Peter Posa Profile

aka Peter Posa & His Golden Guitar, The Multi Guitars of Peter Posa, The Peter Posa Combo
Grant Gillanders
Published: 10 May 2013
Updated: 22 Oct 2020

One of the most successful and prolific New Zealand musicians of all time, 1960s superstar Peter Posa was born in 1941 and grew up in Auckland’s Henderson Valley.

By the time he was seven, Posa had started playing the ukulele. While his mates were content with model planes and trains, Posa would scour the family vineyard for suitable pieces of wood to carve or cut into model guitar shapes. His father’s tools weren’t safe and neither was his mother’s clothesline wire, which would be cut and unravelled for the strings, with nails banged in on the guitar head for tuning keys.

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Viking publicity shot, 1964.
In 1965 Seven Seas - Viking's publishing arm - published a songbook of Peter Posa's greatest hits. It features six pieces, with words to instrumentals such as 'White Rabbit' written by Sam Freedman. It is available online at peterposa.com/music.html
Photo credit: PeterPosa.com
In Sydney (with Posa's handwritten notes)
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Peter Posa plays White Rabbit and Guitar Boogie live, c. 2011
Peter Posa, a 2013 portrait. 
Photo credit: Larry Killip
Miss New Zealand Tour 1965. From top left: Fred Whitaker, Sam Mateparae, Wez Taiaroa, Lou Clauson, Ian Saxon, Simon Mehana, Peter Posa. Middle: John Hore, Howard Morrison, Miss NZ 1965 Gay Phelps, Keri Northover. Front: Gary Wahrlich, Rim D. Paul. Photo Review Dunedin, July 1965
Peter with Dean Martin in LA, 1964. On the left is Viking Records co-owner and producer Ron Dalton
The infamous White Rabbit cover
Peter Posa writes to Keith Richardson: "met Sinatra and Dean Martin"
The 1962 Dance With The Guitar Man EP. The title track was a Duane Eddy song, and it included 'Wheels', one of Peter's biggest hits.
Peter Posa performs The White Rabbit, 1984
The Showtime Spectacular 1963 tour reaches the Opera House, Wellington. On the bill were the Howard Morrison Quartet, Peter Posa, Lyn Barnett, Rusty Greaves, and Max Merritt and his Meteors [sic]. Morrison was annoyed that Miller had let a co-promoter, James Haddleton, organise the tour - while still taking his fee.
Photo credit: Cabot collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, Eph-C-CABOT-Music-1963-01.
Peter Posa
Bill Sevesi applauds Peter Posa at the 1999 APRA Silver Scroll Awards
Viking publicity shot, 1964
Ray Woolf, Peter Posa and Eldred Stebbing in Wellington on the Helen Shapiro tour, 1962
Photo credit: © Bruce King
Peter Posa (right) recording with the Kini Quartet in Gisborne in 1962. Zodiac Records' Eldred Stebbing was recording the session.
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Peter Posa on Sunday, 2003
Demis Roussos with Peter Posa in the late 1970s
Country and western: pictured after visiting Nga-whatu Hospital, while on a Joe Brown tour, are (L-R) Paul Walden, John Hore and Peter Posa; on the horse is "Senor" Howard Morrison. From the Nelson Photo News, 17 Sept 1966.
Toni Williams sings his 1976 hit written by Peter Posa, 'Rose (Can I Share A Bed With You)', in a 1992 TV special.
Peter Posa Scottish And Irish Medley (live 2011)
Peter Posa at Eldred Stebbing's Saratoga Avenue recording studio, early 1960s
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
A New Zealand supergroup: Peter Posa, Ray Columbus, Billy Kristian, Jimmy Hill and Mike Walker on stage in the early 1970s, venue unknown.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
The 1964 album The Mad Hatter
Peter Posa on Seven Sharp, 2015
String Along With Peter Posa, his first album, released in 1962. The album cover was shot in Eldred and Margaret Stebbing's living room in Saratoga Ave, Herne Bay.
Peter Posa with Frank Sinatra in 1964 in Las Vegas. On the right is J.N. Haddleton, Posa's manager and on the left, Viking Records co-owner and producer Ron Dalton.
A publicity shot for Peter Posa's White Rabbit single
An early 1960s Jansen guitar ad, obviously negotiated by Zodiac, and a tie-in with the well-known Queen Street store, Sydney Eady.
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Viking Records publicity shot
Miss NZ Tour 1965. From top left: Fred Whitaker, Sam Mateparae, Wez Taiaroa, Lou Clauson, Ian Saxon, Simon Mehana, Peter Posa. Middle: John Hore, Howard Morrison, Miss NZ 1965 Gay Phelps, Keri Northover. Front: Gary Wahrlich, Rim D. Paul.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Rim D. Paul Collection at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Peter Posa and songwriter Margaret Raggett, who composed many of the singles released by Gisborne's Kini Quartet
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Dinah Lee and Peter Posa
Peter Posa, mid to late 1960s
Peter Posa
Peter Posa was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa in 2020. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.
Labels:

Zodiac


Viking

Trivia:

Posa wrote a track called ‘?’ issued on a Viking single under that name. A radio contest followed to name it. The winning name was Flapjack and under that name it appeared on his next Viking LP.

'White Rabbit' is alleged to have sold 100,000 copies in NZ in the 1960s. If that figure is accurate it puts it in the top 3 selling New Zealand singles in NZ ever (the other two are The Rumour and Johnny Devlin).