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What ever happened to Canberra’s punk?

By Hacketthead - 10 October 2012 36

Does anyone remember a guy who used to call himself Snotty, he was a fixture on the Canberra scene from 1990-1992 which is when I remember him being around.  He was a hard core punk, perhaps Canberra’s only punk.  He was a bit of a loser but a character nonetheless.  I wonder what ever became of him, does anyone know?

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What ever happened to Canberra’s punk?
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Frump_the_Pinhead 6:29 pm 17 Oct 13

Hey I’m new here but saw this and thought I’d add something…
I knew Snotty pretty well and was a little disappointed when he “turned” into a skin in 92. Doug the skin was the only other uniformed alternative subculture representative (excluding goths) still standing so i guess Snot just went with the forces of cultural attrition… a punk and a skin as a social duo was a little unusual…but maybe not in berra?!
Anyway Snot shaved his twin mohawk one night and turned up at the uni bar the next day in polo shirt, blue rolled-up jeans and braces. Skin as. he already had the doc boots so that was easy for him…

I had been to demos with him, spent a lot of time at unibar with him, and even went to his housing flat upstairs on Ainslie Av opp olims. He had a fantastic punk skin oi hardcore music collection that he let me dig through for a day. i could have spent 2 or 3 there. He had posters and flags and gig relics and photos and zines all over the place. Going to the toilet there was an experience I’ll never forget.. he wasn’t that hygenic but ive neer seen a toilet grow so much green gunge up and over the lip and down across the floor and into the shower…

I was beaten up in Civic by punks at 16 (sort of not really – a doc in the guts and my mate got punched) which ended up with the punk pulling out a switch blade and us bolting. snuck into unibar at 17 to see bands that didnt start till 11 and i cant remember their names but they were punk like lime spiders. that brother band maybe shout brothers?

i was in docs and shorts and flannel in 89. before grunge! I was moving to 14 holes all black stovepipe jeans and leather jacket in 91 at anu and going up to sydney for the alternative club nights at Site like Sanctuary: goths everywhere! Pop will eat itself played anu oweek. we got thrown out for jumping off tables on to schooners.

91-94 I spent out 4 nights a week between terro (pungent stench!!), termo, uni bar (there for nirvana – and everything else – working security) the manuka joint for fang (it also had a techno night on thursdays which was a bit industrial sometimes), and circus while it lived. when terro died and termo turned into …gypsy? we pushed out to Heaven and the Asylum, where i worked door for a year or so. Punk had gone by then, but i do remember one night in the Asylum when Melbourne skins tried to hijack the bar…
My bands played in all these joints (supported Meanies in Asylum, gigged with Adrenalin, Pothole etc) and me and my group of friends devoted our early 20s to being alternative.

no jobs. no responsibilities. no wider social connections, just a commitment to support the local live music scene and alternative community by going out as often as we could. by being there for each other. It was an ethos left over from the scene that died just as we got there. we were in the subcultural wasteland wondering what had happened to all the giants of past glories and where all the “real” punks had gone. We weren’t really punk but we were what washed in to the vacuum left behind. My bands all had a punk element but in homage not in living artform.

manhattanDJ 7:18 pm 28 Apr 13

Wow had to get a glass of red wine to get thru all that lot….thanks all for reminding me of so many forgotten memories. I’ll add what I can from a fading memory. The ‘hat went to being mozzies wen the owners son took over. he wanted to encourage a more ‘rock n roll’ crowd. That pretty much killed that. The Hammonds were the first and only band to play there, was 2 gigs I think, possibly 1 Thursday night in 1987 from memory. Yes I remember snotty/james well. lived in a garage in occonnor for a couple of years. My memory of the ‘hat was as a melting place of rocker billies/punks/goths/skins/gay peeps….and people without a dress style or musical bent that just liked music you didn’t hear on commercial radio at the time. Shook my head in shock when I heard blister in the sun on 106fm. My daughter is 18 next year, I fear her going into civic, its a different world out there now. regards to all, Dean

Thumper said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Hacketthead said :

Days were spent at the Uni bar, Terrace bar or Terminus; nights were at the Manhattan night club, the Arena and later the Circus. Police harrassment was pretty common.

I have fond memories of both the Terrace and the Terminus, and going to gigs at both. I remember New Year’s Eve 1992 at the Terminus when a huge brawl broke out, I was in line for the bar and turned around and the whole place was a whirlwind of swinging punches. I had been waiting in line for a while as the place was packed, and some joker tried to grab me around the throat, I shoved and shouted “I’m not in it!!” as I was pretty pissed off. He staggered back a few steps and then got decked by one of the brawlers. The bouncers were grabbing people two at a time and throwing them up the stairs. Australian Zeppelin were playing, and they stopped the gig and appealed for calm.

