but I f***king sure as hell tried.…

I was accused in a com­ment to a pre­vi­ous post of liv­ing in the eight­ies. It’s not true, I swear – this last week I’ve been liv­ing in the sev­en­ties, and with some glee too, I admit.

What I’ve been doing over the last few months, on and off, is try­ing to doc­u­ment a lit­tle bit more of the punk explo­sion that hit Auck­land, New Zealand, along, of course, with much of the rest of the world, back in the last part of that decade.

I’ve been want­i­ng to do, with mixed suc­cess, to get a piece wrote for Rip It Up magazine’s quar­ter­ly off­shoot, XTRA, in mid-1980, onto the inter­net. The item in ques­tion was a fam­i­ly tree of the Auck­land punk move­ment, with the links that joined all the bands, as con­vo­lut­ed as they were, indi­cat­ed. It was, clear­ly, inspired by Pete Frame’s Rock Fam­i­ly Trees, which I had been, across sev­er­al books, and had spent god knows how many hours study­ing, enthralled by the nerdy detail.

To be hon­est, I’m also try­ing to cir­cum­vent the reg­u­lar requests I’ve had in recent years for a pho­to­copy of my (less­er) ver­sion of Mr Frame’s mas­ter­w­erk, which stretch­es across two broad­sheet pages, and is full of graph­ics and as much triv­ia as I could fit.

That is not an easy task on an A4 copi­er, and the scan I spent two hours try­ing to do, was a com­plete dis­as­ter. So I decid­ed to put it online, or at least a repli­ca of it.

The sto­ry of the actu­al piece is on the page, but the key to it was clear­ly to try and include a graph­ic to cov­er the infor­ma­tion in a web acces­si­ble way. I decid­ed, in my web ama­teur way, to put the bands’ bios (which I would not change from the 1980 orig­i­nal, com­plete with unfin­ished end­ings – the March­ing Girls, as Bren­dan right­ly point­ed out to me, is par­tic­u­lar­ly incom­plete when you look at Brendan’s post MG’s career – but if you change one you need to them all, and I’ve tried to cov­er what I know in this page) in pop-up lay­ers, which popped up when you did a mouse-over of the band’s name.

And so I tried and tried. I actu­al­ly got it to work for one day, and then I applied the Dreamweaver tem­plate to the page, and all sorts of odd things hap­pened, includ­ing the lay­er with the bio open­ing new tabs; then the lay­er open­ing at the top of the editable region and refus­ing to close. Remov­ing the tem­plate didn’t bring back the work­ing lay­er vis­i­bil­i­ty and posi­tion­ing.

And since it seemed I might have to learn anoth­er pro­gram (Flash … eek ) to make, what Dreamweaver tells me is a sim­ple proce­dure, work, I gave up.

And so, here is the Zwines Fam­i­ly Tree (and a brief his­to­ry of the club, and the scene around it), and, in a new page, here are the orig­i­nal bios from a bunch of most­ly long for­got­ten New Zealand rock’n’roll bands – some bril­liant, some tru­ly awful, most just ok, but all cru­cial in their own way, to the direc­tion pop­u­lar music in NZ would go over the next few years.

Oh – and as an extra – here is a fair­ly rare live record­ing (from the Globe?), rough as guts but how it real­ly used to sound:

The Ter­ror­waysNev­er Been To Borstal


My friend Sara Leigh Lewis, in Lon­don, has this won­der­ful page of pho­tographs tak­en around Auck­land in 1979 /80. There are peo­ple there I’ll sad­ly nev­er see again, and, as she said, it made me rather misty eyed. Oh, the youth of it all …

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