|Birth name||Todd Stuart Hunter|
|Born||22 June 1951|
Waitara, New Zealand
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, manager, producer|
Todd Stuart Hunter –1999).(born 22 June 1951) is a New Zealand musician and composer known for his involvement in the band Dragon. Their best known songs are "April Sun in Cuba", "Are You Old Enough?", "Still in Love With You", and "Rain". Hunter also composed John Farnham's hit song "Age of Reason" with Johanna Pigott and music for film Daydream Believer (1991) and TV series Heartbreak High (1994
On 1 July 2008 the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) recognised Dragon's iconic status when they were inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Hunter (bass guitar, vocals) formed Dragon in 1972 with Graeme Collins (piano, vocals), Neil Storey(drums) and Ray Goodwin (guitar, keyboards, vocals); the group was soon joined by Hunter's younger brother Marc Hunter (vocals) and moved to Australia in 1975. The band toured Australasia, America and Europe and their songs from that time, "April Sun in Cuba", "Are You Old Enough?" and "Still in Love With You" are still played on radio.
Hunter's first wife was poet, artist, writer Jen Jewel Brown (aka Jennifer Hunter Brown) who had written Million Dollar Riff (1975) a book describing Australian band Skyhooks prior to their first tour of US.Hunter and Brown co-wrote "Politics" and "Company" for Dragon's album O Zambezi (1978). Brown introduced Hunter to violinist Richard Lee who then played violin on "Civilization" for O Zambezi as a session musician before joining Dragon in February 1979. Follow up album Power Play (1979) had disappointing sales by comparison, and despite Dragon having sold over a million records in the 1970s, they first broke up on New Year's Eve of 1979.
After the first demise of Dragon, Hunter became a record producer for bands including the New Zealand punk group Toy Love.He produced two albums for XL Capris, a Sydney-based punk band, which included vocalist & bass guitarist Johanna Pigott. She and Hunter became domestic partners and in 1981 he joined the band as guitar player. When that group disbanded in 1982, Hunter joined Pigott in her next group, Scribble from 1983 to 1986.
When Dragon reformed in 1982, Hunter and Pigott co-wrote the song "Rain",which went to #2 in 1983.
Around this time Hunter (usually with Pigott) became involved with film and TV scoring and found that he was far more suited to the discipline of working in a studio to a deadline than playing in a live band. Pigott (co-creator, screenwriter and performer) and Hunter (guitarist and songwriter) were involved in Australian ABC-TV series Sweet and Sour (1984). Hunter's first wife, Jen Brown also wrote "Hip Romeo" for Sweet and Sour.
Nevertheless, Dragon toured Europe with Tina Turner in 1986–1987 promoting the Dreams of Ordinary Men album produced by Todd Rundgren. At that time the band consisted of Marc Hunter (lead vocal), Hunter on bass, guitar player Tommy Emmanuel, Alan Mansfield from Robert Palmer's band on keyboards and Doane Perry from Jethro Tull on drums.
On that tour Hunter hauled a large road case containing a portable studio through Europe and on it he wrote and recorded the scores for many imaginary movies. It was on that same Box that the Dragon hit single "Celebration" was recorded in hotel rooms around the world with David Hirschfelder producing. In 1987 while on tour (Dragon was briefly called Hunter) with Turner, John Farnham asked Hunter and Pigott to write a song for his next album. They wrote "Age of Reason",which went to #1 in Australia for four weeks from 30 July and was a top 10 hit in Germany and Canada in 1989. "Age of Reason" won the APRA 'Most Performed Australasian Popular Song' of the year award for 1989. After selling another million records worldwide in the 1980s Dragon disbanded again in 1995.
From 1994 to 1999 Hunter was the composer for the hit TV Series Heartbreak High and wrote and recorded the 7500 cues that underscored the series.The theme song was nominated for 1994 APRA Television Theme of the Year. Hunter and Pigott also wrote over 20 songs for the series (mostly performed by Abi Tucker, Fleur Beaupert or themselves). Other TV series Hunter worked on included Headstart and Out There .
Hunter and Pigott composed music for the film The Girl Who Came Late , also known as Daydream Believer (1991),and Alex aka Alex: The Spirit of a Champion (1993). "Alex (theme)" aka "Aotearoa" was written by Hunter and "For the Rest of My Life" by Hunter and Pigott.
In 2008 Hunter worked on the BBC/Southern Star TV serial 'Out of the Blue' with composer Stephen Rae and composed the music for the series Pride of Australia in 2009.
