Detroit Hemorrhoids

Biography

Early Christchurch punk band, evolving out of the standard Rock’n’Roll / R’n’B covers formula in 1975 to eventually cross over as the scene took hold in the late 70’s.

Soon after his arrival (from England) Oliver Scott formed with multi-instrumentalist Nicky Carter the nucleus of what would eventually play live as the Detroit Hemorrhoids. Stablised by late 1975 as Scott, Carter, Paul Kean (bass), Jane Walker (drums) and Mark Wilson (lead guitar), the band began by playing parties and a golden bay commune.

What made the Hemorrhoids different from all the other long-haired rock bands (apart from their female drummer) was their choice of material.

Whilst there were no originals, Scott taught the band songs which no other hotel act were doing; material by acknowledged punk antecedents the Velvet Underground (5 songs), Pretty Things (“Roadrunner”, “Hey mama, keep your big mouth shout”) and Iggy Pop (“I need somebody”, “Search and destroy”).

Also, there were ‘old’ pop hits like “You keep me hangin’ on” (Vanilla Fudge version), the Crystals “Da do ron ron”, Roxy Music’s “Virginia plain” and others in an eclectic, but generally hard rock / r’n’b set.

– From Wade Churton in his triple essay book ‘Glam, Punk, and Scorched Earth Policy’:

The Hemorrhoids would go on to become one of Christchurch’s formulative punk bands, centered around the Mollett Street Market space which survived through the late 70’s. Kean and Walker would later leave for Auckland as The Enemy transitioned from Punk to New Wave to become Toy Love.

Members

  • Oliver Scott (Vocals, 1977 – 1978?)
  • Nicky Carter (Guitar, 1977 – 1978?)
  • Paul Kean (Bass, 1977 – 1978?)
  • Jane Walker (Drums, 1977 – 1978?)
  • Mark Wilson (Guitar, 1977 – 1978?)

Discography

Links

The Enemy

Biography

Young Dunedin guitarist Alec Bathgate and drummer Mike Dooley lined up Invercargill-born record store employee Chris Knox as a bassist in mid 1977, unaware he couldn’t actually play. Eventually the group would secure a gig at the Old Beneficiaries Hall, so Mick Dawson was brought in – allowing Knox to assume his rightful vestige as the new groups vocalist.

Knox was a long-haired, bearded counter-culture type – but more in the hippy frame than the burgeoning punk style of the time. The group would encourage crowd involvement and invite their mates around for regular practices, hashing out a vast selection of original songs in public.

In a breezy 18 month life-span the group would play a ridiculous amount of shows, firmly establish themselves as New Zealand’s very best original punk group, inspire the formation of groups such as The Clean, The Chills and Bored Games – and mutate into something completely different before they even unleashed a studio recording on the world (though a handful of studio cuts have made it on to compilations over the years).

The Enemy’s legend was based on Knox’s confrontational stage antics (stealing Iggy Pop’s tricks like rolling in broken glass, cutting himself etc), unconventional appearance and dress and free-flowing lyrics – though the band were no slouches either!

It the tail end of the seventies The Enemy played at our school dance. Chris Knox was the evilest person I’d seen. From the start I was dreading the moment he might come off the stage, and, like, tap me on the shoulder or something.

I thought I was punk but inside I was cowering. Thank god they only lasted two songs before school principal Dave Rathbone ran onto the stage and kicked them off.

– Shayne Carter [Taken from Mysterex: Kiwi Punk and Beyond #3]

The Enemy were HUGELY influential – venturing North to Christchurch just a couple months after forming, and eventually rolling on to Auckland to dominate their local punk scenes, everything would eventually come to a close when Mick Dawson decided to head home to Dunedin.

The trio of Bathgate, Dooley and Knox would go through a couple line-up changes, and head in a New Wave direction, reconvening as Toy Love.

Note: AudioCulture has an EXCELLENT history of the group on their artist profile.

Members

  • Chris Knox (Vocals, 1977 – 1978)
  • Alec Bathgate (Guitar, 1977 – 1978)
  • Mike Dooley (Drums, 1977 – 1978)
  • Mick Dawson (Bass, 1977 – 1978)
  • Phil Judd (Guitar, 1978)

Discography

  • The Enemy At The Beneficiaries (2001 Archival Live Recording, Restrainer Records)

Links

 

Chris Knox

Biography

I’ve had a hard time starting this profile.

A man who’s done so much for New Zealand (underground) music that it wouldn’t really be the same without him – Knox was responsible for so many changes in the way we think about music here in New Zealand.

