Mr Lee Grant Profile

aka Bogdan Kominowski
Murray Cammick
30 Oct 2016

One of the highlights of New Zealand in 1967 was the country’s top pop star, Mr Lee Grant. A local lad on TV, he dressed so cool that he made other male performers on C’mon look like schoolteachers.

His mod or “proto-metrosexual” style angered many of his contemporaries, who learnt male etiquette from Barry Crump. But younger music fans – I was 13 years old – were not competing with Mr Lee Grant for the affections of the young women of the nation, so we had no reason to be annoyed that the style icon was setting the standard too high for the more mature young man.

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Mr Lee Grant pinup in Playdate - New Zealand's pop culture magazine of the 1960s.
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Mr Lee Grant gracing the cover of short-lived New Zealand music magazine Third Stream, March 1968
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Mr Lee Grant in Wellington's Botanic Gardens, July 1966; photo by Barry Clothier
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Dianne Cadwallader, manager of Mr Lee Grant, New Zealand's biggest star of 1967.
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A Bogan Kowminowski publicity shot from 1979
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Bogdan Kominowski in 2010 short film The Downbeat
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Bogdan Kominowski's single, 'Blue Angel' on UK Decca, 1979
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A December 1967 chart from the NZ Listener, compiled by the readers' postal votes. There are two New Zealand releases in the Top 20: Mr. Lee Grant has entered at No.10. It would get to No.2, kept off by Snoopy's Christmas, a single widely regarded as the biggest selling 45 ever in New Zealand. Larry's Rebels has peaked at No.4 with 'Dream Time'.
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Print ad for Mr Lee Grant's debut album, released by HMV in 1967. The LP included his version of the Bee Gees' breakthrough, 'Spicks and Specks'
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Mr Lee Grant with fans
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Mr Lee Grant - Thanks To You
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In June 1968 Mr Lee Grant returned briefly to New Zealand for a tour to promote the Mr Lee in London album
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Mr Lee Grant circa 1964
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A-Side to the 1981 Bogdan single
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Biography in the C'mon tour programme, July-August 1967. It notes that Grant has his own weekly radio programme, and that The Avengers TV star Diana Rigg is an honorary member of his fan club
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Mr Lee Grant tops an impressive bill at an all-star Gigantic Rave!, July 1967. The venue is the Deaf Welfare Centre, Mt Eden Road, Auckland
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Mr. Lee Grant at The Top Hat in Napier, 1968
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Mr Lee in London, HMV, 1968. Mr Lee's Grant's second album was produced in Wellington by Howard Gable, with Garth Young as musical director; the cover photograph was also taken in New Zealand. It featured recent pop standards such as 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me', 'Stop in the Name of Love' and 'The Wanderer'.
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The Cyclones' first practice with Bogdan Kominowski (later Mr Lee Grant). Mike Findlay (left) Bernie Findlay (rear) Paddy Beach (out of shot)
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Mr Lee Grant with Trevor King, Kerridge-Odeon's South Island road manager, c1967.
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Bogdan Kominowski with Grace Jones in 1985 James Bond film A View To A Kill
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Bogdan Kominowski of London stage, screen and TV fame, 1980s
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Mr. Lee Grant at The Top Hat in Napier, 1968
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Mr. Lee Grant recording his second album in the HMV studio, Wellington, 1968; engineer Peter Hitchcock is seated at the desk
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The casual mosaic-mod jacket and foldover tie look
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Mr Lee Grant's debut single 'Doo Doodle Do Doo' first appeared on the Viscount label in 1966; the Sierras provided the backing. After the success of 'Thanks to You' in 1967, it was re-released by Zodiac. 
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C'mon star Mr Lee Grant goes down to Otaki on the Kapiti Coast, 1967. Support acts were the Simple Image, Paddy & Dale - a Sonny & Cher-style act from Levin - and and a fashion parade organised by Dianne Cadwallader's mother. Compered by 2ZB pop deejay Justin du Fresne.
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Grant's trademark fold-over tie is prominent in this colour portrait from the tumultuous 1967-1968 period
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Mr Lee Grant packs his mod threads, c1967
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Poster for Mr Lee Grant's Auckland farewell gigs, 24 February 1968, before he flew to London on a "Qantas Pacesetter". 
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Mr Lee Grant, before going "mod", c1965
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Mr Lee Grant tops the bill of a three-day series of shows at the Top 20 club, Durham Lane, Auckland; June 1967. Among the other acts were Sandy Edmonds, Larry's Rebels and the Brew. The Sunday show was an "all-nite rave": 10 hours of non-stop dancing from 8.00pm until 6.00am
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Recording his second album at HMV studio, Wakefield Street, Wellington, 1968
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Picture sleeve of 'Who Do You Think You Are', a single by Bogdan on the Brilliant label, 1981
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Mr. Lee Grant in Levin, Feb. 20, 1968. The toddler is a 4 yr old fan, Marcene Trass.
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Mr. Lee Grant signing autographs in 1968
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Mr Lee Grant with HMV recording manager Graham Feasey, the night 'Thanks to You' won the Loxene Golden Disc, Wellington, November 1967. Grant then phoned his mother
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The Avengers with Mr. Lee Grant rehearsing on the 1967 Golden Disc Spectacular
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Letter from Mr Lee Grant to Hawkes Bay deejay Keith Richardson, March 1966: "Caught the 'Stones' Monday night show. Ended in a riot". A year later ... 
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Playdate magazine, July 1966 - Mr. Lee Grant's new solo career and Alan Galbraith joins Sounds Unlimited
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Mr Lee Grant with his master: HMV (NZ) Ltd's formidable managing director Alfred Wyness, 1967
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Mr. Lee Grant with his 1967 Golden Disc, surrounded by runners-up The Avengers. The black and white image doesn't do justice to Mr. Lee's scarlet tunic. His acceptance was "I owe this award to all who voted for me – it's thanks to you."
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The iconic cover art for Mr Lee’s debut album. With Mr Lee sporting clothing supplied by His Lordships, the photography was by Sal Criscillo and design by Peter Burge. HMV obviously pulled out all the stops for the recording, putting on an all-star team: the album was produced by Howard Gable and Nick Karavias; engineered by Peter Hitchcock; and musical arrangements by Jimmie Sloggett and Garth Young.
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Talking to the fans, circa 1968
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An autographed photo from Mr Lee Grant, taken around 1966
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The Weekly News had a massive circulation in the 1960s. Mr Lee Grant made the cover in November 1967 with his Entertainer of the Year trophy, wearing a corduroy jacket
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Mr Lee Grant on the cover of Teen Beat, August 1966
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Mr. Lee Grant grapples with hysterical teen mania at Auckland Town Hall, 1967
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Mr. Lee Grant grapples with hysterical teen mania at Auckland Town Hall, 1967
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Mr Lee Grant thanks deejay Keith Richardson; the photo is from c1965 
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Mr Lee Grant in 1968, venue unknown
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Labels:

Viscount


HMV


Decca

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Trivia:

Grant was pictured in the Sunday News (19 March 1967) doing a seven-up hula-hoop performance. He was keeping seven hula-hoops airborne! The newspaper reported that “Go-Go dancing with that gyrating action makes every ‘with it’ teenager a natural for twirling a hula-hoop.”

Bogdan Kominowski has appeared in film and television, including a role in the 1985 James Bond film A View To A Kill, Reilly Ace of Spies and Flash Gordon.

In London, Lee Grant recorded his first single ‘A Little Love And Understanding’ on the Decca label with several backing vocalists including Kiki Dee and Reggie Dwight, who was soon to become famous as Elton John.

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