Dave Miller

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Dave Miller  —  seen here with The Playboys at the Laredon Nitespot, Christchurch

Dave Miller joined Christchurch group, The Playboys in Auckland in 1963 after the departure of singers Diane Jacobs (aka Dinah Lee) and Phil Garland, following a six-week residency deputising for Max Merritt and The Meteors at The Platterack.  That left Dave's drummer-brother Graeme along with guitarist Brian Ringrose (ex-Invaders), Mark Graham (rhythm guitar), John O'Neill (bass).  John O'Neill's brother then replaced Mark Graham.  Jacobs and Garland had been vocalists with The Saints rock'n'roll band in Christchurch during the early 1960s before forming The Playboys, who had a successful career around town performing at Church Dances such as the legendary Spencer Street, The Dolphin Lounge. The Caledonian Hall and later at The Laredo Nitespot.  After a popular residency at The Laredo in 1963 and 1964, The Playboys headed north for good, lured by Howard Morrison for his popular touring show.  There were already two successful international groups called The Playboys and thuso they became The Byrds  —  seemingly unaware of the American group of the same name —they then became Dave Miller and The Byrds.  Their first release was a snappy cover of Jimmy Reed's R&B Bright Lights Big City, a big local hit for Zodiac Records and the first of three singles, and an extended play for the label.  The EP featured blues standard Help Me, filmed with Dave Miller only in a rare clip. John O'Neill and Brian Ringrose left soon after, replaced respecively by Al Dunster and Chris Collier.  Success in the clubs and as a backing band pushed them on until 1966 when Miller and guitarist Dunster decided to make the hop to Sydney.  Miller would make an initial impact in Sydney as a compere and soloist, before forming The Dave Miller Set and landing a huge hit with the psychedelic mini-epic Mr Guy Fawkes in 1969


with The Playboys (and Phil Garland - left)

Dave Miller and The Byrds

The Dave Miller Set