The drummer of influential New Zealand band The Swingers, Buster Stiggs, has died at age 63.

Mark Hough, who performed under the name Buster Stiggs, was a founding member of the band The Swingers.

He had health issues towards the end of his life including cancer of the blood and bone marrow - multiple myeloma.

Last year he created a gofundme page to help pay for medical costs.


Former bandmember and friend Bones Hillman - real name Warne Stevens - shared a tribute to Stiggs on Facebook.

"Farewell and Rest In Peace my dearest friend.

"I sadly got word that Buster Stiggs / Mark Hough had finally passed away after a long battle with health issues and over 20 operations during the last 7 years," the post said.

Everyone here at APRA is saddened to hear of the loss of Buster Stiggs, a truly iconic figure in the history of NZ music...

Posted by APRA AMCOS NZ on Sunday, 7 January 2018

In 1981 The Swingers realeased their biggest hit and the iconic Kiwi anthem Counting The Beat.

The band was created two years earlier when Stiggs and Hillman teamed up with Phil Judd who spent six months together writing songs Hillman wrote.

"It was a unique magical time we found our wings and recorded songs that actually charted and sold records, one in particular sold a s*** load and sat at number one on the charts for nearly two months in two countries.

"I will always cherish those times we spent deep in seclusion working on our craft," he said.

Crowded House frontman Neil Finn also paid tribute to Hough.

"I had the good fortune to share a house, make music and have many belly laughs with him. He put the swing into the Swingers," he tweeted.