I was a bit too young for The Manhattan, but I went there a couple of times when it was Mozzies. I remember being delighted that they played Nick Cave and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I had some good times at The Circus.

urgh Mozzies,forgot all about that. I was there the night the ‘hat closed and bizarrley met up with a punk rocker from the early 80s who used to terrify me when I was waitng for the school bus 🙂

seriously, thanks so much for starting this thread, it has brought back so many great memories – did you ever go to Fang? Goth girl Sam used to run it – it was a Friday night thing at a main stream Manuka night club, she had a whole stack of large stickers with w*nker printed on them, handed them out to people on their way in and Manuka’s classy boutiques were absolutely covered in them.

Happy times

Canberra was fun back in the 80s and 90s.

Whatever happened to it?

self government?

Jungle Jim 2:16 pm 12 Oct 12

Thumper said :

Canberra was fun back in the 80s and 90s.

Whatever happened to it?

The live music scene, especially in the city, dried up and turned into a faux-hawk laden, MMA loving, dance music pumping pit of pretentiousness.

Thumper 12:29 pm 12 Oct 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Hacketthead said :

Days were spent at the Uni bar, Terrace bar or Terminus; nights were at the Manhattan night club, the Arena and later the Circus. Police harrassment was pretty common.

I have fond memories of both the Terrace and the Terminus, and going to gigs at both. I remember New Year’s Eve 1992 at the Terminus when a huge brawl broke out, I was in line for the bar and turned around and the whole place was a whirlwind of swinging punches. I had been waiting in line for a while as the place was packed, and some joker tried to grab me around the throat, I shoved and shouted “I’m not in it!!” as I was pretty pissed off. He staggered back a few steps and then got decked by one of the brawlers. The bouncers were grabbing people two at a time and throwing them up the stairs. Australian Zeppelin were playing, and they stopped the gig and appealed for calm.

I was a bit too young for The Manhattan, but I went there a couple of times when it was Mozzies. I remember being delighted that they played Nick Cave and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I had some good times at The Circus.

urgh Mozzies,forgot all about that. I was there the night the ‘hat closed and bizarrley met up with a punk rocker from the early 80s who used to terrify me when I was waitng for the school bus 🙂

seriously, thanks so much for starting this thread, it has brought back so many great memories – did you ever go to Fang? Goth girl Sam used to run it – it was a Friday night thing at a main stream Manuka night club, she had a whole stack of large stickers with w*nker printed on them, handed them out to people on their way in and Manuka’s classy boutiques were absolutely covered in them.

Happy times

Canberra was fun back in the 80s and 90s.

Whatever happened to it?

Hacketthead 12:23 pm 12 Oct 12

Hey no worries Colourful, it’s good to reminisce! I don’t think I went to Fang, but I didn’t venture out to Manuka much in those days.

Disposable 12:12 pm 12 Oct 12

Hacketthead said :

I became a habitue of The Asylum, I had my 21st birthday bash there in 1993. I got The Hammonds to play and as a present they let me choose three songs they would learn, and I would sing it with them at the end of the gig. Kinda like karaoke. I sang The Who’s “My Generation”, The Pixies’ “Debaser” and the Beasts of Bourbon’s “Good Times”. It was one hell of a night.

The Hammonds were awesome!

Hacketthead 12:02 pm 12 Oct 12

I became a habitue of The Asylum, I had my 21st birthday bash there in 1993. I got The Hammonds to play and as a present they let me choose three songs they would learn, and I would sing it with them at the end of the gig. Kinda like karaoke. I sang The Who’s “My Generation”, The Pixies’ “Debaser” and the Beasts of Bourbon’s “Good Times”. It was one hell of a night.

Hacketthead said :

Days were spent at the Uni bar, Terrace bar or Terminus; nights were at the Manhattan night club, the Arena and later the Circus. Police harrassment was pretty common.

I have fond memories of both the Terrace and the Terminus, and going to gigs at both. I remember New Year’s Eve 1992 at the Terminus when a huge brawl broke out, I was in line for the bar and turned around and the whole place was a whirlwind of swinging punches. I had been waiting in line for a while as the place was packed, and some joker tried to grab me around the throat, I shoved and shouted “I’m not in it!!” as I was pretty pissed off. He staggered back a few steps and then got decked by one of the brawlers. The bouncers were grabbing people two at a time and throwing them up the stairs. Australian Zeppelin were playing, and they stopped the gig and appealed for calm.

I was a bit too young for The Manhattan, but I went there a couple of times when it was Mozzies. I remember being delighted that they played Nick Cave and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I had some good times at The Circus.

urgh Mozzies,forgot all about that. I was there the night the ‘hat closed and bizarrley met up with a punk rocker from the early 80s who used to terrify me when I was waitng for the school bus 🙂

seriously, thanks so much for starting this thread, it has brought back so many great memories – did you ever go to Fang? Goth girl Sam used to run it – it was a Friday night thing at a main stream Manuka night club, she had a whole stack of large stickers with w*nker printed on them, handed them out to people on their way in and Manuka’s classy boutiques were absolutely covered in them.

