On Thursday, Peter Urlich and his late 70s-early 80s bandmates Th' Dudes, will be inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Songs like Walking in Light still have a huge place in the culture, as does Urlich who tells Spy the band changed his life by giving him a huge start in the music industry and showing him that he could make a living in New Zealand.

"It was a big confidence boost because, from day one, people liked us. The three founding members Dave Dobbyn, [the late] Ian Morris and myself were all at Sacred Heart College together — Bruce Hambling and Lez White joined us via a newspaper ad," he says.

Like Dobbyn, Urlich has stayed at the forefront of the music scene for over four decades, but in a much more eclectic way.

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In the 80s, alongside fellow nightlife impresario Mark Phillips, he paved the way for the modern nightlife scene, creating clubs at which the A-List of the time queued for admittance.


He said that the best thing about that time was creating spaces and environments where people could come and dance to the latest music and express themselves in a cool setting.

Later, Peter 'the Crooner' emerged.

"I've always loved Sinatra and his pack from my mother's music collection. How could you not love Frank? He was the epitome of urban cool. When we opened our restaurant, le Bom, we had a beautiful grand piano and I started crooning those songs after dinner with a pianist. Then I formed the Lawrence Quintet and we were immediately popular at notorious High Street nightclub Cause Celebre."

As the new century approached, Urlich won new fame for his DJ skills at clubs and Nice'n'Urlich was formed.

"That started as a Saturday morning radio show on bFM with dear friend Bevan Keys. I hosted and did the talking and BK played the vinyl. Eventually we played our first DJ gig in 97 and we are still going. Maybe we'll get into the DJ Hall of Fame."


The pair are still an in-demand act and will host their annual New Year party at Ostro to bring in the 2020s.

Urlich, 63, who is now husband to Danielle and dad to Joe, 17, and Stan, 13, cites this Thursday's honour as one of his life's favourites — as is the fact that Th' Dudes' music still lives on.

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And so does his career.

"People often ask me what I do and my answer is I'm an entertainer. But I'm also a kind of music consultant - if it needs music, I can do it!