Guitarist playing through the pain welcomes honour

Te Awamutu based guitarist Peter Posa would like it to be known he is not a recluse.

Posa, who has been given an MNZM for services to entertainment, was ranked number 66 on a programme on the country's top 100 music moments, to mark New Zealand music month in May.

"Everything was going well until at the end they said a car accident had left me a recluse.

"They made it sound like I never left my room."

While not a recluse, Posa , most famous for his instrumental The White Rabbit which made it to the top of the New Zealand and Australian charts in 1964, has had problems with depression and alcohol after the car accident in 1970, which left him in excruciating pain.

While painkillers help, they can only do so much, so Posa will often get up in the middle of the night and play the guitar for a couple of hours, one of the few things he knows which eases the pain.

"Once you've finished you really feel the pain again.

"The more you've been through sometimes makes you a better musician, a better person.

"It makes you more compassionate."

Posa, who has recorded over 20 albums during his career spanning more than 60 years, continues to perform, when he is not mentoring musicians. His greatest contribution, Posa says, is knowing the numerous guitarists and musicians he had inspired over the years.

"That gives me more fulfilment."

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