Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dave Dobbyn: Twist

Dave Dobbyn’s induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame is on tonight, as part of the Apra Silver Scrolls awards. The NZ Herald will be streaming the event, watch it live this evening here.

Here's an interview I digitised from 1995 (off Frenzy), with Dobbyn talking about his album Twist, his first since moving home from Australia after a decade away. Dobbyn talks about working with Neil Finn, who produced the album. Like Finn, Dobbyn was working through on reconnecting with his homeland, and making sense of his place here.

Photo via Audioculture

Back in 1984 Russell Brown was a journalist at Rip It Up magazine, and his reporting on the Queen St riot is here (scans one and two). He's written a piece for Audioculture recalling those events, with great photos from Murray Cammick and Bryan Staff. Dobbyn's band DD Smash was playing when the riot kicked off. He was accused by Police of inflaming the crowd with his alleged comments from the stage. There's a transcript of a tape recording of that on Audioculture too.

Dobbyn ended up getting hauled in front of the courts over the riot. He told NZ Herald's Greg Dixon the case cost him $12,000 in lawyer's fees. His lawyer was Peter Williams.

Russell writes "... The truth was that although he said one thing he still regrets, the Queen Street riot was not Dave Dobbyn's fault. Alcohol certainly played a major part (laws on public drinking were changed as a consequence). So did an unruly public mood that had grown during the Springbok tour and brewed in the dying days of the Muldoon government.

But, overwhelmingly, the cause of the riot was a series of disastrous decisions by the police. A dark era of policing – the one of Gideon Tait's team policing units and their provocative raids on pubs where bands played – met its end in disaster. My reporting later went to the commission of inquiry on the riot, where I gather it was of interest.

Christmas of 1984, at a barbecue at my parents' place in Upper Hutt, I was talking to a senior Māori policeman, a friend of the family.

"So," my dad piped up, "Russell says you guys blew it at Aotea Square." I cringed and inwardly cursed my father for raising it.

"Yeah," said the policeman, sadly, looking at us both. "We did."

Ripper Records' Bryan Staff (top right) taking photos in Queen Street - Photo by Bruce Jarvis, via Audioculture

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