Former Hello Sailor manager David Gapes: "In the business of rough and tough people, he was one of the gentlemen. He could write, sing, he was an instrumentalist. He's written some of New Zealand's most memorable songs."
McArtney founded Hello Sailor in the 1970s with musicians Graham Brazier and Harry Lyon. In 1977, he wrote and sang the group's classic tune Gutter Black (which was used more than two decades later as the theme song to the NZ tv series Outrageous Fortune).
McArtney later formed the '80s band Pink Flamingos. I remember seeing McArtney and the Flamingos perform in London in the early '90s, at an open-air NZ Day concert. Damn, he got the gig jumpin'!
He was twice nominated for the prestigious NZ songwriting award the Silver Scroll, and also had success as a music producer.
You may have been smart enough to catch him on the Hello Sailor reunion tour. If not, here's a retro clip of Hello Sailor performing Gutter Black live. Smooth sailing, Dave.