Dragon 50th Anniversary Concert – Scamander Beach Resort
Midnight on a dark and stormy NYE 1973. In a desolate holiday town on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, a nameless covers band, having finished their nights toil gnashing out four sets of Van Morrison, Santana, Chuck Berry and Grateful Dead songs held a meeting.
The chill coming up through the cracked floorboards of the rundown temporary band house shivers the candlelight as distant thunder mutters in the jagged hills across the harbour. The task was simple. The motley bunch of kiwis sprawled around the room on threadbare couches and mattresses that by candlelight almost obscured the stains left by previous occupants had to come up with a great name for their band, They were due to play in two weeks’ time at NZ’s first ever rock festival, headlined by Black Sabbath and they needed an identity.
The piano player assembled the runes and the ancient book and threw the I Ching (google it) He opened the book with a flourish and after a long pause pronounced “ There is our name”. The bass player scanned the page ”What, Heaven?” “No, you twat DRAGON” Right at that moment a brain-searing flash of lightning and the loudest clap of thunder anyone had ever heard rocked the house. The power failed and the candles snuffed out and as the storm raged on overhead everyone shuffled off to bed, abashed and unaware that history, in some small way had been made.
And now, some 50 years later if one was to wonder what was it all about?
The gnashing and snarling, the shouting the laughing. The setting up of tons of black boxes to make an appalling angry racket one night and a hilarious joyful clangor the next. So many things, good and bad, have happened in the last 50 years that it would take at least 50 years to tell you what went down. Then you would have to get the stories of the fifty people that have been part of the band over the last fifty years.
But there is another way.
Come to any DRAGON 50 show in 2023 and sing your way through a long and sinuous road of golden songs. This is not only a celebration of 50 years of the band’s existence it’s a celebration of you and your relationship with the Dragon songs. Each song is a snapshot of what was happening to you the first time you heard it on the radio or on Countdown and, as such, is branded indelibly into your memory.
Witnessing a Dragon show with the current band in full flight triggers a powerful emotional response that can only be resolved by losing oneself in the moment with people who were, until moments ago, complete strangers. Songs from the Young Years like Rock n Roll Ponsonby and Education Songs from the Glory Years like Sunshine, This Time, Get That Jive, Still In Love, April Sun and Are You Old enough.
Songs from the mid-period 80s comeback like Rain, Speak No Evil, and Dreams of Ordinary men. Songs from the Phoenix Years like Don’t I look like Jim, Roses, Babylon, and many more.
Support commences 2pm.