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First published in 2007, last updated October 2016

Photos & Memorabilia - Premiers, Breakaways, Inn Group


I remember Tommy from the time he used to come ashore when the Dominion Monarch was in port and he would come to the Trades Hall in Vivien Street when Tony Noorts had a band there sometime in the '50s perhaps.  The music was all jazz, The Trades was a pretty rough spot at times.  One night the cops turned up with a wooden box with rope handles that they pretty much filled with knuckle dusters, chains and flick knives they removed from patrons many of whom were off ships.  Those Teddy Boys all showed off some pretty cool jive steps on the dance floor.  A very young Mike Gibbs used to hang around with his trumpet waiting to sit in too.  Later Tommy used to do a floor show at various places but his career was held back by his visually unpleasantly black teeth.  When he saved enough to have them capped his career blossomed.  Some time later he and I lived with our wives in an old  rooming house in Oriental Bay.  While our spouses were out working day jobs we would get up to mischief.  One time Tommy got the bright idea of dressing up in his wife's clothes with my enthusiastic help.  When she came home and found Tommy in a sultry pose she never spoke to me again.  When I was at Claridge's in Lower Hutt Tommy was a regular and popular entertainer, part of a circuit he did performing floor shows in dance halls and cabarets in the Hutt Valley and Wellington in the  course of an evening. - Rod Giddens
A time that I will never forget.  It was 1965, Miss South Canterbury Showtime spectacular!  And top of the bill Tommy Adderley and Lou and Simon, and the Big beat show band is "THE OTHERS" direct from THE PRIDE OF PLACE nightspot Christchurch.  The band's drummer and leader was the very well known Peter Dawkins and I was lead guitarist and Tommy's guitarist was none other than the famous Doug Jerebine, and yes we had a blast, about 10 days together doing shows around the south Canterbury area.  Tommy had not long prior toured NZ with THE PRETTY THINGS, and he couldn't stop talking about the fun they had.  At that point our Band was scheduled to split and myself and Peter Dawkins were to team up with Paul Muggleston and Gary Thain from THE SECRETS and we were off to the UK - this was the plan.  We told Tommy this, who said, quote, IF YOU EVER BUMP INTO ANY OF THE THINGS! PLEASE GIVE THEM TOMMY'S REGARDS.  He also gave me his mum's address in Birmingham to visit her - the rest is history.  The new band was formed ME AND THE OTHERS and off to the UK we went on an experience never to be forgotten. Refer to the story at 

Not long after being in London we met Viv Prince drummer for THE PRETTY THINGS and through Tommy's intro we played 2 weeks at his SOHO night club "KNUCKLES"  Viv became a close friend and got us a room to live next door to him in Chelsea along with Jet Harris original THE SHADOWS bass player.  All our success was by fine threads, and even now too the recent release of our album ME AND THE OTHERS UNCOVERED and NEW NADIR UNCOVERED recorded LONDON and GERMANY 1966-67.  Check out

All our success was due too many factors, but the KICK START we got was through TOMMY and every time I hear HEADBAND playing GOOD MORNING MR ROCK N ROLL, I think of all these wonderful memories as if it were yesterday.

And to conclude I will add something that many people would refuse to believe, but I swear this is 100% fact and to duplicate this, winning lotto would be easier.  In FEB 1967 I flew home on BOAC and it was always on my mind that I have too catch up with Tommy to tell him of our adventure.  There were many airport stops on the journey home, but when we stopped at Sydney, the lady who sat beside me from Heathrow got off as Sydney was her destination and people travelling on to Auckland got on, and TOMMY ADDERLEY WAS ALLOCATED that seat beside me!!  I cannot stress enough that this is 100% fact, Tommy had been working in Sydney and he was going back to Auckland.  So this completed my adventure.  I told Tommy our story and about our good friend Viv Prince that we did pass through Birmingham on the way to a Gig in Manchester but it was about 4.30 am in the morning and a bit early to knock on mum's door - and that's how it happened. TOMMY my dear friend thanks a million and see you at the top. -  Dave Chapman

I have very fond memories of Tommy.  I got to know him when he first arrived in Wellington.  He was a keen jazz singer, and an immaculate dresser.  I remember his tight, shiny, 3-button suits, and his were the first "winklepicker" shoes we saw - very long and very pointed.  He was a funny, kind and gentle man and always great to meet even if we hadn't seen each other for a few years.

