76 | Dave Dobbyn - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

76 | Dave Dobbyn - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 76 - Dave Dobbyn (Down 55 from 21 last year)

When it comes to the greatest kiwi musicians of all time, you can’t go past one Sir David Joseph Dobbyn, Dave Dobbyn to his mates - which are, of course… well… all of us.

From the Dudes to DD Smash and his plethora of solo work, Dave’s been responsible for pumping out the kiwi anthems of a generation.  A few generations in fact.

Dave Dobbyn was born January third, 1957 in Glen Innes to tour bus driver Terry Dobbyn and mum Molly.  His early musical influences included the songs from the church over the road, the Irish ditties his father listened to, and various radio stations he could pick up on his family’s radiogram.

After leaving school he would work at a bank before trying teacher’s training college.  It wasn’t for him, so he started jamming with some old schoolmates - Ian Morris and Peter Urlich - Th’Dude’s were born.

Bliss, Be Mine Tonight, Walking In Light, Right First Time.  Th’ Dudes would shine a spotlight onto an otherwise shy Dave Dobbyn.  In fact, in early gigs, Dave closed his eyes to help with his stage fright.

DD Smash formed in 1980.  The album was Cool Bananas, it entered the charts at #1 in 1982. 

Then, in 1984, Dobbyn was setting up for an outdoor concert at Aotea Square.  The power went off.  The crowd, restless, began throwing beer bottles.  The police intervened… which would start what became known as the Queen Street Riots.  

Dave was charged with inciting the crowd but in the end, was found not guilty.

DD Smash folded in the mid-’80s kicking off one of the greatest solo careers in New Zealand history.

From You Oughta Be In Love and Slice of Heaven from the Footrot Flats soundtrack, to Love You Like I Should, Loyal and Beside You, Dobbyn is a veritable hit parade in his own right.

In 2005, Welcome Home felt like it spoke to our new Kiwis, coming from all over the world.  But it also spoke to old Kiwis about how special Aotearoa actually is.

Sir Dave Dobbyn.  Songwriter.  Performer.  A bloody nice guy.  And one of the Greatest Kiwis of all time.