Marc Hunter

Marc Hunter

'Some people like Marc have a flame that just burns so brightly they are restless and insatiable. They are relaxed, yet on the edge at the same time.' Tommy Emmanuel

Marc Hunter was a performer who had a major impact on the Australian music scene, more of an impact than even he realized. Living life to the full both off and on stage he was not only a consummate singer but also an excellent songwriter.

Born in New Zealand in 1953 Marc Hunter started playing drums in performances with his family before he reached his teens. Using this as his springboard he moved onto singing, eventually doing both with a local band called Quintessence. It wasn't until he was 20 that he got the opportunity to front a band as lead vocalist when his brother, Todd (guitarist), asked him to join his group Dragon.

Marc was a hit with the band and they picked up a local following around Auckland. They released they first album in 1974, touring the country to support it, the following year they toured Australia and hit rock bottom not only did their single flop but the band had all their equipment stolen.

It wasn't until 1976 that started to look up, the band signed to CBS and needing a hit pooled their resources and came up with "This Time". It was a success, making the Australian Top Thirty but coincided with them losing their drummer to heroin. Determined not to lose their momentum the band recruited another drummer and toured Australia again. This was when it all came together, Marc's singing fronted a band that began to gel and Dragon began to pick up a legion of fans.

Touring, further vinyl releases and chart success continued during 1977 and by the time of their November release expectations were high. The album "Running Free" went double platinum and spawned the hit single "April Sun in Cuba", co-written by Marc it underlined the musical abilities that Todd had seen when he first offered him a place in the band. In two years they had moved from despair to the number one band in Australia.

They following year they supported Boz Scaggs in New Zealand and undertook their biggest tour of Australia. The tour was a massive success and Marc was on top of his game, but backstage drugs had started to play a large part in his life. Back in the studio they recorded another hit album and a resultant Australian number one with "Are You Old Enough"

Dragon arrived in the US in November, but their lifestyle issues left them unable to impress audiences, critics or the record executives. Drug abuse started to make Marc a liability and, more importantly, started to take its toll on his voice - in March 1979 Marc was sacked from the band.
Marc took time out and recovered his health. While his resultant solo career, and brief reunion with Dragon, saw him receive some further critical and commercial success the pinnacle of his career was behind him and nothing could match those early glory years with Dragon.

  • Marc performs the title song to the 1985 Aussie file, "The Empty Beach".

  • Before joining Dragon Marc released a solo single "X-Ray Creature".

  • After being diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997 benefits were played across Australia highlighting the influence he had made on the music scene.

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