Dennis O'Brien Profile

Redmer Yska
23 Mar 2015

Dennis O’Brien elbowed his way to pop’s heights, then gave it all away. On 20 February 1975, piano-playing vocalist O’Brien and his band strode onto the stage at rock’s most hallowed turf: the Marquee Club in London’s Wardour Street, where the Rolling Stones first performed live in 1962.

“From the first chord I was in heaven,” he recalls. “Here we were, a bunch of kids from Wellington gigging at the Marquee, finally getting a proper PA to play on. It didn’t get much better than this.”

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Dennis O'Brien in the studio, 1970s
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Dennis O'Brien, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
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Dennis O'Brien, Harrington Mews, UK
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Dennis O'Brien and The Heartbreakers at Quinn's Post, Upper Hutt, 1978
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Dennis O'Brien publicity shot, 1970s
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Triangle - Nedd Knowles, Nick Theobald, David Porter and Dennis O'Brien
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A Dennis Neil (sic) Transatlantic Records publicity shot from the mid-1970s
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No Punk! Dennis O'Brien tells the Dominion in 1978
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The poster for the CD compilation Still In the Same Dream – Songs 1972-1982, released by Dennis O'Brien's Slow Boat label in 2013
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A mid-70s UK Dennis O'Brien publicity shot
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Dennis O'Brien live in Wellington the mid-1970s
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Dennis O'Brien at The Marquee, London, 1975
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The European sleeve for Dennis O'Brien's 1979 album Any Other Face
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Dennis O'Brien - You Can Run
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The business card for the quartet of Dennis O'Brien, David Porter, Nick Theobald and Dave "Nedd" Knowles. Calling themselves Triangle, both Porter and Theobald would be key songwriting collaborators in Dennis O'Brien's solo career.
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Dennis O'Brien in Wellington, mid-1970s
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The 1980 album Still In The Same Dream, released by RCA under license from Wellington's Marmalade Studios. It was produced by James Hall with Dennis O'Brien.
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The Wellington Mayor in 1970, Sir Francis Kitts, likes Triangle
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Dennis O'Brien, 1978
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Dennis O'Brien wins Most Promising Male Vocalist at the 1978 NZ Music Awards at the White Heron Lodge in Parnell, Auckland. The award is being presented by Shona McFarlane and WEA's Tim Murcdoch looks on.
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Triangle in the early 1970s: Nedd Knowles, David Porter, Nick Theobald and Dennis O'Brien
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Dennis O'Brien - Julia
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Dennis O'Brien in London, 1978
Photo credit: Photo By Nic Swayze
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Dennis O’Brien in Wellington, mid-70s, with David Porter on percussion and Roger Watkins on drums
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The Evening Post tags Dennis O'Brien as an "unknown" in 1978
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The Evening Post notes that Dennis is artist of the month on 2ZM, 1978.
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Dennis O'Brien's grandmother wrote to Val Doonican in 1971 asking for advice on advancing Dennis' career. This was the reply.
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The New Zealand release of the 1976 Dennis Neal single Bluebird. The song was a cover of US songwriter Ronee Blakely's 1972 single.
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Dennis O'Brien - Any Other Face In The Rain
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Dennis O'Brien, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
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Mother Goose storm Wellington with guests Dennis O'Brien and The Heartbreakers, ANZAC Day, 1976
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The Rising Sons, Dennis O'Brien's 1967 beat band.
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Dennis O'Brien's third album, Strangers, recorded at Wellington's Marmalade Studios by Dave Ginnane, produced by James Hall, and released in 1982 on that studio's new Toast label
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Dennis O'Brien - She's In Love Again
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The Dennis O’Brien Band live at London’s Marquee Club in 1975, with Nick Theobald on bass and David Porter on drums
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Dennis O'Brien - You Don't Know How Lucky You Are
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Dennis O'Brien at The Marquee, London, February 1978
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The New Zealand sleeve for the 1979 Any Other Face album, with a superior sleeve to the European one, designed by Dave Kent and photographed by Jonathan Rowlands. It was issued in New Zealand by Ode Records.
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Dennis O'Brien recording in the mid-1970s
Photo credit: Dennis O'Brien collection
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Nick Theobald, Dennis O’Brien, with Roger Watkins behind, London July 1974
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Dennis O'Brien in London, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Eric Swayne
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The Dutch cover of the 1975 Dennis Neal single Cara Mia
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