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Spider the man

Local identity 'Spider' (aka Peter Tekira) will be remembered as a talented musician and affable bloke.

The musician and top bloke we knew as Spider seemed to have been around forever and then he wasn't.

Born on March 3, Spider (aka Peter Tekira) died the day before his 66th birthday. He had lived with an illness for some time.

Spider was a local identity, albeit a quiet one, and most of us wouldn't have even known his birth name was Peter Garth Tekira because we all knew the affable bloke and talented musician as Spider.

Spider's siblings Toss, Robyn, Helen, Colleen, the late Kathleen and the late Lorna, though, called him Peter Boy.

Spider's son Garth doesn't know how Spider got to be called Spider, only that was what everyone called him and that Spider was the name of his disco. Garth was close to his dad and often ran discos with him.

“We did a lot of discos together. As a kid I was doing discos for Ilminster before I even got there. When I did get there I did discos for form one and two.”

As disco slowly gave way to DJs, gigs thinned for Spider's act although in the past few years he was a regular feature at the 2nd NZEF (New Zealand Expeditionary Force) Association club in Palmerston Road and at private birthday celebrations. He played a lot of 1950s and 1960s music to suit the crowd's tastes, says Garth.

Spider also played bass in his band the Outlaws. “Once I was old enough I ended up as drummer for his band,” says Garth.

“I used to go to his band practices and sit in the shed and watch people coming in for a jam. When they had a break I'd jump in and have a go on the drums.”

The Outlaws often performed at the Record Reign, the Bridge Hotel and private parties. After the Outlaws, Spider and Garth played with other bands but so many Garth can't remember them all.

Spider and Garth also sometimes mixed it up with his uncle, Ta Rutherford, when he wasn't playing lead guitar for New Zealand blues and R&B guitarist, harmonica player and singer Midge Marsden.

“They'd often get together when Midge wasn't playing,” says Garth.

They played mostly blues and rock-based music but Spider's disco music was the sound Garth heard as a boy at home — along with classic 1970s rock.

Spider also toured as bass player with Prince Tui Teka and was on the road with the musician when the former Maori Volcanics Showband member died.

“I grew up with a lot of disco but Dad really loved Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. He got into funky stuff right back to Pearly Shells,” says Garth.

Pearly Shells, or Pupu A ‘O ‘Ewa, is an old Hawaiian song often performed with Webley Edwards and Leon Pober's lyrics in English.

Spider also performed with his brother Judah on drums, Ta Rutherford on lead guitar, cousin Paul Anderson on keyboards and Garth on rhythm guitar and vocals in the band Ethnic Roots. The band won the Battle of the Bands in 2010 and 2011.

“We're slowly getting another band together,” says Garth.

“My daughter studied music in Palmerston North and did really well. She has come back to Gisborne and my nieces and nephews are also involved with the band.

“The new band could be called Ethnic Group Uprising.”

Spider's spirit lives on through music.

“He was a legend,” says Garth.

“All my heart.”

ALL HEART: Peter Tekira, widely known as Spider, was a quiet local musical identity who passed away the day before his 65th birthday this month. Picture supplied

  1. Jon Okeby, Sydney says:

    I am very sorry to learn of the death of Peter Tekira. From hanging his bass over my 15-year-old shoulders, and discos all over Gisborne and up and down the Coast, he inspired me with his love of music and life, and introduced me to great people. Chur bro, awesome times.