New Zealand / Music

Music icon Dave Dobbyn 'honoured and humbled' by knighthood

17:02 pm on 31 December 2020

The Outlook for Thursday for Dave Dobbyn was a stunner, with the news he is being knighted in this year's New Year's Honours for his Loyal service to New Zealand music.

However, he admits it hasn't been all bliss.

Dave Dobbyn Photo: Supplied

Some of his songs, such as Slice of Heaven, Outlook for Thursday and Loyal, have become singalong standards - but he was "flabbergasted" to get the call.

"I was shaking when it happened - luckily I was with my wife and my manager when it happened so I had someone to hold onto....

"Telling people is all brand new and I haven't thought about what people's reactions will be because I'm still struggling with my own, apart from being totally honoured, flabbergasted and humbled."

The 63-year-old burst onto the scene with Th' Dudes in 1979, and enjoyed further success with his band DD Smash and then as a solo artist.

He was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit back in 2003 for services to music.

The knighthood - which he described as an "enormous slap on the back" - was on behalf of the community of which he was a part, he said.

"In this pandemic, people's need for art and music has come to the fore in an achingly obvious way.

"Since we got to the level where we can play gigs, at first to limited numbers, and then to full houses, theatres, even stadiums, people have been so relieved to play and let their hair down.

"Of course I've let all mine down, since I don't have any [hair] any more!"

Dave Dobbyn and manager Lorraine Barry. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Dobbyn said all artists were ultimately trying to create something that lasted - and if a three-minute song lasted a couple of generations, that was achievement enough for him.

"You've got to come up with the goods, it's got to have value in a cultural sense or it's just wallpaper.

"As excited as people get about the music business, it comes down to the quality of that wallpaper."

Dobbyn shows no sign of slowing down.

On Tuesday night he performed in front of thousands at Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne. He is shortly headed to Bay Dreams - both North and South - One Love, and others.

"I've got festivals coming out my ears, it's a bottle neck for New Zealand acts at the moment, we're bumping up against each other....

"Come February I will be able to sit down and take a breath."

Meanwhile, despite the new title, he will not be standing on ceremony.

"I was brought up an Irish Catholic, so it's not in genes to gloat or boast...

"You can call me 'hey you', if you like, or 'mate'. That tends to cover it."