Happy times

unclebill 11:27 am 12 Oct 12

I remember Snotty & lots of those other guys from Canberra punk & beyond. I think Canberra was different from the other cities because we were a University town. Punk, disco, hippie, New Wave, Metal all coexisted usually quite peacefully.The music scene especially Uni Bar was more adventurous, most Fridays if we didn’t have overseas acts like Iggy Pop, the Wailers, Henry Rollins, Canned Heat, Stranglers, Buzzcocks,etc they could pack the refectory with Aussie acts like the Oils, Angels, Rose Tattoo, Hunters & Collectors, Nick Cave,Redgum, Ratcat, Baby Animals, TISM etc… & they gave local acts the support gigs so lots of people got to meet or play with their musical heroes.After Uni Bar gigs people would hit the town via Dollys food van or the Workers Club, then go to the Subway (the Bar), JD’s,Asylum, Terminus, Terrace Bar & then see the Sunrise after leaving Manhattan or Heaven (the Bar), Phoenisx came around 95 I think. Also the mating game was different than now, no mobiles & computers meant you actually had to leave the house to meet up with prospective partners & getting as wasted as you could on whatever was available, listening & dancing to loud music meant you didn’t have to converse to wake up in someone else’s bed.
These were a lot of people’s “good old days”.

Hacketthead 10:38 am 12 Oct 12

Sorry ColourfulSydneyRacingIdentity, I was trying to quote you using the quote thingy and it didn’t work. I am still a newbie here and working it out.

Hacketthead 10:36 am 12 Oct 12

Days were spent at the Uni bar, Terrace bar or Terminus; nights were at the Manhattan night club, the Arena and later the Circus. Police harrassment was pretty common.

I have fond memories of both the Terrace and the Terminus, and going to gigs at both. I remember New Year’s Eve 1992 at the Terminus when a huge brawl broke out, I was in line for the bar and turned around and the whole place was a whirlwind of swinging punches. I had been waiting in line for a while as the place was packed, and some joker tried to grab me around the throat, I shoved and shouted “I’m not in it!!” as I was pretty pissed off. He staggered back a few steps and then got decked by one of the brawlers. The bouncers were grabbing people two at a time and throwing them up the stairs. Australian Zeppelin were playing, and they stopped the gig and appealed for calm.

I was a bit too young for The Manhattan, but I went there a couple of times when it was Mozzies. I remember being delighted that they played Nick Cave and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I had some good times at The Circus.

astrojax 9:40 am 12 Oct 12

i was in sydney’s skin / rudeboy [sussex] scene in the early eighties and used to see naughty ryhtyms when they played in sydney (usually with the allniters, or melbourne outfit strange tenants [of whose fame bruce hearn later resided in canberra in his bluesier phase, playing here as hurricane hearn and the howling tornadoes, who supported my own sweet charity several times]). i saw the naughty rhythms again when i moved down here and was a little disappointed to hear their only two ska tunes they stil played were there smash hits [ok… :)] from those days and otherwise were a blah commercial pop outfit. anyone know what happend to those naughty chaps?

some of my sydney punk coterie from those days used to pop down the hume to the capital to see canberra cousins and check out the scene – they always spoke fondly of the place. maybe we should be telling the centenary organisers and tourism promotions folk this to better direct their marketing to people who actually care!

Conan of Cooma 2:33 pm 11 Oct 12

Buckaroo_Banzai said :

I remember an amusing/tragic story about those two. No idea about the veracity, though. I’d seen Dale getting around on crutches with a cast on his leg. I asked a friend what happened. As the tale goes, Megan wanted to get into the sleeping pulls for a suicide attempt, but Dale hid them from her to prevent it. And in her attempts to get them from him, she broke his leg.

Remembering her physical prowess – I wouldn’t doubt it.

Buckaroo_Banzai 1:26 pm 11 Oct 12

Conan of Cooma said :

Then there was the quasi-Goths, Dale and Megan. But they were more Quangers than Canberra. Pretty sure they did a stint in Cooma as well.

I remember an amusing/tragic story about those two. No idea about the veracity, though. I’d seen Dale getting around on crutches with a cast on his leg. I asked a friend what happened. As the tale goes, Megan wanted to get into the sleeping pulls for a suicide attempt, but Dale hid them from her to prevent it. And in her attempts to get them from him, she broke his leg.

Johnny_Moe 1:20 pm 11 Oct 12

Conan of Cooma said :

Then there was the quasi-Goths, Dale and Megan. But they were more Quangers than Canberra. Pretty sure they did a stint in Cooma as well.

They hung out at the Cooma Cemetery getting up to strange things if I remember correctly, as a child I referred to them as the Adams Family. Click click.

Thank you for bringing back a lost memory.

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