It was the early sixties. I was a Ponsonby boy almost fifteen years old excited by the scene around me, the music I was hearing and the people I was meeting.
The Shiralee nightclub in Customs Street would always present well known Kiwi artists and musicians with their weekly Sunday Showcase. Those appearing were advertised on the billboard out front.? ?One afternoon when passing by with Mother I saw that Tommy Adderley was to be appearing the forthcoming Sunday.I asked my Mum if she would take me and much to my surprise she agreed. I believe her decision that day is the reason I have spent my life singing for a living. It was one of the best nights of my short life. The night I first met Tommy Adderley who was to become my lifelong friend. After his show where he was backed by Max Merritt & the Meteors he came to our table for a chat.
Tommy was a regular customer at Dairyland my parents shop in Jervois Road and so he knew my parents reasonably well. I did not know that at the time and so I was real chuffed when Tommy took an interest in what I had to say. Many years later & in a very altered state we were talking about our mutual love – music.
Although it was now 1978 the NZ music scene still in its infancy and would need continuing care and attention. I remember reminding Tommy that he was the one that had initially helped me by giving me free advice when I was fourteen!
That’s right mate and now you have a moral obligation to pass on what you have learned to other musicians that follow you. Right? Right indeed.
Growing up Kenny Cooper and Johnny Devlin were the first real hit parade stars of the NZ music scene that I became aware of. That was the mid to late fifties before Tommy had entered the music business. Subsequently both Ken and Johnny gave Tommy lots of advice and assistance during the early part of his music journey. That is how we all learn the stuff you can’t find in any book. From listening and watching the many great musicians that have come before us.
We musicians who have been there and done it have an unwritten obligation to pass on what we have learned to the younger ones coming through. That is what I call the Adderley rule. Written without paper but spoken so sincerely that lazy summers day that it literally passed down to me.
With that in mind if you are an aspiring musician who could do with some free advice then you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to give you my time. My knowledge is the experience that forty eight years at the coalface of popular music brings to the table. If that experience could benefit you in some small way then please contact me and have a chat free of charge.
Better yet we will both playing a part in preserving the Adderley rule. My dear friend the late great Tommy Adderley would really love that.
By Larry Morris