Dinah Lee Stories

Queen of the mods

My book Sweet As: Journeys in a New Zealand Summer has had many positive responses, not least from a young woman who emailed me saying her aunt used to manage Dinah Lee – my search for a very rare Lee 45 is one strand of the book – and if I ever wanted to meet said aunt she would be happy to chat on her days as Dinah’s first lady. Of course I was interested and while back in Auckland in March 2013, I visited Bobi Petch at her home in Parnell. 

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Dinah Lee, sixties fashionista

Self-decoration to stand out or to fit in has always been part of human nature. War-paint, beads, fabric, tattoo and mask have endured through the millennia as tribal markers or beautification. They’re as prevalent as ever today, making it harder and harder for performing artists to settle on a visual ID that will attract focus above the heads of the crowd.

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