Monday, July 07, 2014

RIP Peter Dawkins

Peter Dawkins at HMV Studios, Wellington. Photo: Audioculture

Peter Dawkins passed away Wednesday July 2, aged 68. Via Audioculture's FB page: "It's with great sadness that AudioCulture marks the passing of Peter Dawkins, a man who probably produced more hit records that any other New Zealander, from his days at HMV in the late 60s, to his world beating smashes for the likes of Mi-Sex and Dragon. Peter truly helped define the times he was working in.

To quote Gordon Spittle: "With more than 20 No.1 singles in national and regional charts, and 50-plus gold and platinum sellers, Peter Dawkins helped set the standard during a new era of producers. A Downunder Phil Spector, he could transform three chords into a mini epic. During a few decades when recording technology and pop music styles changed dramatically, Dawkins could hear timeless hits."

Audioculture: Tributes to Peter Dawkins included:

"Very sad news to hear of Pete's demise. I worked with him for our first two albums and I don't mind admitting I borrowed an idea or two off him in the other 100 or so albums I produced here and in England since. My sincerest condolences to his loving wife whom I know was the driving force and entire support network for Pete. I'll miss being able to go and see him when I'm in Sydney, but he has been VERY ill for a long time now. I have one anecdote I always use when in conversation about him.

When Mi-Sex were launching our first album 'Graffitti Crimes' live from the Musicians Club in Surrey Hills or Redfern (my memory about this area of Sydney area has dimmed a little) we were to be hooked up to do the first EVER live broadcast Nationwide through the ABC Network - of course tensions were running high and everyone was very nervous, technicians running everywhere - because it had never been done before! 

We went on and played our set complete with 'Computer Games' a song I had only just written within the last few weeks. When we came off stage, Peter ran up to me (being the songwriter) and he actually grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and yelled in my face "THAT SONG - COMPUTER GAMES - WHY DIDN'T YOU PLAY IT IN THE DEMOS SO WE COULD HAVE RECORDED IT FOR THE ALBUM - IT'S A NUMBER ONE SMASH HIT!!!!!" My humble response was "Sorry Peter, but I hadn't written it yet....."

- Kevin Stanton (Mi-Sex)

"Peter was inspirational. He helped me have more than my fair share of hit records. He had a huge impact on my life and my recording career. His guidance in those early days at HMV was invaluable. Without him there would never have been a St Paul, Lady Samantha or Natural Man record nor a Cuddly Toy one for that matter!! In short he was a real gentleman and a real talent, an awesome combination not found often. My condolences to family and friends. R.I.P. Peter, love Shane.

- Shane Hales

MORE: Peter Dawkins, profiled on Audioculture by Gordon Spittle Vale Peter Dawkins, Legendary Producer Dies Aged 68 (details his career in Australia)
NZ Herald (July 9) April Sun in Cuba producer Peter Dawkins dies after fall

No comments: