Yeah, 'Have You Checked The Children' is still out of print, unfortunately. I started rewriting and updating it a year or so ago, but other, more immediate projects jumped in. It's still on the cards, but it'd be nice to throw some real money and time at it. The original was written on personal favours and a scratch and scrape budget (and I bound most of them myself), so it would be good to include more photos, interviews, etc. Ah, soon come, mon.
Okay then, fair enough it was maybe a little harsh to say that Dix 'didn't have a clue' after 1976, but then to me it seemed he handled punk and post-punk with a slight sense of bemusement and even condescension, like rock had already had its essential history and these wacky kids were just mucking around in its wake. His woeful update of 'Stranded In Paradise' a few years ago showed this up even more plainly (The hip-hop section. Brrrrr). With 'Have You Checked The Children' I wanted to read something which took the era seriously, not some collection of tall tales and true told in the manner of a joker spinning yarns while the billy boils.
As to the Auckland punk-postpunk scene; well, big city, big subject. The era attracted a lot of people which orthodox rock had tended to sideline; women, Maori, gays, novice musicians etc., and based on its character as a city, Auckland could probably handle a stand-alone project.
Come to think of it, one way to get a Kiwi rock book together which might satisfy most people would be to farm out specific projects (or cast for contributions), and print the work of a selection of authors. Somebody's bound to get it right in amongst a whole bunch of them.
Okily-dokily, sorry to be so late replying, but let's sort a couple of things out. First of all, we'll do 'Robbery'.
"..the post punk genre is particularly weirdly served with a couple of prolific independent scribes busily re writing history in the way they want to see it, gleefully omitting detail they don't favor and focusing on the minute and unimportant making, and the sad thing is that may well be the history we are left with because it is all that is written.. ..It'd be great to have 15 versions."
That's exactly what I thought before I started writing. Hey people, if you're unhappy with the way I handled your era, why don't you go ahead and write an account yourself? I showed you mine, now you show me yours.
"Churton's writing is valid for his personal perspective as much as anyone else's but his 20 page essay in mysterex on the gladstone was practically unreadable and bore little resemblance to the actual happening at the venue."
Er, I was there, and that's what happened. Straight reportage. Sorry if it doesn't tally with your recollections. Also, the essay about the Glad was a strictly personal account, not an in-depth analysis of the hotel and its historical place in Kiwi music. Andrew put in 'the Gladstone years' as a subtitle, presumably for his own editorial reasons. The piece really only concerned one year, 1980-81. Oh, and 'unreadable'? C'mon, you needed bigger print?
"..loser nights with 10 people were painted as the happening events, and the actual big nights were forgotten."
The Androidss and the Gordons had the biggest nights of the lot and they're in there. Ditto the Newmatics, Instigators, Clean, etc.
And now to Simon Grigg.
"..I've not read Wade Churton's book but those who have, and who were, in Auckland anyway, a part of the era, don't regard it highly."
Hey, you read it, you get to criticise it. No skin off my nose. Sure it's flawed; if I was to do it again I'd interview more fans, women etc. but until someone else pulls finger, it's all we got.
Thing is, you're not going to get a one-stop-shop book about Kiwi music, because it's so diverse. Dix didn't have a clue about anything post-1976, and David Eggleton just interviewed his typewriter (and neither of those guys included bibliographies. Seems like Schmidt and I pretty much wrote Eggleton's 'punk' section for him). Okay, so I've done a lot of writing about the post-punk scene, but no-one has a monopoly on it. The more, the merrier, in fact. What I'd like to read is a coherent overview of the 1990s; everyone who's tried so far (including Gareth Shute) didn't get much further than 'here's some names, here's some genres, here's some dates. Am I a book yet?'