Trib­ute show for a quiet NZ hit maker

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Pain re­mains raw for the widow of New Zealand pop icon Bunny Wal­ters a few weeks after his pass­ing.

Anne Tay­lor, who meet the 60s and 70s hit maker of songs such as Brandy and Near­est Thing to Heaven while liv­ing in Aus­tralia three years ago, lost her hus­band due to com­pli­ca­tions with his liver on De­cem­ber 14. He was 63.

In her Toko­roa lounge sur­rounded by pho­tos of the singer she let tears fall as she re­called the man he was.

‘‘On stage he was out there and lively but at home he was a hum­ble, pri­vate, gen­tle, and very quiet man who just loved to do cross­words,’’ she said.

‘‘He was ill but he was very pri­vate in his ill­ness too and he did not tell me un­til two months ago. From there it was all down­hill.’’

Tay­lor, along with a com­mit­tee made up of six fam­ily and friends, is now pre­par­ing a trib­ute fundrais­ing con­cert to cel­e­brate Wal­ters, which will fea­ture many fel­low mu­si­cians from his hey­day.

The line-up is set to in­clude Tom Sharplin, Den­nis Marsh, Ray Solomon, Larry Mor­ris, Den­nis Au­gust, Craven No­ble, and var­i­ous other lo­cal mu­si­cians who will per­form at the Toko­roa Cos­mopoli­tan Club on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 4 from 7.30pm.

‘‘Be­fore he passed he knew we were go­ing to have the con­cert and I said to him who do you want to come? and he said Tom Sharplin and Larry Mor­ris be­cause they all go way back to­gether,’’ she said.

‘‘After he passed away we got onto Ray Solomon who is a good friend and the oth­ers. Bunny would be chuffed to have all his mates to­gether again.’’

She said Wal­ters never lost his pas­sion for per­form­ing un­til his fi­nal weeks.

‘‘He had a gig at the Cossie Club in May and an­other one at Wairakei in June but as he got sicker he lost his pas­sion,’’ she said.

‘‘He al­ways re­mained ex­actly the same though, very quiet and re­served and I be­lieve he was like that all his life.’’

She said all con­cert pro­ceeds will be go­ing to­wards funeral ex­penses and she thanked all those in­volved in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and those who had of­fered sup­port since her hus­band’s pass­ing.

Tick­ets are $20 and can be pur­chased from Sweet Rose, Graize Mighty Fine Meat, Ap­pli­ance Plus, and the Cossie Club. Door sales will be lim­ited.

LUKE KIRKEBY

Bunny Wal­ters’ widow Anne Tay­lor is look­ing for­ward to a trib­ute con­cert for her late hus­band.

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