In The Enemy he proved that New Zealand underground music was indeed a viable and precious quantity, absolutely illuminating the Dunedin punk scene that had sprung up around his quirky (and utterly convicted) troop.

When The Enemy became Toy Love they located and conquered Auckland, but were ripped apart by the complacency and vindictiveness of the big-label music scene (and apathetic Aussie crowds) in Australia.

Knox and his fellow burned band-mates returned with a new outlook on the kiwi music way of life. He saw that creation is far more important than clarity, and with a few simple steps (purchasing a four-track recorder, a chance encounter with Christchurch music-enthusiast Roger Shephard) set about defining the ‘Lo-Fi’ (a term yet later sunned) revolution of early 80’s Dunedin.

Knox then set about forming the utterly eclectic and thoroughly low-tech Tall Dwarfs with his fellow former Toy Love buddy, guitarist Alec Bathgate – the whimsy to his destructive element and a high quality song-writer in his own right.

The Tall Dwarfs remained highly productive and totally engaging throughout the 80’s, forming a cult of quirky, dark songs with bizarre narratives and eclectic touches (tape-loops and sound-manipulation became common-place early on), but in the later 80’s, Knox started working on his own solo material (as well as continuing to record and produce a number of his compatriot artists on Flying Nun).

‘Not Given Lightly’ could be called the apex of Knox’s career – his most commercial success and his most oft referred and covered ‘classic’ song, it’s also well-documented as his very first love song (and some would point out that his wife Barbara had certainly deserved one by the time of its release..).

So into the 90’s Knox stride as an icon of the New Zealand music scene, alternating between The Tall Dwarfs and his own solo albums, just as his journalistic side was starting to bloom.

Come the mid 2000’s and Knox is involved at all levels of New Zealand music. He is an acknowledged historic figure in the New Zealand scene (even winning a Silver Scroll for the heart-wrenching ‘My Only Friend’ in 2000), a valued journalistic resource, an archivist and historian, and yet is still finding new avenues to expand his musical vocabulary, releasing a new recording as Friend in 2003 that explores a new, hi-tech alley.

Knox’s life took an unfortunate turn in June 2009 when he suffered a deliberating stroke that left him unable to speak (or sing). After a long period of recovery and with huge support from the local music industry, Knox struggled own despite his own limitations, recording new material (without actually vocalizing words) with Auckland pop-punk trio Rackets under the name Knoxious.

Awards

RIANZ Awards 1994

  • Cover Design of the Year

APRA Silver Scrolls 2000

  • Song Writing for ‘My Only Friend’

Discography

  • Chris Knox Ego Gratifaction Album – Songs For Cleaning Guppies (1982, Flying Nun Records, FN Me001)
  • Seizure (1989, Flying Nun Records, FN125 / FNE30)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Guppiplus’ 12″ Ep (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN127)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Face Of Fashion’/’Love Song (Part 1)’ 7″ Single (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN152)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Face Of Fashion’/’Love Song (Part 1)’ 12″ Single (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN153)
  • Song For 1990 10″ Ep (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN155)
  • Croaker (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN165)
  • Polyphoto, Duck-Shaped Pain & “Gum” (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN249)
  • ‘Under The Influence’/’Stasis’ 7″ Single (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN266)
  • Not Given Lightly Ep (1993, Communion, COMM26-2)
  • Meat (1993 Communion Comm 28-2)
  • Song Of Me And You (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN313)
  • ‘One Fell Swoop’/’Giving Her Away’/’S.O.S.’/’Shrapnel’/’Mother’ Cd Single (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN316)
  • ‘One Fell Swoop’/’Mother’ 7″ Single (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN316)
  • Songs From 1990 Ep (1996, Caroline, CAR7528)
  • Nunfest ’96 Etched 7″ Disc (1996, Flying Nun Records, FN372)
  • Yes!! (1997, Flying Nun Records, FN400)
  • Almost (1998, Dark Beloved Cloud)
  • Beat (2000, Flying Nun Records, FN444)
  • Inaccuracies & Omissions (As Friend, 2003, Flying Nun Records, FN470)
  • Chris Knox and the Nothing (As Chris Knox and the Nothing, 2005, A Major Label)
  • A Warm Gun (As The Nothing, 2008, A Major Label, AMAJ001)

Links

Chris Knox and the Nothing

After the abstract computer-orientated Friend project, Chris Knox (guitar and vocals) got back to business as a live performer by forming the Nothing with the very talented Stefan Neville (Pumice) on drums, and Jol Mulholland (Gasoline Cowboy on guitar. The trio record their self-titled debut in a real studio – the first time Knox had done so since his days in Toy Love.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Chris Knox and the Nothing [2005 a major label]

See-Also