Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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, EXTRA, 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 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 band’s 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 did so 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) 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 in 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......


Peter said...

thank you simon, great post. Sara's photos are great, love the shots of Ponsonby, and the girls were so stylish... Wasn't the RIU publication called Extra, not Xtra?

Simon said...

you are right!