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Kiwi legends celebrate 50 years of rock 'n' roll

"The Icons of New Zealand Rock 'n Roll"
For One Time Only - The Stars from the '50's to the 80's in one Special Live Concert.

· Johnny Devlin & The Tornadoes

· Ray Columbus

· Sharon O'Neill

· Shane

· Larry Morris

· Tom Sharplin

Together they've had more hits than a heavyweight boxer - they are the heavyweights of New Zealand's rock music scene and they're celebrating 50 years of rock 'n' roll.

Johnny Devlin & The Tornadoes, Ray Columbus, Sharon O'Neill, Shane, Larry Morris and Tom Sharplin will assemble for the first and only time to tour New Zealand in August.

The Best of the Best will begin an 11 venue spectacular in Timaru and will play at most major venues throughout N.Z.

Says promoter Ian Magan of Pacific Entertainment... "Such a tour has never before been contemplated in this country. Now, for a short period of time, the top artists representing 40 years of Kiwi hits and memorable concert, radio and TV performances, are ALL available together. We've grasped the opportunity to put together this special show, which incidentally also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rock 'n Roll in New Zealand."

Tickets on sale from June 17th through Ticketek and Ticket Direct

Where & When Bookings
Thursday, August 10 Timaru Theatre Royal Ticketek

Friday, August 11 Invercargill Civic Theatre Ticket Direct

Saturday August 12 Dunedin Town Hall Ticketek

Sunday, August 13 Christchurch Town Hall Ticketek

Tuesday, August 15 Hamilton, Founders Theatre, Ticket Direct

Wednesday, August 16, Tauranga, Baycourt, Ticket Direct

Friday, August 18, Auckland Aotea Centre, Ticketek

Saturday, August 19 New Plymouth TSB Theatre, Ticketek

Tuesday, August 22, Napier, Municipal Theatre, Ticketek

Thursday, August 24, Palmerston Nth, Regent Th. Ticket Direct

Friday, August 25, Wellington, Town Hall, Ticketek


Johnny Devlin - Lawdy Lawdy Miss Clawdy

Described as New Zealand's first rock star, Johnny became an overnight "bodice ripping" success with the 1958 recording of Lawdy Miss Clawdy around the same time as Elvis released Heartbreak Hotel. It topped the charts selling 100,000 copies before it was even played on radio.

It was with the arrival of leg swinging, former champion body builder, Johnny Devlin, the 'satin satan', that the rock took over the charts, minds and culture of young NZ.

Sharon O'Neill - the pocket-sized dynamite brought us massive hits including Maxine, Words, Asian Paradise, Luck's on the Table Tonight, Maybe, Satin Sheets, One of A Crowd.

Nelson born Sharon began her career in the 1970's then gained major success in Australia with the hit Words and a string of hits following, such as How Do You Talk to Boys, Losing You and Maybe . The early 80s proved her most commercially successful with the Foreign Affairs album in 1983 spawning 3 top ten hits including Maxine. Today Sharon lives and performs in Australia

Ray Columbus - In February 1962, with his band Ray became very popular in his hometown of Christchurch, and so decided to move to Auckland, becoming to Ray Columbus and the Invaders.

They took Auckland by storm. With their Fender gear, fancy routines, matching outfits, Auckland audiences just stared in disbelief. Expecting to come to the big smoke and pick up a few tricks from the pros, they found that they were way ahead of the field. The Auckland groups sounded dated and were ignorant of American R&B and all lacked a lead singer as energetic and extroverted as Ray Columbus. In January 1963 they returned to Christchurch with almost every Auckland promoter dangling contracts.

Armed with their new album and new single they set off for Sydney in November 1963. They debuted at Surf City, Sydney's top teenage venue. The Invaders returned to New Zealand in February 1964 with "I Wanna Be Your Man" outselling both the Beatles and Rolling Stones versions.

"She's A Mod"/"Poison Ivy" was recorded in May 1964 and released in June. It didn't attract much interest in New Zealand at the time as the Beatles were still visiting. It could have faded completely if the Invaders hadn't returned to Sydney. She's A Mod" went to number one on the Sydney charts and began to climb up the national charts. With this, expatriate Kiwi promoter Harry M Miller stepped in an began to organise a national tour. The tour was very successful with audiences everywhere going wild. By the end of the tour, "She's A Mod" was at number one on the Australian National Chart, staying there for eight weeks. By now New Zealand had caught on and the song started topping regional charts throughout the country

After the Invaders split up, Ray Columbus pursued a successful solo career, and eventually got his wish. With his American wife, he shifted to California in July 1966, spending two years in the USA. Wally moved to Australia and toured through Asia before also settling in the US. Wally died of cancer in 1980. Jimmy, Billy and Dave all played with Max Merritt at various times and appeared in other bands, including Dave with the Layabouts and Jimmy and Bill showing up in Headband. Jimmy Hill died on 7th November 2000 of cardiac problems, aged 56.

In 2000 Ascension Records released a CD called "Greatest Numbers" which contains 30 songs from their Zodiac collection

Shane - Television and radio star best known for his tribute to Beatles legend Paul McCartney with St Paul, regarded by Sir Paul McCartney himself as a classic tribute to the great Beatle.

Tom Sharplin - regarded as one of the most authentic rockers of his time. His versions of Rock around the Clock, Shake Rattle and Roll, and Great Balls of Fire were are hit with fans. He's also credited with getting Russell Crowe started in showbiz.
Larry Morris -- Larry Morris has been fronting rock'n roll bands for the past forty years. From 1965 until 1971 he fronted Larry's Rebels, the band had eleven consecutive hit singles. Six of these were Top Ten Hits, THIS EMPTY PLACE, PAINTER MAN, EVERYBODY'S GIRL, DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO, MOREEN, and LET'S THINK OF SOMETHING which won the APRA Silver Scroll Award in 1966 for Roger Skinner. He left the Rebels and became a solo artist in 1970. Solo highlights include two Royal Command Perormances and a tour supporting DAVID BOWIE.

Performing ever since, including a tribute to the songs of JOE COCKER at AUCKLAND'S SKY CITY CASINO. The show has proved so popular that it has become a regular SKY CITY entertainment event and Australian Casino's have also expressed interest in presenting the show.

In 2000 THE LARRY MORRIS BAND performed the BARRY SAUNDERS penned song RESCUE ME a finalist in the year 2000 APRA SILVER SCROLL AWARDS at the awards ceremony. In 2002 Larry Morris Produced five shows for Peacekeepers of the Royal New Zealand Army in East Timor.


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