Interview with Todd Hunter (Dragon)


Casper spoke to Todd Hunter about what to expect from the tour and life on the road.

Iconic band Dragon are back after a raft of sell-out Countdown performances throughout 2016 with round two of the popular tour. Countdown Oz Chartbusters will see Dragon celebrate the best of the Australian charttoppers, and a swag of the band’s own finest hits. The Countdown Australian Edition is an opportunity for music fans to celebrate an Australian party institution, with a band who know how to put on a celebration. Kicking off the tour in April, the more than two dozen dates run through until October.

Dragon’s The Countdown Years tour took them on an extensive tour around Australia in 2016 and garnered them acclaim. With their return on the Countdown Oz Chartbusters tour, the band will be heading to venues they hand-picked for this run. It not only gives them a chance to visit towns they haven’t been to in a while – or in some circumstances, to towns they haven’t performed at with the Phoenix Years line-up at all – but also to venues that have been on their gig wish list for a while.
After a massive 2016, the band can’t wait to relive the fun of the Countdown experience again in 2017. “The Countdown Years tour in 2016 was one of the most fun things we’ve ever undertaken,” says bassist Todd Hunter. “We thought people would be interested, but were unprepared for the level of affection everyone has for the songs of the Countdown years. Practically every song brought a roar of recognition and applause from the first bar and the crowd would be singing from the first chorus onwards. We had such a great time with it that we are going out in 2017 to cover the many places and cities we didn’t get to the first time around.”

In picking songs to make up the ‘chart-busting’ component of the Oz Chartbusters part of the Countdown tour, Dragon have had their hands full. With bands such as Skyhooks, Mondo Rock and Axiom to choose from, there was a long list of potential hits to perform. “It’s been so great playing these songs by other people,” says Todd. “Even though they are incredibly diverse, there is such an Australasian character that comes through. From Sherbet to AC/DC, it’s great to pay homage to the music that was the soundtrack to all our lives.”

Of course, in any Dragon show, no set-list would be complete without their own chart-toppers. Audiences can expect smash hits such as April Sun in Cuba, Rain, Young Years, Still In Love, Dreams of Ordinary Men and Are You Old Enough. No concert would be complete without these Dragon party anthems. This – coupled with the hand-picked favourites – will make an unforgettable concert. Countdown Oz Chartbusters is an exciting opportunity to traverse some of the biggest Aussie hits of the 1970s and 1980s with one of the most iconic bands of our time.

It is widely recognised within the band that Countdown was responsible for the rise of Dragon in the late 1970s. Late lead singer Marc Hunter was interviewed by host Molly Meldrum numerous times and the band not only appeared on the show to perform their current singles, but also some obscure tracks as well. During the early years of the show, Dragon members would dress up in ridiculous outfits and dye their hair in outrageous colours in a bid to stand out from the crowds of bands who were around on the scene at the time. They had a warm, but complicated, relationship with Molly. He liked the band’s catchy pop songs and raffish charisma, but often had a stern word for them on Humdrum after they had acted in a particularly disgraceful fashion.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dragon dominated the Australian music scene. Their live shows were unsurpassed and their notorious rock n roll outlaw lifestyle was well documented. Ever since then, they’ve continued to release hits, pack live music houses and create generations of new fans throughout New Zealand and Australia. In 1977, Dragon won Best New Group and in 1978 won the Outstanding Local Achievement award for the then Australian music awards TV Week King of Pop Awards. In July 2008, Dragon were again recognised by their adoptive country when they were inducted into the Australian ARIA Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Saturday 8th April 2017 Anita’s Theatre, THIRROUL NSW

Sunday 9th April 2017 The Co-op, CHURCH POINT NSW (02) 9979 6633

Friday 28th April 2017 Blue Cattle Dog, ST CLAIR NSW

Saturday 29th April 2017 Mingara Recreation Club, MINGARA NSW

Saturday 6th May 2017 Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club, EASTWOOD NSW

Friday 12th May 2017 The Brewery, ROUSE HILL NSW

Friday 26th May 2017 Wagga Home Tavern, WAGGA WAGGA NSW

Saturday 27th May 2017 Kinross Woolshed, ALBURY NSW

Friday 2nd June 2017 Astor Hotel, GOULBURN NSW

Saturday 3rd June 2017 The Oaks Hotel, ALBION PARK NSW

Friday 9th June 2017 Lizottes, NEWCASTLE NSW

Saturday 10th June 2017 Canterbury Leagues Club, CANTERBURY NSW

Friday 16th June 2017 Dee Why RSL, DEE WHY NSW

Saturday 17th June 2017 Wenty Leagues, WENTWORTHVILLE NSW

Friday 30th June 2017 Taren Point Hotel, TAREN POINT NSW

Friday 14th July 2017 Kingston Arts Centre, MOORABBIN VIC

Saturday 22nd July 2017 Hornsby RSL, HORNSBY NSW

Friday 28th July 2017 Beach House Hotel, HERVEY BAY QLD

Saturday 29th July 2017 Twin Towns, TWEED HEADS NSW

Saturday 5th August 2017 Norths Leagues, NORTH SYDNEY NSW

Saturday 12th August 2017 Castle Hill RSL, CASTLE HILL NSW

Friday 6th October 2017 Hamilton Hotel, BRISBANE QLD

Saturday 7th October 2017 Villa Noosa Hotel, NOOSAVILLE QLD

Saturday 14th October 2017 The Cube, CAMPBELLTOWN NSW

Sunday 22nd October 2017 Towradgi Beach Hotel – Sports Bar, TOWRADGI NSW

Tickets for Dragon’s Countdown Oz Chartbusters tour are on sale now. For more information, please visit

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