PETER POSA (R.I.P.)

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First published February 2019

Peter Posa, well known as New Zealand's greatest guitarist, died at Waikato Hospital on Sunday 3rd February 2019, aged 77.  Fellow guitarist, Gray Bartlett, said that Peter's death marked "the passing of an era in guitar music".  

Click here to read the article about Peter's passing on Stuff.co.nz

Click here to read Bruce Sergent's history of Peter's music career

TRIBUTES

Steve Braunias' tribute to Peter Posa: Memories of a guitar virtuoso.  Click here to read
Peter Posa was a star when I arrived in N.Z./ in 1962.  We were both at Zodiac with Eldred Stebbing & Peter played on two of my first records.  We toured with Helen Shapiro together & did a bunch of gigs  before he moved to the Viking label.  He was the star guitarist for a decade or more & to cap that off with biggest selling album a couple of years ago was like his playing life, truly remarkable.  Didn't have much  contact until around 12 years ago when we started to have the odd phone chat & talked about the possibility of working together again.  He was a keen lover of the old Jazz standards & we thought that might be a good platform to work on.  Never mind Peter I still remember the old days.  You are true legend.  Love & Regards - Ray Woolf
My sister Suzanne & I were both very sad to hear of Peter’s passing.  It was hearing him playing his guitar on a neighbour’s front deck in 1965 and asking him for his autograph (he asked us to sing for him) that he & his Manager Ron Dalton gave us our big start in show business.  Haven’t seen Peter for a long time but we both have very fond memories of him on that day.  We sang on a song “Terry” he recorded too in 1965.  Rest in Peace Peter – you made a big impression on a lot of people in your life.  Cheers – Judy Hindman & Suzanne Lynch (The Chicks)  
R.I.P. Peter Posa.  You will be sadly missed such a kind and gentle soul.  Peter and I toured together so many times during the 1960's and we shared the same management James N Haddleton.  My thoughts are with your family, friends and your fans worldwide.  A Legend who truly made his mark in the history of New Zealand music. - Dinah Lee
I remember in the early 60s hearing his tunes and being aware and liking that he was our own guitar man, as Hank Marvin was to England, Duane Eddy to USA.  Rock on Peter! - Andy Anderson
The first major tour I did was headlined by Peter so his passing evoked many memories.  Dinah Lee was on that tour and her star was just beginning to rise.  Tommy Adderley was with us and the band was Max Merritt and the Meteors.  We had one night off in Dunedin to go see the Beatles as we had played Invercargill the previous night.  Peter was extremely shy and mostly kept to himself.  He was a wonderful player though I’m not sure he was ever really comfortable performing to audiences.  May he Rest In Peace - Ian Saxon
I remember you well Peter, we toured the South Island on a show together with Max Merritt, Bill and Boyd, Rusty Greaves, and others way back in 1962!!!! Rest in peace mate - Ralph Cohen

Here’s a few words about the man himself as a much younger person.  As I am three years younger than Peter, you will appreciate me standing in the front row at a lunch time concert, both of us Henderson High School pupils, one already an accomplished musician and the other, some fool with a ukulele and a couple of years on piano.  Peter then did the unthinkable, he was holding what I think was a 335, plugged into a Gibson amp, when he reached out with the other hand to move his mike stand.  Next thing he’s on the floor with the school's head girl (Wendy) working on him, giving him resus, and a  second chance at life.  An hour’s rest and we all got our lunchtime concert.  Keith “Haggis” McIntyre

R. I. P. Peter Posa, to a legend.  - Dave Duffell

I played lead guitar for Freddie Keil and the Kavaliers plus performed with my sister as half of Anne and Jimmy Murphy duo in the mid sixties, when Eldred Stebbing signed us all to his Zodiac Label.  We got to play quite a few shows with Peter and he was a gentle talented guitarist who developed  a digital delay clean flat picking style after the Les Paul mode.  I always admired his pristine guitar work and his humble friendly disposition.  His ability was quite remarkable considering the era we grew up in.  I know Eldred encouraged and believed in him. Together they blazed the trail for the entire NZ music scene. God speed Peter you will be missed. - Jimmy Murphy

One of my earliest guitar heroes. An inspiration. - Alan Galbraith

The gigs we played at places playing at Mount Manunganui we had fun with can't go into detail.  We had fun playing Tauranga, Mt Maunganui during Christmas.  He relaxed had fun, he and I - Larry Purdy or better known as Tiger Purdy.  Just had fun.  Got some photos must dig them out over 30 years ago.  Peter Posa was one of the nicest guys I met in the music business, we seemed to hit it off.  Sad.  I will never forget him.  I'm 77, I was born in 1942 - Tiger Purdy

I had the immense privilege of touring NZ with Peter and Dinah Lee back in the mid 60's, when I was drummer for The Premiers.  I remember Peter as a great musician and a true gentleman.  RIP Peter. - Andy Shackleton

He was a kiwi icon who inspired me and my friends to learn to play electric guitar because of the sound – induct him into the NZHOF – he deserves it more than anyone – a great musician – Terry Rouse

(email me your tribute to Peter and I'll add it in - andy@nzmusos.co.nz)

 

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