Writeup on The Suburban Reptiles
from the AK79 liner notes by Simon Grigg
The Suburban Reptiles
Jimmy Joy and myself were going to form a jazz band, but, in late 1976, after reading a live review of the Sex Pistols in NME, decided that this punk thing had more going for it. After original drummer Des Edwards left to become a juggler, to be replaced by Buster Stiggs (formerly in After Hours with Neil Finn), and guitarists Sissy Spunk and Shaun Anfrayd quit, the hardcore lineup consisted of Buster, Zero, Jimmy Joy and Billy Planet, with various add-ons and myself as manager. The first gigs, using gear borrowed from Split Enz, were interesting. They got thrown out of the University Quad, fired from a school ball after one song, sold out the Maidment Theatre, reduced a fashionable party from five hundred to five in three songs, and with the Scavengers and Masochists had a capacity crowd at the Uni Cafe, where Billy Planet emptied the cafe's rubbish bags over the crowd. The "punk rock horror" angle got them extensive coverage in various Sunday papers time and time again, and on a trip to Wellington in August 1977, with The Scavengers, after a vigilante posse was formed to run them out of town, they featured on the front page of a daily every day for a week. In late 1977 they were signed by Polygram (rumour had it that the A&R guy had a thing for Zero) who suggested that they should cover English punk hits (Boomtown Rats etc), but this, thank god, never happened. Only two singles were ever released, plus one track for the "Angel Mine" film. An album was partially recorded but the tapes have long since walked. In 1979 the remnants mutated into the Swingers.
Lineup: Zero (vocals), Jimmy Joy
(sax, vocals), Billy Planet (guitar), Bones Hillman
(bass on tracks 1&2 [Megaton & Coup D'Etat]), Buster Stiggs
(drums, rhythm guitar on track 16 [Saturday Night Stay At Home]), Tony
Baldock (bass on track 16), Phil Judd (guitar track
Tracks: Megaton (Planet) recorded at Harlequin Studios, 1977. Released Jan 1978 on Vertigo 12" (first 12" released in NZ). Produced by the band.
Coup D'Etat (Planet) a demo from mid 1977, recorded at Harlequin and produced by Tim Finn. Remastered in 1993 from 4 track. Previously unreleased.
Saturday Night Stay At Home (Stiggs) recorded at Mandrill Studios 1978. Released on Vertigo 7" 1978. Produced by Phil Judd.
The Swingers >>