Hugh Lynn Profile

Murray Cammick
22 Aug 2014

Hugh Lynn was the master of the outdoor concert. In 1983 he promoted a David Bowie concert at Western Springs that drew a record-setting crowd of 82,500. During that same decade he also guided the career of Herbs and released their Pacific reggae recordings on his Warrior label.

This boom and bust of the 1980s decade would define the man, but Hugh Lynn’s entertainment empire, which included dance studios, nightclubs, a security company, concert promotion and a recording studio, had its roots in the 1960s.

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The Top 20 in 1967 - Hugo's Platter Party
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Hugh Lynn in the mid-70s
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Hugh Lynn on the East Coast in 2014
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Hugh Lynn in 1990, the year he retreated from the music business
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David Bowie at Western Springs – 80,000+ people in 1983
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Sunshop in Queen Street, just up from the Town Hall, was the popular retail outlet for Hugh Lynn's Crazy Shirts business, with a range of T-shirts, bags, posters and other hip gear of the era.
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The first Paul Dainty concert promoted by Hugh Lynn was the Rick Wakeman show at Auckland's Western Springs in 1975. A sellout, the former Yes keyboardist performed his ponderous Six Wives Of Henry The VIII.
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Young Hugh, aged about seven
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Hugh Lynn at the Top 20 in 1967
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Five year old Hugh Lynn in 1948
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The set of C'mon in 1967. Hugh Lynn is standing on the right.
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Hugh Lynn in the early 1970s
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A 1966 advert for Hugh Lynn's Eden Health Club
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Hugh Lynn in Indonesia, 2010
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The team at Hugh Lynn's Crazy Shirts in Queen Street in 1975
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In Sydney in the early 1960s. Hugh Lynn was the undefeated Latin American Ballroom Dancing champion of New Zealand between 1961 and 1966
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Hugh Lynn and the Stevie Wonder tour "advance car" across the road from the RipItUp offices in Auckland's Darby Street, early 1981
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The poster for the opening of the first punk club in Auckland, Diamond Dogs, in February 1978. The club was shortlived and soon renamed Gobbles Disco.
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Hugh Lynn in the Top 20, 1967
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Hugh Lynn dancing in 1957, aged 14
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An advert for the Top 20 Club in 1967. The compere, Hugo, was Hugh Lynn and he also ran the security.
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Advertisement for Hugh Lynn's Eden Defence School
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Hugh Lynn's four-band tour in 1986, headlined by Herbs. Hugh Lynn was a driving force in the renaissance of Māori music in the 1970s and 1980s, with his Mascot Studios providing cheap recording time to the likes of Dalvanius, Prince Tui Teka and many others.
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Eden Security's Alby Carr at Sweetwaters, year unknown
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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The aspiring promoter, 1966
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A flyer for Diamond Dogs, Auckland's first punk club. Hugh Lynn admitted he didn't understand or like what he saw and it lasted only two weeks.
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Hugh Lynn in the Stratford News in 1967
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Hugh Lynn, the young performer, in 1949
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A list of Hugh Lynn's companies on the inside of his early 1980s business card. These were all folded in the early 1990s when Hugh decided to take a break from the business.
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Hugh Lynn in 1987
Photo credit: Photo by Jocelyn Carlin
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Hugh Lynn, 1986
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Rare 1987 footage of Hugh Lynn.
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Hugh Lynn was the undefeated New Zealand Latin American Champion from 1961 to 1966. In Sydney in 1964 Lynn and dance partner Pamela Hotchkins were placed 6th in the world in Latin American at the World Amateur Ballroom Championship.

When Eden Security required only one man for a job, it was the gentle giant Alby Carr who would politely ensure that the guest list was observed at music industry events. Carr worked for Hugh Lynn for 20 years and he was also Lynn’s archivist, regularly stowing copies of all concert posters, ephemera etc, safely under Lynn’s house.

One of Hugh Lynn’s lower profile businesses was a guard dog training school. The Gorseland Kennels were run by two former police dog handlers.

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