Tuesday, October 14, 2014

From the Doctor to the DMC - the rise of Wellington clubland in the 80s

I wrote a little bit about the AudioCulture website when it was first launched back in June 2013. Since then the "noisy library" has taken on a life of its own to become an incredible resource. Not only is it archiving information about all of the key bands, people, and events that make up the rich and vibrant history of music and pop culture in New Zealand, it's also digging deeper to look at some of the more regional and peripheral scenes. The sort of pre-internet era stuff that is otherwise in danger of falling between the cracks. And that's where history nuts like me come in.

Having already documented (for the blog) the strange phenomenon that was the early Eighties nightclubbing scene in little old Palmerston North - a blogpost that is fast closing in on 4,000 individual page hits (go figure) - I always intended to do something similar to cover off the Wellington scene of the same era (having moved to the capital mid decade). An approach from AudioCulture to do just that was the proverbial rocket I needed to get the project beyond the "great idea" stage and turn it into something rather more tangible - safe in the knowledge that anything published on AudioCulture will reach a far bigger readership than the blog itself can attract.

One of the main problems with attempting to provide an overview of events - a full decade's worth - all these years on is that stuff gets missed. Or gets lost in the mist. Important stuff. And everyone who was there at the time will recall things differently. For the AudioCulture piece, which amounted to some 4000 words, I stopped short of interviewing key personalities within the scene. Had I decided to colour in the framework and source quotes, I would have ended up with a book, or at least 30,000 words. So it reads as one man's perspective only and I left out far more than I was able to include - for a variety of reasons. Anyway, have a read (link below) or just enjoy some photos and flyers ...

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