God Save the Queen - Sex Pistols
I first heard this on Barry Jenkin's radio show. He was a big radio DJ in the late-70s and into the 80s. His show played later at night and he was such an influential DJ that he got to play whatever he wanted. He played this one night and it was probably the first time it'd been played on the radio in New Zealand.
I recorded it on cassette and took it to school the next day to play to my schoolmates. I thought it was amazing. At that time music had got very dull. Lots of ballads and slow, boring songs. This was loud, had enthusiastic energy and was different. I was studying photography at school and this led on to me photographing lots of New Zealand punk and new wave bands.
Short Haired Rock 'N' Roll - Terrorways
Terrorways played at lunchtime at school [Selwyn College] in my 7th form year. I'd started photographing bands by then. I was going into town at night and going to various venues.
I never had any problems that I remember. I'd just go to the front and get jostled around somewhat but it went well. I was known by sight to a degree by some of the bands and the scene.
There were parts you avoided, like the Boot Boys, who were the violent part of punk. I never went to Zwines in those days. It was one of the best punk venues but equally quite violent. I was pretty young and on my own with camera gear, so I was probably scared or being cautious. I went to every other venue but never to there. I've been since, the AK79 reunion was held there a couple of years ago. Everybody's in their 50s and 60s now so there was no trouble. But The Terrorways were one of my favourite bands at the time. I still listen to them.
Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks
I'd play punk music in the car a lot while we were driving, even when my daughters were very young. My older daughter, when she was a toddler, 2 or 3 years old, would try and sing along with Orgasm Addict in the back of the car.
It's always been a strong memory that makes my wife and I laugh, her singing all the words wrong. Not at all appropriate but as adults that makes it funnier. She's more likely to listen to Eminem or the Glass Animals now. She doesn't mind it but she doesn't really like it. She certainly doesn't try to sing along anymore.
She's a Sensation - Ramones
Ramones played the most violent concert I ever photographed. It was at the Logan Campbell Centre. There was too much pushing and shoving, pogo-ing, violence and crowd movement. The colour photos were disappointing to me at the time but they look reasonably good these days.
My wife didn't know a lot about punk music when we started going out. I tease her that She's a Sensation is about her. "The first time I looked into your eyes, I thought, 'she's a sensation'." This results in her fake-barfing and poking faces. Her favourite Ramones track is I Wanna Be Sedated, which is probably due to living with me. She says it's the music rather than the lyrics. I'm not so sure.
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Perfect Day - Lou Reed
Ever since my teens I've fought with depression and anxiety. To me it doesn't really matter what music it is but it lets me turn my brain off and just relax and listen to the music and that's all that's happening. Perfect Day reminds me that there are good days, that tomorrow could be a better day.
Depression is a lot more visible and people are a lot more open about it now. It's always been around, when I was a kid you just got on with your life. Nowadays we're more aware of it and help teenagers, young people and older people with it.
Perfect Day is calming and I find it positive with an optimistic view. And it's just a nice tune to listen to.
* As told to Karl Puschmann. Anthony Phelps' new book, From AK79 to the Class of 81, is available at select retailers. It presents his famed photographs from New Zealand's punk, post-punk and new wave years and features previously unseen photos of famed local acts like Toy Love, Terrorways and Screaming Meemees, as well as internationals like David Bowie, XTC and Ramones.