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Good Night Vietnam

Good Night Vietnam

By Simon Scott

Click for big version

Thousands of Vietnam veterans and their families boogied down to their favourite 60s and 70s rock hits at ASB Arena recently.

Good Night Vietnam, the concert, was held as part of Tribute08 weekend, a commemoration event held in honour of New Zealand servicemen and servicewomen who went to Vietnam.

The show featured a number of legendary kiwi music icons of the Vietnam era such as Ray Columbus, the Maori Volcanics and Suzanne Lynch, of the pop duo the Chicks.

Ray Columbus came on to the stage wearing a pair of red and orange striped flares which he called “heart failure stuff for the vets”.

The 65-year-old entertainer was in good humour and referred to himself and his old band as “Ray and the Invalids”.

Ray Columbus and the Invaders were a major New Zealand pop phenomenon in the 60s and are best known for their hit song, She's a Mod, which remains a New Zealand classic.

Ray said afterwards he wanted to perform as part of Tribute08 because the Kiwi vets took Ray and the Invaders’ music to Vietnam.

“It is an absolute honour to be here.”

Columbus attended Saturday's honour parade as a gesture of solidarity for the veterans.

“I stood on Willis St with tears in my eyes and clapped.”

MC Frankie Stevens said seeing the faces of the veterans in the audience had made it all worthwhile.

“Music was a big part of Vietnam.

“They went to battle with rock n' roll ringing in their ears.”


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