Laurie Dee and Beam
Wally Dunn (Bass Guitar), Chris Whitehead (Drums), Don Mills (Keyboards), Phil Whitehead (Guitar), and Laurie Dee (Vocals)
Formed in Christchurch as Beam Unity, but changing their name to Beam whilst on the pub circuit, and eventually becoming Laurie Dee and Beam. the group was a quinessential "pub" band - a top forty band who spent most of their entire career on the road. Wally Dunn was replaced by Tony McMaster on bass and Phil Whitehead was replaced on guitar by Harry Lyon, who was in turn replaced by Larry McKay. Phil Whitehead went on to a short stint with Human Instinct, before joining Think. Whilst touring the country was an entirely different experience for Harry, and despite a lack of enthusiasm for the chosen music, it was an exciting lifestyle at first, but after about three months, Harry joined the others in their boredom, being replaced by Larry McKay. Harry went on to join Hello Sailor. In March 1975, Don Mills left to join Phil Whitehead in heavy metal band Think. Chris Whitehead soon called it a day, and the band was no more. Ultimately the band had featured on the TVNZ Free Ride TV Show, which saw Laurie Dee invited to be part of Kevan Moore's musical covers show Sing - albeit without the band.
During their time, the group recorded three singles, the first of which was Bus Rider // We Can Work It Out (as Beam Unity in 1972), then Teach Me How To Fly // The Road (as Beam in 1973), the last was Freedom // Harmony (recorded as Laurie Dee and Beam), in 1974.
Laurie Dee's real name was Laurie Herdman, and his home town was Christchurch. He had released a solo single in 1975 called I Wanna Do It All // My Love And I, but is almost certainly best remembered for his 1981 rendition of Wink Martindale's Deck Of Cards // The Biggest Parakeets In Town - a record with a distinct rugby flavour, released on RCA Victor. 1982 saw the release of The Diet Song // That Ain't No Stuff again on RCA Victor. He recorded one album which was his Greatest Hits in 1981.