Graham Brazier was that rarest of beings, a man totally true to himself.
Yes, there was all that rock-god stuff, but there was also courtesy and kindness personified.
The only time I ever saw him verge on being unpleasant to anyone was when a man walked into his shop and asked if he had any books on how to get ahead in business.
We became friends, somewhat to my surprise, about 10 years ago, after I asked him to write a review for a magazine I was editing.
The process was quintessentially Graham. I tried to track him down through his official website. This was, of course, something he knew nothing about. Somebody had made it for him but he had never been near it.
Eventually I wrote to him at 714 Dominion Rd, the site of his bookshop, and he wrote back.
He professed himself honoured to be invited to contribute to my magazine. I took this for typical false modesty, but soon learned it was genuine.
He did not email me the review but turned up at my door one rainy afternoon, with his retriever Kitty in one hand and the piece, hand-written on scraps of soggy paper, in the other.
My house lay on the route between his and the park where he walked Kitty. He would often drop in and we got to know each other over shared enthusiasms for Lou Reed, literature and liquor.
My over-riding memory will be that of a gentle and generous man. To pick one example from many, he contributed a piece to my anthology Grumpy Old Men, and I asked him if he would be interviewed for YouTube to promote it.
He immediately assented. But when I turned up with a friend and a camera, he didn't just say a few words but, sitting amid the chaos of his bookshop, played and sang a new song that was appropriate to the theme. (Google it - it's gorgeous.)
I always found it sad that he never accepted just how much he and his music meant to New Zealanders.
To go anywhere in his company was to be caught up in a slipstream of affection when people recognised him and, unusually for this country, bothered to tell him how much they admired him.
It was music that made him most himself. His solo recording Inside Out is one of the few perfect albums ever made in this county.
If you saw Hello Sailor in the 70s you were lucky indeed, for there had been no band before or since who embodied - to use a now debased term - the X factor, a quality which they maintained through the ups and downs of their erratic career.
More recently, his semi-impromptu cafe performances as a sort of human jukebox, killing everything from his own canon to songs by Chuck Berry and Elvis, were a wonder to experience.
He had been through a bad patch these past few years. But then there was Jo, the partner who seemed to appear out of nowhere and made a perfect fit, standing by Graham through late-life trials that clearly knocked him but from which, with her help, he was bouncing back.
The last time I saw him he was in better form than ever.
He had been recording new songs, was extraordinarily happy in his relationship with Jo and was looking at life as something to be enjoyed, talking about books and theatre pieces and songs he wanted to do.
It would be easy to regret that this work will be left undone.
But we should rather be grateful for the work he did and the example he set.