Tribute show for a quiet NZ hit maker
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.
Bunny Walters’ widow Anne Taylor is looking forward to a tribute concert for her late husband.