Knock-Knock Who’s-There Smell-Map

Map 1 here shows the whereabouts of various members of the
Axemen in the first few months of the band’s existence.

PHOTO-ESSAY: A LITTLE BIT OF YESTERDAY

South Dunedin, home of the South Dunedin sound

South Dunedin – home of the South Dunedin Sound.

Maureen of the Empire Tavern
about to burn life-size effigy of Little Stevie McCabe.

<– South Dunedin | Starliners (so-called) | Christchurch –>

<–Alpha Centauri | Starliners (actual) | Eta Tandoori–>

Christchurch, 1983

Enjoy Christchurch graphic by Stu pre-dated the Absolutely Wellington campaign by at least a decade!
Enjoy Christchurch graphic by Stu pre-dated the try-hard Absolutely Wellington campaign by at least a decade!
Christchurch's Disco Queen Mere Nihoniho at Caledonian Hall '77 by Kowalski
Christchurch's Disco Queen Mere Nihoniho at Caledonian Hall '77 by Kowalski

*

Accompanying this photo-essay are some more tracks recorded live at the Star & Garter on 4-11-83:

cassette recorder

untitled (sounds
like fiery jack)

get down

9 candles on the cake

a little bit of yesterday (johnny cash)

H-Heinous H-Hendrix H-Hat-Trick

purple haze

third stone from the sun

steve mccabe, dragan stojanovic – guitars; bob brannigan – bass; stu kowalski – drums
purple haze
recorded live at the rising sun, auckland, june 1989
third stone from the sun
recorded live at siren, auckland, 18-6-89

foxy lady

steve mccabe, bob brannigan – guitars; m. s. agro – bass; stu kowalski – drums
recorded live at the star & garter, christchurch, 4-11-83

all songs by jimi hendrix, rearranged by axemen

.

<.>

<.><.><.>

<.><.><.><.><.>

<.><.><.><.><.><.><.>

<.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.>

<.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.>

<.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.><.>

^

.

Prehistoric Posters from Dunedin & Christchurch

Found these on a Christchurch City Council Libraries website of all places . . .

Above Ground Cartilage Family

The first is from late 82 or early 83, advertising a gig at the infamous Empire Tavern in Dunedin. This poster was scrapped together from old posters and other art by Stu and whacked out in a night at the notorious Ink Inc. studio at 2/222 High St, Christchurch. Above Ground was the band Stu was in with Bill Direen, Carol Woodward and Maryrose Wilkinson (now M. Crook in The Renderers), while the Gorillas were 16-year-old Stevie’s high-school group whose other half was comix-maestro-to-be Pete Rees. They travelled down from Christchurch for the gig. The Cartilage Family was Peter Gutteridge, Shayne Carter & Christine Voice’s then-band, locals we’d befriended over the years.

Stevie said to me afterwards, as he sipped his post-set lemonade and we watched Above Ground, “Darn it, but I wish we could find a drummer like that old geezer.” “Aye laddie, he’s no Ringo Starr, but he just might be that John Lennon’s love-child.”

Stu in a typically confused pre-AXEMEN state, Christchurch, 1982
Stu in a typically confused pre-AXEMEN state, Christchurch, 1982

Above Ground poster twk The second is maybe months later, from Christchurch, this time promoting an Above Ground gig and the release of their home-made tape GONE AIWA. This is vintage (nay, prehistoric!) Stu. Note particularly the cassette-as-icon, bio-diverse animal imagery (2 mammals, 2 birds), totemic nouns (Aztec, Leadbelly) & recycled typography. On view then are 3 key elements of the art/craft livelihood practised by the evolving Homo Axemenus (self-released product + cassette format + grand poster style) in nascent form. [BB, paleoaxeologist]

Escape from the Planet of the Tapes

Here’s a mixed bag of cassette-only goodies . . .

hello (aka “Burn” alt mix)

cold beer (alt mix)

jah & his herb (alt mix)

–undated, probably from Christchurch practises late 1984. Presence of saxophone and graphic equalizer are big time-clues, plus references to beer & god, plus the other side of the tape features the song “the panther of the suburbs” whose lyrics Steve channeled in trance-state following A SCAR IS BORN sessions, mid-84.

sugar daddy

live at the Star & Garter in Christchurch, 4 November 1983. This is around the time of the MICK’S DANCEFLOOR (MIX) sessions, and Mick himself, M. S. Agro, plays bass with us for the first of a whole bunch of great gigs.

untitled by unknown

–live at Christchurch City Mall, c.1984. Sounds like there’s a clarinet on this too so likely features members of the Axemen marching band who did stuff up and down Colombo Street. While marching. In a band. More from Live at City Mall

fever (cooley-davenport)

gypsies, tramps & steves

Axmin biggish band again at Whangarei Busker’s Convention, December 1985.

charleston

–live at Cashel St practice rooms, early-mid 1986, with vocal overdubs by Steve & his 4-track.

—V—

FREAK OF THE WEEK (from behind)

“Fickle Red Book” live at the Star & Garter, 4 November 1983

This is probably the first ever gig we did with M. S. Agro (“Mick”) on bass. I was still living in Dunedin. I bussed up to Christchurch and arrived at the pub minutes before we went on. Steve and I had square lights gaffer-taped to the top of our heads. I didn’t know half the songs but Steve yelled out the chords, only instead of names like EEG he used numbers like 003 etc. Stu recorded this on his walkman. There’s a version of this on the MICK’S DANCEFLOOR (MIX) album, but that was recorded at Hell Farm–this is the real live deal. We would return to the S&G many times over the next couple years. . . [BB] fickle red book