Spelling Mistakes

[The Spelling Mistakes ‘Feel So Good/Hate Me Hate/I Hate’] tied for first single [with The Features recorded debut]…also sold around a thousand and briefly broke even until Phonogram heard it and asked for their compilation advance cheque back..oh well.
Simon Grigg: taken from Griggs’ Propeller archive website.

2nd generation Auckland punk band featuring Nigel Russell who succumbed to the pressures of a boot-boy fan-base at the turn of the 80s. Released a double-album compilation on Fast Food some 23 years after originally forming, after several reunion performances during the late 90s. One of their most well known singles – the creatively titled ‘Rena’s Piss Flaps’ is reportedly based on Once Were Warriors actress Rena Owen.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘Reena’s Piss Flaps’ 7″ Single [1980 W/ Whizz Kids Ripper Rip004]
  • Feels So Good 7″ Ep [1980 Ripper]
  • Hate Me Hate Me Ep [1980 Ripper Rev2]
  • We Still Hate The Spelling Mistakes [Compilation 1998]
  • Epileptic Apocalypse 1979 – 1999 [Compilation 2002 Fast Food]

See-Also

Christchurch in the 80’s [By David Swift]

The Christchurch scene of 1980-82 is pretty legendary, and rightly so. This was most fertile period of rock’n’roll in the city since the beat-boom days of Chants R’n’B circa 1966.

There were some very good Christchurch punk bands (notably the Vauxhalls) in 1978/79 and a picky audience of 200 or so original-school three-chords hipsters, but it was only as the punk phenomenon flowered into post-punk that the number and quality of bands blossomed.

Think of it as the difference between The Enemy and Toy Love. It was cooler to say you had seen The Enemy in a small crowd, but Toy Love were a better band packing out 800-capacity bars.

Christchurch was second to Auckland in 1980 for the passion of its punk/new wave crowds. Toy Love, The Swingers, The Features would travel down and regularly pull 500-800 people at the DB Gladstone or the Hillsborough Tavern. Occasionally the Aranui Tavern on Brighton road [edit: Pages Road, on the way to Brighton] would also host these kind of bands.

The primo local groups in 1980-1982 were the Pin Group (because leader Roy Montgomery – now a Lo-Fi legend in the USA – was an essential cog in the city’s cool – he was manager of the EMI shop on Colombo St that was totally given over to NME-approved sounds….the company wasn’t that keen, but it was just about the most profitable EMI shop in NZ as a result), The Gordons, The Newtones, The Androidss, Scorched Earth Policy, Victor Dimisich Band, The Playthings, Kaza Portico / The Builders (Bill Direen‘s bands), The Volkswagens, 25c, Yeah, Mainly Spaniards were a bit popular too. I may have missed a few out….(at the same time there were kids in punk covers bands, pub rock bands, etc). But the above names were the central musical identities in a community fired by the Velvets/Stooges/Jonathan Richman/1960s USA Garage Punk/Pere Ubu/Wire – yet compelled to make their own music.

Roger began Flying Nun in early 1981 (I was the first journalist to write about the label, in The Press) because it seemed to him that if no one recorded these groups they would be lost to history.

At the same time, bands from Dunedin began forays to Christchurch where they knew that their original music would go down well with a knowing crowd that held no truck with punk covers bands. The Clean‘s first big gigs were at the Gladstone and their reputation sprang from there by word of mouth. Roger was so blown away by them he instantly marked them down for a 45 – Tally Ho.
The Verlaines, The Stones, The Chills and Sneaky Feelings also ploughed that furrow. At the time no one in Christchurch was in thrall to any ‘Dunedin scene’; in fact there wasn’t one as such. As far as we knew, there was just a few really good bands down there who had been blown away by The Enemy / Toy Love and wanted to make their own contribution. And to have it recognized in Christchurch as there wasn’t enough support for their originality down there.

Some ChCh bands quickly carved out a reputation in Auckland too. The Gordons are probably the best example. I saw their first ever gig at the Hillsborough Tavern in early 1980 (supporting Toy Love, or was it the Swingers, can’t recall exactly) and they had only been together a week and only had five songs but played them twice to rapturous acclaim from 600 people.

The Gordons did it different – offering a discordant wall-of-noise with some melodies years before Sonic Youth. Years later, in fact, SY professed huge admiration for the three, two of whom I went to school with at Ashburton College. I remember the Gordons doing three sell-out nights at the Gladstone in 1983 and just being excited at the sheer size of the Marshall stacks they had shoehorned onto and around the stage in that tiny pub. It was incredible the passions that a local band playing original music inspired – one of the great legacies of punk.

