Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AK79 & Show # 370

The UK Punk scene of the late seventies inspired numerous bands all around the world to pick up their instruments and create their own music playing into the attitude and DIY ethic. One such place that is perhaps not always mentioned is the New Zealand Punk scene of the late seventies, specifically the Auckland, New Zealand Punk scene. There were numerous bands that popped up, many short lived that would only last what seemed like a second before moving onto different bands and expanding into different genres. A compilation album was compiled of this scene by Bryan Staff and released on Ripper Records in 1979. The compilation which was tilted AK79, was released just in time for Christmas of 1980, but as the New Year approached and the compilation was released the local Punk scene was evolving and changing thus having AK79 serve as a document of the New Zealand scene that lasted from roughly 1977 to 1980.

The compilation had its birth when Bryan Staff, a local Auckland radio DJ started developing a growing interest in the local scene at the time. Since there was hardly a recording industry in New Zealand then, Staff came up with the idea of compiling an album of these acts and releasing it. Bands were encouraged to bring in their own recordings and several recorded at radio NZ, Bryan would form his own label Ripper Records. The albums cover was designed by Terence Hogan and the picture on the cover is a close up shot of one of the members of the band Terrorways. The album was initially pressed in a limited 500 edition run. The albums sold quickly and as a result AK79 moved its distribution to CBS in 1981 where it was re-pressed on vinyl and cassette. By 1983 the album went out of print, following this point the album became greatly sought after and copies sold for a considerable value. In 1994 the album was re-issued and re-mastered by Simon Grigg (of Suburban Reptiles) with an expanded track listing and was released via Flying Nun and Propeller Records.

The result of the album is a collection of bands such as The Scavengers, The Swingers, Terrorways, Proud Scum, The Primmers, The Features and Toy Love. The expanded re-issue featured additional tracks from these group including previously unreleased tracks from bands such as Suburban Reptiles, The Scavengers and Toy Love. Several of the bands on this compilation would go onto form other groups one example is The Scavengers who are featured in two incarnations on this album first as The Scavengers and then as Marching Girls. When the band moved to Australia in 1980 they renamed themselves Marching Girls. One of the band members Brendan Perry would also briefly play with Nick Cave's The Birthday Party before forming Dead Can Dance, which was quite different from his previous groups. While many of the bands from this short Auckland, New Zealand era from about 1977 to 1980 would move on along with the scene, AK79 serves as a document of a interesting and short lived time in Auckland’s music history. The album features songs such as "Mysterex" a song about working in the nine to five world, the anthemic Reggae/Punk of The Primmers "You're Gonna Get Done" a song addressing street violence in New Zealand, music from The Spelling Mistakes, Toy Love and more that are worthy of being all time Punk classics. A reunion gig was held on November 21st and 22nd of 2008 that reunited several of the bands found on the AK79 compliation, many of which hadn't played together since 1980. A special two LP limited edition of AK79 was sold at the shows featuring additional unreleased tracks. More info on the album and the bands featured on the album can be found at http://www.simongrigg.info/AK79.htm

This Week's Play List:

1. The Litter - Action Woman
2. The Magicians - An Invitation To Cry
3. Cold Coffee & Salty Boots - Lost In Material
4. The Last Assassins - Bad Crystal
5. White Cats - Second Time Around
6. The Demics - I Won't See You No More
7. The Hi Fi's - I Don't Know Why (You Love Me)
8. The Nocturnals - Because You're Gone
9. Magic Hall of Mirrors - Helicopter (Live Phog Phest 2010)
10. Witnesss Inc. - Not You Girl
11. The Horrors - I Can See Through You
12. The Features - Content
13. Suburban Reptiles - Saturday Night, Stay At Home
14. The Scavengers - Mysterex
15. The Primmers - Funny Stories
16. Dik Van Dykes - Curling
17. Wire - I Am The Fly
18. Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty (BBC Session)
19. The Teardrops - Colours
20. Nothing At All - Busted
21. Dirty Pretty Things - Last of the Small Town Playboys
22. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Can't Keep My Eyes On You
23. Ed Kuepper - Told Myself
24. Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna (Alternate Take)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 20. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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