Don Mills

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Full Name:  Donald Mills
Hometown:  Christchurch
Musical Background:  
Instruments Played:  Keyboards
Career Began:  
Groups:  Beam, About Time
Career:  Currently playing with "About Time"

  Award presented 2009

Don was born in Christchurch and began his music career at the age of 8 learning the piano accordion.  As a youngster, he won many awards including New Zealand Accordion Champion in 1961.  Don left school at 16 and worked in Sedley Wells music shop for 4 years.  It was at this stage that he turned to playing the organ, which is still his main love today. He has fond memories of sneaking out the back door of Sedley Wells on a Friday night to play at Chequers nightclub which was in the same building.  Don then joined Pete Ward and the Prophets at the Caledonian Ballroom and later the Premiers and then a band called Beam who toured the North Island and backed many top artists.  BEAM performed at many of the Xmas/New Year holiday shows together with the entertainers from the hugely popular Happen Inn and Popco television series before securing a slot themselves on the top television show Freeride which featured Ray Columbus and saw them performing every second Saturday night.  In 1975 Don joined the heavy metal band Think who wrote and played almost all of their own material as well as covering numbers by Pink Floyd and Deep Purple.  Think played at many of the top hotels and clubs in the country and won the 1975 New Zealand Battle of the Bands in October of that year.