Larry Morris, musician and Kiwi rocker has passed away
NZ Music Hall of Famer Larry Morris has passed away late on Tuesday night, leaving behind a music career spanning more than 50 years.
Morris was a legend of the New Zealand music scene, who still performed up until recently at local Auckland bars.
Long-time friend and singer/songwriter Rietta Austin said Morris was a best mate.
“He was one of those people who inspired you, he could be himself in a world of music where nobody is allowed to be themselves any more.”
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“He was just an awesome dude.”
The pair had performed many times together and had planned to do more songwriting in the future.
Morris was a musical hero in New Zealand – someone who was genuinely talented and a freaking great mate, she said.
“He was a rebel to the end.”
Posting about his passing, the NZ Music Hall of Fame called Larry’s Rebels the first great homegrown pop band of the modern pop era.
“Our condolences go out to all who knew Larry (and that’s a lot!), his friends, family, and to the Rebels – Viv, Nooky, Terry and John.”
“Rest in peace Larry”.
AudioCulture’s Simon Grigg said Morris was one of the greatest figures in New Zealand music.
“Talented both as a singer and a songwriter, absolutely unique and a man who defined his era,” he wrote in a tribute to the late rock star.
There has been an outpouring of tributes for Morris online, with many calling him one of the best ever Kiwi entertainers.
Speaking to Stuff before his 70th birthday in 2017, Morris said he was in the happiest space he had ever been in his life.
“I have a wonderful wife, Gloria, I’m looking after my parents with her help. I have just released two records. Life couldn’t be better.
“[Early in my career], when it came time to sort out a name for the band, the other members said, ‘well, Larry is the frontman, let’s call it Larry’s Rebels. I was very anti the idea, because it wasn’t my band but Nooky, Terry and John were emphatic it was the way to go. I would have preferred it had had just stayed as The Rebels, but that’s not how it turned out and the rest, as they say, is history.”
In their early days Larry’s Rebel became part of New Zealand pop history with five consecutive top 10 hits and a style and swagger about them that led their management company to use the phrase “lock up your daughters: Larry’s Rebels are coming to town”.