Buddy Wilson Profile

Andrea Low
19 Jan 2021

Rhythm guitarist Buddy Wilson (Te Arawa, Ngāti Rangitihi) was a fixture in many Auckland bands from the 1960s into the early 2000s. While closely associated with the legendary Ben Tawhiti, Buddy played in many clubs and with a wide variety of musicians in his long career.

Born at Whakatāne Hospital on 6 December 1937, Buddy was one of eight children. Tāneatua Wilson was Buddy’s father, and he was named after the little township where the family lived. Buddy’s mother was a Clements, of New Zealand born, English descent.

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Ben Tawhiti, Keith McIntyre, Alex Behrens, and Buddy Wilson, at the Milford Marina Hotel, Auckland, 1970.
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
Bill Sevesi talks with Buddy Wilson (Mercury Lane, 2003)
Buddy Wilson performing at the Milford Marina Hotel on Auckland's North Shore. 
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
The Mariners at their Milford Marina Hotel residency on Auckland's North Shore, 1971. From left; Ben Tawhiti, Alex Behrens, Keith McIntyre, and Buddy Wilson. 
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
Bill Sevesi's Orange Ballroom band, 1965. From left: Dave Paul, Bill Sevesi, Freddie Keil (vocals), Buddy Wilson, John Brooky (vocals), Bobby Wynyard, Malu Natapu. At back: Johnny Moore (drums).
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
The original Mariners at the Milford Marina Hotel on Auckland's North Shore in 1969. From left: Alex Behrens, Ben Tawhiti, Buddy Wilson, and Keith McIntyre.
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
Joe Rickit leading a band at the Bel Air coffee lounge on Airedale Street, Auckland, 1962; guitarist Buddy Wilson is in the foreground, wearing spectacles. 
Photo credit: Auckland Libraries, Rykenberg Collection, 1269-E171-32
At the Musos Reunion, Glenfield Tavern, Auckland. From left: Ben Tawhiti, Alex Behrens, Buddy Wilson, and Keith McIntyre. 
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
John Rowles and musician friends, at the Mon Desir Hotel, Takapuna. From left: Warren McMillan, Ben Tawhiti, John Rowles, Buddy Wilson, and Alex Behrens.
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
A gig in Mt Roskill. From left: Keith McIntyre, Buddy Wilson, Alex Behrens, and Ben Tawhiti.
Photo credit: Buddy Wilson collection
Buddy Wilson and his guitars. The Gibson, on the right, he bought for £176 in 1963 from Eady’s Music Shop in Queen Street, Auckland, and he played it for the rest of his career. The acoustic Ibanez, left, he was given by the staff at the Ministry of Education when he retired at 65.
Photo credit: Andrea Low
Ben Tawhiti and Buddy Wilson perform 'Ten Guitars', 1996