Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (VNZMA) Legacy Award Winner
Dragon has had many incarnations. But it will always be the same Dragon Kiwis know and love.
Now, almost 40 years on from its conception, the timeless Kiwi band has been rightfully recognised for its longevity and outstanding musical contribution to our culture.
At the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards finalists announcement in Auckland on Tuesday 7 September, the band was named as the recipient of the 2011 New Zealand Herald Legacy Award.
Dragon will receive the award at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards at Vector Arena on Thursday 3 November. In keeping with tradition, a New Zealand artist or group will be selected to perform a
Dragon single in honour of the group on the night. This year Supergroove will have the privilege.
Supergroove's Nick Atkinson says the band is excited to perform this year's Legacy Award tribute.
"Dragon had such a huge impact here and in Australia, where they routinely filled arenas.
"It's a thrill to be asked to perform. Aside from the challenge of getting just the right synth sound, I'm putting in the hours growing my early '80s era mullet, which should be well formed by November 3."
Dragon will also be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of other Kiwi music greats including Shihad (2010), Ray Columbus & The Invaders (2009), Straitjacket
Fits (2008) and Johnny Devlin (2007).
Original band member Todd Hunter (bass/vocals), who travelled to Auckland for the announcement, said it was an honour to be recognised for the band's music.
"Dragon in 2011 is a world away from the band that left New Zealand in 1975 but somehow the spirit of that time is with us, now more than ever. Our ties to New Zealand have been very strong since the
band reformed and we've made 10 trips across the Tasman in the past year alone.
"There have been 35 players in Dragon over the years and I know that Marc, Paul and Neil would have loved to be here for this. We have been playing with some great Kiwi bands over the past 12
months and we really look forward to the awards and catching up with all our great New Zealand friends," Todd says.
Brothers Todd and Marc Hunter started the band in 1973 and Dragon sold more than two million records during almost 40 years of highs and lows. The band is known for its defining anthems that transcend the decades, such as April Sun In Cuba, Are You Old Enough, Rain, Speak No Evil, Young Years, This Time, Sunshine, Celebrate and Dreams of Ordinary Men.
Bass player and vocalist Todd reformed Dragon in 2006 after a much needed break of 10 years. In the current line-up, lead singer Mark Williams is joined by Canadian guitar slinger, Bruce Reid and
drum wizard Pete Drummond.
Despite the new faces, the Dragon phenomenon lives on today, with Todd Hunter still a key driving force behind the band's distinctive sound.
The band recently released a new single 21 (Heart of Gold) and on top of many other tour commitments will also be performing at Queen's Wharf on Wednesday 12 October.
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson Chris Caddick says Dragon's Legacy Award nomination is well-deserved.
"From the first time I saw them at Trillos in the late 70s, to seeing their storming performance at Rhythm and Vines 2010 on YouTube Dragon have been, for me, the very essence of what makes New Zealand music so special."
Dragon in its various incarnations existed in 1972 to 1979, 1982 to 1998 and 2006 to the present.
The band was inducted in to the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2008 by the Australian Recording Industry