|MERIT AWARD 2010
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Full Name: Des Newton
Born: June 1951 (England)
Came to New Zealand: February 1952
Instruments Played: Guitar, Vocals
Career Began: 1972
Groups: Alexis, System, Nicotine Brothers, Roosters, Rockits
Recordings Des does his own "Indie" stuff
Supported: Bunny Walters, Yoland Gibson, Lou Clausen, Toni Williams, John Grenell, Anna Leah and others
Career: Still performing !
|Des Newton ... in his own words|
|In the 1970's I played lead guitar and was lead voclalist in rock band "Alexis" at The Imperial Hotel. I played lead guitar in "System" on the Ballins pub circuit and for private gigs, taking over lead vocals in 1974. I played most venues in Christchurch including most of the major pubs such as, The Bush Inn, Shirley Lodge, Yaldhurst, West Melton, The Esplanade, The Shoreline, as well as major Corporate and Rotary events, National Conferences and balls at the Winter Garden. I've played hundreds of weddings and privately run shows, backed Bunny Walters, Yoland Gibson, Lou Clausen, Toni Williams, John Grenell, Anna Leah and many others. At the 1974 Commonwealth Games I played at the Games Village and other associated venues. At this time playing between 2-5 times weekly with occasional member and name changes. In the 1980's I continued my career as a professional soloist, resident at the Redwood Hotel 3-7 nights weekly (over 6 years there), and in 1986 I formed a duo, played various long and short term pub dates with various other members including David Newton, Tony Dwyer and Rob Carpenter. I also worked solo pub and private gigs during that time.|
Des Newton circa 1973
|1989 saw a solo residency at Lancaster Hotel (2 nights weekly) plus private work, leading to a 1990 solo residency at Star and Garter Hotel (3 nights weekly), and in 1991 a solo residency at The Elms Hotel playing to international tourists and locals as well as Corporate events (2-5 nights weekly for over 13 years). From 2005 to the present I have worked as a solo player, as well as guitar and lead vocals in: "The Nicotine Bros", (John Storey, Rob Carpenter), "The Rockits" (Wayne Allen, Murray Wood, Rob Carpenter), "The Roosters" (Dave Gillies, Simon Marks, Martin Blackmore, Bob Ogilvie), "Affinity" (Rob Carpenter, Danny Wilson), at clubs, in pubs, Rock 'n' Roll shows and private gigs.
I have also guested or done fill-in appearances with various other bands, played in backing bands featured at Sunday events of ROCKONZ in 2008 and 2009, and played with "The Rockits" at the 2010 ROCKONZ concert supporting Dragon, Suzanne, Graham Wardrop and Jon Palmer. I write and record original music (Indie), available locally and through international digital services. During my entire career I have played at countless charity gigs including "Relay For Life" ever since it's inception in Christchurch, and I worked for over ten years as a musical instrument technician including 3 years in-house at CJ's Music Store. I taught guitar privately and at schools (I am a qualified teacher), and formed, coached and mentored school bands and choirs, taking them to the annual shows etc.. My career continues to be as busy as ever with no sign of a slow down !