) number one hit singles, "Yesterday Was Just the Beginning of My Life" (1975) and a cover of Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (1977) before he relocated to Australia later that year. His single, "Show No Mercy" (1990) was a top ten hit in both countries. He has undertaken extensive touring in support of numerous Australian bands and worked in television. In 2006 he became the vocalist for the reformed New Zealand band, Dragon.

Todd Hunter

Todd Hunter

Todd Stuart Hunter is a New Zealand musician and composer known for his involvement in the band Dragon. Their best known songs are "April Sun in Cuba", "Are You Old Enough?", "Still in Love With You", and "Rain". Hunter also composed John Farnham's hit song "Age of Reason" with Johanna Pigott and music for film Daydream Believer (1991) and TV series Heartbreak High (1994–1999).

Pete Drummond (drummer)

Pete Drummond (drummer)

Pete Drummond is an Australian session drummer, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and educator who has developed a digital platform for drum lessons. Since 2006, Drummond has been associated with New Zealand band Dragon. He is known for his soundtrack work on The Killing Season (ABC), Living Universe ; Search For Second Earth (ABC/BBC), and for his live solo performances alongside Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Mike Mangini, Dave Weckl, and many others.

Marc Hunter

Marc Hunter

Marc Alexander Hunter was a New Zealand rock and pop singer, songwriter and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Dragon, a band formed by his older brother, Todd Hunter, in Auckland in January 1972. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. He was also a member of the Party Boys in 1985. For his solo career he issued five studio albums, Fiji Bitter, Big City Talk, Communication, Night and Day and Talk to Strangers. During the 1970s Hunter developed heroin and alcohol addictions and was incarcerated at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland in 1978. He was recklessly outspoken and volatile on-stage. In November 1978 during the band's American tour, supporting Johnny Winter, they performed in Dallas, Texas, where "he made some general stage observations about redneck buddies, illegal oral sex and utility trucks" and called the audience members, "faggots". Upon his return to Australia, in February 1979, he was fired from the group by his brother, Todd.

Geoff Chunn

Geoff Chunn

Geoff Chunn is a New Zealand musician, best known as an early member of Split Enz.

Kerry Jacobson

Kerry Jacobson

Kerry Samuel Jacobson is a New Zealand musician, educator, ARIA hall of fame inductee and former drummer of rock band Dragon. Jacobson was a member from 1976 to 1983, played at their 30-year reunion and at the 2008 ARIA Hall of Fame in Melbourne, Australia. He continues to write and play with Ian Moss and is the drummer for Mondo Rock and his own band The Filthy Animals.

Terry Chambers

Terry Chambers

Terry Peter Chambers is an English drummer who was a member of the band XTC from 1972 to 1982 and the popular Australian-New Zealand group Dragon between 1983-5. He appears on all of XTC's albums between White Music (1978) and Mummer (1983).

Doane Perry

Doane Perry

Doane Ethredge Perry is an American musician, composer and author. From 1984 to 2011 he was drummer and percussionist with the band Jethro Tull and has also appeared on hundreds of recordings spanning multiple genres on records, film and television.

Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel

William Thomas Emmanuel is an Australian guitarist. Regarded as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time, he is known for his complex fingerstyle technique, energetic performances and use of percussive effects on the instrument. Originally a session player in many bands, Emmanuel carved out his own style as a solo artist, releasing many award-winning albums and singles. In June 2010 Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and in 2011 he was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown.

David Hirschfelder

David Hirschfelder

David Hirschfelder is an Australian musician, film score composer and performer. As a musician he has been a member of Little River Band and John Farnham Band. He has composed film scores for many films, including Strictly Ballroom, Australia, The Railway Man, The Water Diviner and The Dressmaker. He was nominated for Academy Awards for his scores for Shine and Elizabeth.

Timeline

Discography

Discover more about Discography related topics

Dragon discography

Dragon discography

This is the discography of Dragon, a popular rock band formed in Auckland, New Zealand, in January 1972, who relocated to Sydney, Australia in May 1975. They were previously led by singer Marc Hunter, and are currently led by his brother, bass player Todd Hunter. They performed and released material under the name Hunter in Europe and United States during 1987.

Universal Radio

Universal Radio

Universal Radio is the debut album by New Zealand group Dragon released in June 1974 on Vertigo Records and produced by Rick Shadwell. Universal Radio, along with their second album Scented Gardens for the Blind are in the progressive rock genre—all subsequent albums are hard rock/pop rock.

Scented Gardens for the Blind

Scented Gardens for the Blind

Scented Gardens for the Blind is the second album by New Zealand group Dragon released in February 1975 on Vertigo Records before they relocated to Australia in May. Scented Gardens for the Blind, along with their first album Universal Radio, is in the progressive rock genre—all subsequent albums are hard rock/pop rock. "Vermillion [sic] Cellars" was released as a single in March and was followed by non-album singles, "Education" in May and "Star Kissed" in August but neither albums nor singles had any local chart success.

Sunshine (Dragon album)

Sunshine (Dragon album)

Sunshine is the third studio album by New Zealand rock band Dragon, it was their first album after they had relocated to Sydney, Australia in May 1975. Sunshine was released in February 1977 by CBS Records and peaked at #24 on the Australian national albums charts. The album was certified gold. The single "This Time" had been released in late June 1976, which peaked at #26 on the Australian national singles charts. The second single "Get that Jive" was the best charting peaking at #13 and the third single "Sunshine" reached #36. The album had US and International releases in 1978 on Portrait Records, with "This Time" called "In the Right Direction" and an alternative cover used.

O Zambezi

O Zambezi

O Zambezi is the fifth studio album by popular New Zealand rock band, Dragon. It was produced by Peter Dawkins and was released in September 1978 on vinyl and re-released on CD in 1988. The album peaked at number 3 on the Australian Kent Music Report which remains the band's highest charting album in that country. The album was certified platinum in Australia.

Power Play (Dragon album)

Power Play (Dragon album)

Power Play is the sixth studio album recorded by Australian-New Zealand group Dragon, released in September 1979. It was the group's first album without their iconic singer Marc Hunter although arguably it was the lack of support from the group's label, rather than a decline in quality of the group's output, that accounted for its poor commercial performance: Power Play peaked at number 64 on the Australian Kent Music Report. It was the group's final studio album for five years; they split up in December 1979. Unlike other Dragon albums from the 1970s, it has not been reissued on CD, except as a bootleg; notwithstanding that Dragon in its current form has been playing for over a decade with Mark Williams as singer, Power Play appears to be regarded as 'non-canon' amongst the group's records.

Body and the Beat

Body and the Beat

Body and the Beat is the seventh studio album recorded by Australian-New Zealand rock band, Dragon. The album was released in June 1984 and peaked at number 5 on the Australian Kent Music Report. The album was certified gold in the week of release and achieved platinum status in Australia. It was the band's first studio album since Power Play in 1979.

Dreams of Ordinary Men

Dreams of Ordinary Men

Dreams of Ordinary Men is the eighth studio album recorded by Australian-New Zealand rock band Dragon. The album was released in August 1986 and peaked at number 18 on the Australian Kent Music Report and was certified platinum in November 1986.

Bondi Road (album)

Bondi Road (album)

Bondi Road is the ninth studio album by Australian-New Zealand rock band Dragon, released in April 1989. It was the last album of new material to be released during Marc Hunter's lifetime.

Incarnations (album)

Incarnations (album)

Incarnations is the tenth studio album by New Zealand-Australian band, Dragon. The album was released in 1995. and is an acoustic album of their previously released material. It was their final studio album for eleven years, their last before their second split in 1997 and their last to feature Marc Hunter before his death in 1998.

Sunshine to Rain

Sunshine to Rain

Sunshine to Rain is the eleventh studio album by New Zealand-Australian band, Dragon. The band reformed featuring Mark Williams on vocals. The album was released on 27 June 2006 and is their first since 1995's Incarnations. The album debuted and peaked at number 87 on the ARIA Charts.

Roses (Dragon album)

Roses (Dragon album)

Roses is the fifteenth studio album by New Zealand band Dragon. The album was released digitally on 14 September 2014.

