Peter Posa

aka Peter Posa & His Golden Guitar, The Multi Guitars of Peter Posa, The Peter Posa Combo

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.

Peter Posa
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.
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
Photo credit:
Peter Posa on Sunday, 2003
Peter Posa poses for Playdate pin-up, August 1963
Demis Roussos with Peter Posa in the late 1970s
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
Publicity still of "Peter Posa of Henderson Valley", from the files of the West Coast Gazette, 1962.
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections JTD-1814-01950
Viking Records publicity shot
Peter Posa plays White Rabbit and Guitar Boogie live, c. 2011
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, mid to late 1960s
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.
Peter Posa and songwriter Margaret Raggett, who composed many of the singles released by Gisborne's Kini Quartet
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News, 7 December 1961
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
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
A publicity shot for Peter Posa's White Rabbit single
The 1964 album The Mad Hatter
Peter Posa writes to Keith Richardson: "met Sinatra and Dean Martin"
Viking publicity shot, 1964
Viking publicity shot, 1964.
Peter Posa Scottish And Irish Medley (live 2011)
Peter Posa performs The White Rabbit, 1984
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.
Ray Woolf, Peter Posa and Eldred Stebbing in Wellington on the Helen Shapiro tour, 1962
Photo credit: © Bruce King
Bill Sevesi applauds Peter Posa at the 1999 APRA Silver Scroll Awards
The infamous White Rabbit cover
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 (right) recording with the Kini Quartet in Gisborne in 1962. Zodiac Records' Eldred Stebbing was recording the session.
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Peter with Dean Martin in LA, 1964. On the left is Viking Records co-owner and producer Ron Dalton
Dinah Lee and Peter Posa
In Sydney (with Posa's handwritten notes)
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Peter Posa
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 at Eldred Stebbing's Saratoga Avenue recording studio, early 1960s
Photo credit: Grant Gillanders Collection
Peter Posa on Seven Sharp, 2015
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
Peter Posa, a 2013 portrait. 
Photo credit: Larry Killip

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).

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.



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