Quite a few years after Tommy had died I was listening to the National Program and heard Tommy singing his wonderful version of "Some Other Time".  Quite honestly, I wept when I heard it - it's the most poignant version I have ever heard, and to me it was like a last goodbye to the world from Tommy.  I immediately contacted Radio New Zealand to see if the track or record could be obtained but drew a blank.

At the funeral of the late Don Richardson I met Dick La Fort, who as you may recall is a prominent record and programme producer.  Somehow, the topic of this version of "Some Other Time" came up, and lo and behold, Dick said that he had produced it!  He very kindly sent me a version of it, which I now enclose.  I hope you will place it on your site and allow his many friends and contemporaries to enjoy what I would describe as Tommy's masterpiece.  The accompanist is Terry Gray.  (If I'm infringing a copyright, I hope the holders will understand my motivation). - Noel Evans

Click on this play button to listen to "Some Other Time"  

On the sixteenth anniversary of his passing I visited Tommy's grave site with two close friends. David Stone who was with Tommy when he died & Steve Larkins another close musician friend.  Here is a photo Dave took at the grave site after we had swept it & placed fresh flowers with it.  It was very emotional as we three loved Tommy dearly just the same as many others did. - Larry Morris

Fondly remember the nights at Granpas, his awesome late night club, we had some fun, was doing a 6 night residency at Travelodge and always went up there at the weekends.  Remember the night Elton's manager whacked Judith, the kool house band with Mike Walker and Jimmy Hill, the regular cop busts, Tom's never say die attitude, a real trooper!  Truly NZ's Mr Rock n Soul!  - Peter Grattan
Some interesting memories of a fun guy.  One that sticks out was a gig at Paremoremo prison around 1975 and looking up while we were performing to see one of the inmates urinating in the corner of the room.  Not quite the way Johnny Cash would remember his prison shows!!! Always sad to lose real human beings. - Peter Caulton
I'll always remember those heady days at the 'Top 20'.  You rocked!  - Andy Shackleton 
Tommy was a great influence from the time I first saw him opening for the Kinks, Manfred Mann & the Honeycombs, at the Founders theatre in Hamilton 1964.  He was a warm friend a great listener. As nice a guy as you could ever meet. - Tom Sharplin
To view Tommy's page on '' <click here>
(click here to email me your tribute to Tommy and I'll add it in -

DEATH NOTICES (NZ Herald 9th February 1993)

Thanks for the times we shared.  A friendship remembered always with love and affection.  - Jan, Jo-Anne, and Michael
Tommy, a lovely gentle man, thanks for all the treasured memories.  We will always remember the good times with you at Grandpa's.  All our love - Dave, Maree, Jared and Mikaela Henderson
A wonderful entertainer and human being.  Our lives will be poorer without you.  I just don't understand.  You will always be remembered.  Peace brother.  - Philip and Pat Warren
On February 5, 1993, in Auckland.  Cherished memories of some great times at Godden Crescent, Tommy.  Goodbye, you dear, lovely, sweet man.  - Isolde (Sydney)
My best friend, my soul mate.  You will always have that very special part of my heart.  Till we meet again, my love.  - Leola and Nickola.
Thank you for bringing that extra warmth into our lives, a true friend, we will always love you. - Jimmy, Jacqui, Ron, Margaret, Billy and Tric.
A good friend of Dis and Lian.  Had some really good times.  See you in Rock and Roll Heaven.  All our love - Abe (Dis) and Lian and (Parry Comrade).
Dear, sweet, gentle, caring person.  Ricky will be so pleased to see his old mate.  Sing together in peaceful harmony.  Till we meet again.  - Carole Spencer.
A dear friend.  Always loved, never forgotten.  - Su, Dean and Gavin (in Auckland) and Fred, Sam, and Tracey (in Perth).
Thanks for your great music.  You will be missed. - Mike, Andy, Peter and Jim (The Premiers) and all from The Top 20 Club.
Remembering all the good times.  Sadly missed. - Linda Luxford, Margaret and Barry Greer and Terry (Australia).
What ever will NZ do to fill your shoes.  A dedicated man to our music.  A friend sadly missed. - Alan Broadbent.
A truly great friend of the Tauranga Jazz Society.  Will be sadly missed.
Much more than Mr Rock n Roll.  You will be sadly missed. - Brian, Irene and family.
Tommy, you were too marvellous for words. - Mauri Faierf and family, Hamilton.
Always a pleasure to meet up with you.  Love - Nancy Harrie.

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