Fitting tribute for a loved music legend
Aroha for New Zealand music legend Bunny Walters was strong during his recent sold out tribute concert in Tokoroa.
The Tokoroa Cosmopolitan Club was filled with 370 friends, family, and fans of the 1960s and 70s hit maker, who died in December from complications with his liver.
With a line up of well known muso’s and close friends from Walters’ heyday, including Tom Sharplin, Dennis Marsh, Ray Solomon, and Larry Morris, concert goers travelled from far and wide to attend.
‘‘The show was very emotional for everyone and I must admit a tear came to my eye. Every muso had their moment,’’ musician and friend Robbie Webber said.
‘‘Of the muso’s 99 per cent of them had worked with Bunny at some stage and on the stage there was probably in excess of 200 years’ experience so it was quite special.’’
Walters’ widow Ani Taylor said his spirit could be felt in the room.
‘‘We started it as a fundraiser and sadly it turned into a tribute concert but Bunny would have been so proud and I could just see him sitting there,’’ she said.
‘‘They had a television screen at the back and at one stage I looked up and I couldn’t believe it but it looked like he was there in spirit saying I approve, well done,’’ organiser Loma Roestenburg added.
‘‘It was good because it just showed how much they all loved him,’’ Taylor said.
Roestenburg and Webber said based on the positive feedback they now hoped to hold an annual Bunny Walters tribute concert feature artists from the 60s and 70s.
‘‘People were saying it was one of the best shows they had ever been to and they are asking when we are going to do it again,’’ Roestenburg said.
‘‘A lot of them are from out of town and I know there are a lot of people who missed out because when I got home the Saturday night before the show I had 83 messages on my phone from people wanting tickets.’’
‘‘We are in the process of seeing if it will be feasible to run it again, maybe towards the end of the year, because during the last one artists gave their time for nothing but for the next one it would have to be for the artists,’’ Webber said.
Taylor said she would like to thank everyone who attended and made the concert possible.