In 2006 Todd Hunter reformed Dragon with Mark Williams, Bruce Reid and Pete Drummond; they recorded Sunshine to Rain for Liberation Blue Records.Dragon toured Australia to promote their 2008 CD Dragon Remembers which was an affectionate look at great Australian Anthems recorded by friends and colleagues no longer with us. Dragon were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on 1 July 2008, Hunter stated that they had switched from acoustic performances to fully electric because fans were singing so loud the band could not be heard. In 2010 Dragon released the first studio album of new songs for 20 years entitled "Happy I Am" followed by the EP "Chase The Sun" in 2011 and the EP "The Great Divide" in 2012. Dragon have played over 500 shows since the reformation. The band played the "Long Way to the Top" series of concerts in October 2012 then embarked on a 16 date "40th Anniversary National Tour" of New Zealand in mid October. To mark the occasion Liberation Records released "The Dragon Years" a 40-song compilation CD. Dragon played 20 shows on The Red Hot Summer Tour around Australia in early 2013 and kicked off their 40th Anniversary Concert Series at The Sydney Opera House in April 2013. As of July 2014 the reformed Dragon have played over 600 shows. In November 2013 the band mounted a 20 date acoustic tour in cathedrals and churches in New Zealand. In 2014 they Toured Australia from March through to the end of June with The Trilogy Tour, a tour that featured the three main eras of the band, The Young Years (1970s), The Glory Years (1980s) and The Phoenix Years (2006 on). Dragon are The Harbour Agency's hardest working band. They play almost every weekend of the year. After a break since March 2020 due to COVID-19 the band start playing in New Zealand in January 2021 for the Greenstone Tour and are booked until NYE 2022.
Hunter and his partner, Johanna, have three sons: Harry Hunter, James Hunter and Joey Hunter.
The Aotearoa Music Awards (previously known as New Zealand Music Awards (NZMA)) are an annual awards night celebrating excellence in New Zealand music and have been presented annually since 1965.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result||Ref.|
|2011||Todd Hunter (as part of Dragon)||New Zealand Music Hall of Fame||inductee|
Baby Animals is an Australian hard rock band active from October 1989 to 1996 and reformed in 2007. The original line-up was Frank Celenza on drums; Suze DeMarchi on lead vocals and guitar; Dave Leslie on guitar and backing vocals; and Eddie Parise on bass guitar and backing vocals. They recorded two studio albums, Baby Animals – which peaked at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and Shaved and Dangerous – which reached No. 2. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1992 the group won three trophies: Album of the Year and Breakthrough Artist – Album for Baby Animals and Breakthrough - Single for "Early Warning". Baby Animals was listed in 100 Best Australian Albums. The reunited line-up are DeMarchi, Leslie, Dario Bortolin on bass guitar and Mick Skelton on drums and percussion. Their fourth studio album, This Is Not the End, was issued in May 2013, which reached the top 20.
Dragon are a New Zealand rock band which was formed in Auckland in January 1972, and, from 1975, based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The band was originally fronted by singer Graeme Collins, but rose to fame with singer Marc Hunter and is currently led by his brother, bass player and vocalist Todd Hunter. The group performed, and released material, under the name Hunter in Europe and the United States during 1987.
Sharon Lea O'Neill is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and pianist, who had an Australasian hit single in 1983 with "Maxine" which reached No. 16 on both the Australian Kent Music Report and Recording Industry Association of New Zealand charts.
Sweet and Sour was an Australian television series that screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1984. It was created by Tim Gooding and Johanna Pigott and was produced internally for the ABC by Jan Chapman.
Suzanne Marguerite Abeyratne, who performs as Zan or Xan, is an Australian-based singer born in London. Abeyratne was a co-lead vocalist of I'm Talking (1984–87), alongside Kate Ceberano. She provided lead vocals on their single, "Holy Word", which peaked at No. 9 in Australia, and No. 21 in New Zealand. Along with her identical twin sister Sherine, Abeyratne has provided backing vocals for Models, INXS, and U2, and has toured the world with other bands.
Scented Gardens for the Blind is the second album by New Zealand group Dragon released in February 1975 on Vertigo Records before they relocated to Australia in May. Scented Gardens for the Blind, along with their first album Universal Radio, is in the progressive rock genre—all subsequent albums are hard rock/pop rock. "Vermillion [sic] Cellars" was released as a single in March and was followed by non-album singles, "Education" in May and "Star Kissed" in August but neither albums nor singles had any local chart success.
Birds of Tokyo are an Australian alternative rock band from Perth, Western Australia. Their debut album, Day One, gained them domestic success, reaching number three on the AIR Independent Album charts and spending a total of 36 consecutive weeks in the top ten.
Johanna Paton Pigott is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and screenwriter. Her best known hit songs are Dragon's "Rain" which peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart in 1983, and John Farnham's "Age of Reason". "Rain" was co-written with her partner, Dragon's Todd Hunter, and his younger brother, Marc Hunter. When "Age of Reason" reached the top of the charts in July 1988, Pigott became the first Australian woman to have written a No. 1 hit. It was co-written with Todd Hunter.