At the other end of the scale, Bill Direen was a huge talent, playing the rawest nuggets flavours in his bands The Vacuum / Kaza Portico / The Bilders yet he never made any commercial headway. The Bilders’ ‘Schwimmin In Der See’ EP (Flying Nun 1982) remains one of the label’s very best discs and the retrospective ‘Max Quitz Vol 1’ (1994 Flying Nun CD) is pretty essential to understand all that was good about garden city garage rock in the early 1980’s.

In January 1986 i made my first trip back home after 18 months in the UK and was delighted to see that Sneaky Feelings were to play the Gladstone on a saturday night while i was home. But unlike four years earlier, the pub wasn’t full and i only knew three people in there. Sneakies were still great, but that was the end of the era for me.

En Can M.A.

Biography

A very strange band but also strangely good from 1982-4.

These guys had some connection with the Auckland group The Features. Guitarist/singer Ljinon sharing a similar shard like guitar style and vocal approach to The Features.

The band had some sort of abstract art thing going and could either be really good or bloody awful depending on the night. They feature Vince Pinker on bass guitar, who later went on to be part of the resurrected Gordons (sans Alistair Parker), and a few drummers.

‘Eat Shit’ was actually quite cool to watch live and i remember watching Ljinon playing the guitar stabs in this song and slicing his fingers on the guitar strings, bleeding all over his guitars white scratch plate.

At the end of the song he asked the bemused audience if anyone had a band aid. no one did.

– Rob Mayes

Recorded a song that was including on Mayes’ Accident Compilation for his Failsafe Recordings label, and a 2nd track on Pagan’s Spins and Needles compilation.

Ljinon would eventually go on to form 3Guesses.

The group resurfaced in 2014 playing a New Zealand Music Month event at a Wairarapa Library!

Members

  • Ljinon Manson (Guitar/Vocals, 1982 – 1985)
  • Vince Pinker (Bass, 1982 – 1983)
  • Bevan Sweeney (Drums, 1982)
  • Chris Orange (Drums, 1982)
  • Lis Cotter (Drums, 1982 – 1983)
  • Floyd Rudolph (Drums/Backing Vocals, 1985)
  • Trent Revell (Bass, 1985)
  • Eric Android (Drums, 1986?)
  • Shayne O’Neill (Guitar, 1986?)

Discography

Links

 

The Features

[the features ‘city scenes/secret/police wheels’] our first single, recorded at mascot studios for a cost of $1100, which left me with a shortfall of $700, sold about 1000 over three or four weeks…breaking even was never our strong point! a wonderful record, full of angst, which summed up auckland pretty much for me thenrn- simon grigg: taken from griggs’ propeller archive website

jed town, karel van bergen, chris orange and james picker. a short lived auckland punk band who managed to make it on to the excellent and highly recommended ak79 compilation. jed town went on to form the highly bizarre fetus productions.
discography
picks in bold

  • ‘city scenes’/’secret’/’police wheels’ 7″ single [1980 propeller REV1] rn
  • perfect features exposed ep [1980 propeller REV6] rn

Propeller

Biography

Simon Griggs’ punk, punk-pop and two-tone label from the early 80’s.

Has occasionally resurfaced with one-off releases (including the follow up label Furtive – who had the distinction of debuting The Tall Dwarfs lengthy recording career) and has compiled a number of the labels low run 7″ singles into some very memorable compilations.

Propeller was instrumental of The Screaming Meemees phenomenal success, securing the rarest of the rare, an independently released New Zealand number one single with ‘See Me Go’ in 1981 – paving the way for future success from the likes of Flying Nun.

Propeller (like its short-lived successor Ripper) was initially formed to release the great catalog of underground punk bands that were still relatively unheard outside their regional fan-bases at the turn of the 80’s.

With the original two releases from The Features and Spelling Mistakes, respectively; Propeller started a swell of activity in the New Zealand scene that would eventually be documented by the Bigger Than The Both Of Us compilation LP, which featured releases from both Ripper and contemporary labels.

Propeller currently operates as Huh! Records, the home of revivalist hip-hop outfit 3 The Hard Way and Grigg’s various compilations, such as the reissued Bigger Than The Both Of Us, and the Give it a Whirl documentary soundtrack, both with domestic distribution through major-label Universal NZ.

Compilation Discography

  • The Class Of 81 [1981 REV201]
  • Doobie Doo Disc [1982 REV206]
  • We’Ll Do Our Best [1983 REV209]
  • Its Bigger Than The Both Of Us Double-Lp [1988 2rev210]
  • Ak79 Reissue [1993 Joint Reissue Venture With Flying Nun REV503]
  • Give It A Whirl Double-Cd [2003 REV504]
  • Its Bigger Than The Both Of Us Reissue [2003 REV505]

Contact Details

  • Propeller Records
  • PO Box 6284
  • Auckland 1036
  • New Zealand [postal address]

Links