Awards and nominations

Aotearoa Music Awards

The Aotearoa Music Awards (previously known as New Zealand Music Awards (NZMA)) are an annual awards night celebrating excellence in New Zealand music and have been presented annually since 1965.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1984 Dragon International Achievement Nominated [39]
2011 Dragon New Zealand Music Hall of Fame inductee [40]

ARIA Music Awards

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987. Dragon were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.[41]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1987 Dreams of Ordinary Men ARIA Award for Highest Selling Album Nominated
ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated
"Dreams of Ordinary Men" ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single Nominated
1990 Bondi Road ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated
2008 Dragon ARIA Hall of Fame Won

King of Pop Awards

The King of Pop Awards were voted by the readers of TV Week. The King of Pop award started in 1967 and ran through to 1978.[42][43]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1977 themselves Most Popular New Group Won
1978 themselves Outstanding Local Achievement Won

Countdown Music Awards

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[44]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1983 "Rain" Best Australian Single Nominated
1984 Body and the Beat Best Australian Album Nominated

Discover more about Awards and nominations related topics

Aotearoa Music Awards

Aotearoa Music Awards

The Aotearoa Music Awards, conferred annually by Recorded Music NZ, honour outstanding artistic and technical achievements in the recording industry. The awards are among the most significant that a group or artist can receive in New Zealand music, and have been presented annually since 1965. The awards show is presented by Recorded Music NZ. A range of award sponsors and media partners support the event each year.

New Zealand Music Hall of Fame

New Zealand Music Hall of Fame

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa is a figurative hall of fame dedicated to noteworthy New Zealand musicians.

ARIA Music Awards

ARIA Music Awards

The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards is an annual series of awards nights celebrating the Australian music industry, put on by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The event has been held annually since 1987 and encompasses the general genre-specific and popular awards as well as Fine Arts Awards and Artisan Awards, Achievement Awards and ARIA Hall of Fame – the latter were held separately from 2005 to 2010 but returned to the general ceremony in 2011. For 2010, ARIA introduced public voted awards for the first time.

ARIA Music Awards of 1987

ARIA Music Awards of 1987

The First Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards was held on 2 March 1987 at the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydney with Elton John as the host. The awards were introduced by ARIA Chairman, Paul Turner, who explained the nomination and voting procedures. Presenters of the 20 awards included Slim Dusty, Basia Bonkowski and Donnie Sutherland. The ceremony was not televised. The most successful artist was John Farnham with his album and its associated single, "You're the Voice" helping him win six awards.

ARIA Award for Highest Selling Album

ARIA Award for Highest Selling Album

The ARIA Music Award for Highest Selling Album was an award presented at the annual ARIA Music Awards. It was presented from 1987 through to 2011.

ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album

ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album

The ARIA Music Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album, is an award presented at the annual ARIA Music Awards, which recognises "the many achievements of Aussie artists across all music genres", since 1987. It is handed out by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), an organisation whose aim is "to advance the interests of the Australian record industry."

ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single

ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single

The ARIA Music Award for Highest Selling Single was an award presented at the annual ARIA Music Awards. It was presented from 1987 through to 2011.

ARIA Music Awards of 1990

ARIA Music Awards of 1990

The Fourth Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards was held on 26 March 1990 at the Darling Harbour Convention Centre in Sydney. Australian host Glenn Shorrock of Little River Band was assisted by Quincy Jones, and other presenters, to distribute 24 awards. For the first time there were live performances but the awards were not televised.

ARIA Music Awards of 2008

ARIA Music Awards of 2008

The 22nd annual Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards took place on 19 October 2008. The nominees for all categories were announced on 10 September, while the winners of the Artisan Awards were announced on the same day.

ARIA Hall of Fame

ARIA Hall of Fame

Since 1988 the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has inducted artists into its annual ARIA Hall of Fame. While most have been recognised at the annual ARIA Music Awards, in 2005 ARIA sought to create a separate standalone ceremony ARIA Icons: Hall of Fame event as only one or two acts could be inducted under the old format due to time restrictions. Since 2005 VH1 obtained the rights to broadcast the show live on Foxtel, Austar and Optus networks; and each year five or six acts were inducted into the Hall of Fame with an additional act inducted at the following ARIA Music Awards.

TV Week

TV Week

TV Week is a weekly Australian magazine that provides television program listings information and highlights, as well as television-related news.

ABC Television (Australian TV network)

ABC Television (Australian TV network)

ABC Television is the general name for the national television services of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Until an organisational restructure in 2017/2018, ABC Television was also the name of a division of the ABC. The name was also used to refer to the first and for many years the only national ABC channel, before it was renamed ABC1 and then again to ABC TV.

Source: "Dragon (band)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_(band).

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