Marc Alexander Hunter was a New Zealand rock and pop singer, songwriter and record producer. He was the lead vocalist of Dragon, a band formed by his older brother, Todd Hunter, in Auckland in January 1972. They relocated to Sydney in May 1975. He was also a member of the Party Boys in 1985. For his solo career he issued five studio albums, Fiji Bitter, Big City Talk, Communication, Night and Day and Talk to Strangers. During the 1970s Hunter developed heroin and alcohol addictions and was incarcerated at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland in 1978. He was recklessly outspoken and volatile on-stage. In November 1978, during the band's American tour, supporting Johnny Winter, they performed in Dallas, Texas, where "he made some general stage observations about redneck buddies, illegal oral sex and utility trucks" and called the audience members "faggots". Upon his return to Australia, in February 1979, he was fired from the group by his brother, Todd.
XL Capris were an Australian indie-punk band formed in Sydney in 1978 by Julie Anderson, Tim Gooding, Johanna Pigott, and Kimble Rendall.
Sunshine is the third studio album by New Zealand rock band Dragon, it was their first album after they had relocated to Sydney, Australia in May 1975. Sunshine was released in February 1977 by CBS Records and peaked at #24 on the Australian national albums charts. The album was certified gold. The single "This Time" had been released in late June 1976, which peaked at #26 on the Australian national singles charts. The second single "Get that Jive" was the best charting peaking at #13 and the third single "Sunshine" reached #36. The album had US and International releases in 1978 on Portrait Records, with "This Time" called "In the Right Direction" and an alternative cover used.
Monique Brumby is an Australian Indie pop/rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer. Her debut single, "Fool for You", peaked into the top 40 in the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) ARIA Singles Charts, and provided an ARIA Award for Best New Talent at the ARIA Music Awards of 1996. Her single, "Mary", won an ARIA Music Awards of 1997 for ARIA Award for Best Female Artist.
Body and the Beat is the seventh studio album recorded by Australian-New Zealand rock band, Dragon. The album was released in June 1984 and peaked at number 5 on the Australian Kent Music Report. The album was certified gold in the week of release and achieved platinum status in Australia. It was the band's first studio album since Power Play in 1979.
"Age of Reason" is a song by Australian pop rock singer John Farnham. Written by Todd Hunter and Johanna Pigott, it was released as the first single from Farnham's 1988 album of the same name. The song topped Australia's ARIA Singles Chart for four weeks and became a top-five hit in New Zealand, where it peaked at number four. At the APRA Music Awards of 1990, the song won the Most Performed Australasian Popular Work award.
Joel Little is a New Zealand record producer, musician and Grammy Award-winning songwriter. He is best known for his work as a writer and producer with artists Lorde, Taylor Swift, Broods, Sam Smith, Imagine Dragons, Ellie Goulding, Khalid, Elliphant, Jarryd James, Shawn Mendes, Marina Diamandis, Amy Shark, Goodnight Nurse, Noah Kahan, Years & Years, the Jonas Brothers, and Niall Horan.
"Rain" is a song by New Zealand rock group Dragon released in July 1983 as the first single ahead of their seventh studio album, Body and the Beat. It is co-written by the group's brothers, Marc and Todd Hunter, with Johanna Pigott, Todd's then-domestic partner. "Rain" peaked at number 2 and stayed in the Kent Music Report singles chart for 26 weeks. The song reached number 88 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 charts in mid-1984. For the original single version the group's Kerry Jacobson had provided drums and percussion; he left the group in September 1983 and was replaced by Terry Chambers, who is shown in promotional material including cover art and music videos.
"Dreams of Ordinary Men" is a song by New Zealand-Australian rock band Dragon released in August 1986 as the second single from the group's eighth studio album Dreams of Ordinary Men (1986). The song peaked at number 17 on the Australian Kent Music Report.
Scribble were a post punk synth pop band based around Johanna Pigott on lead vocals, guitar, piano and keyboards, which she formed in 1983. She was joined by her domestic partner, Todd Hunter, on bass guitar and keyboards, and session musicians. They released two albums, So Far 1983-1985 and Pop Art (mid-1986). Scribble disbanded in 1987 with Pigott focussing on her song writing.
Sunshine to Rain is the eleventh studio album by New Zealand-Australian band, Dragon. The band reformed featuring Mark Williams on vocals. The album was released on 27 June 2006 and is their first since 1995's Incarnations. The album debuted and peaked at number 87 on the ARIA Charts. The album release was followed with a tour.
So Far is a compilation album by New Zealand group Dragon, released in January 1988 through J&B Records, under licence from CBS Records and PolyGram Records. The album was released as the band's cover version of Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" was in the top 20 in Australia, on the RCA Records label.