ANTHONY PHELPS

From AK79 to the Class of 81 - Photos from 1978 to 1982

Anthony Phelps

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 Issued on the 40th Anniversary of the release of the iconic Auckland album Class Of 81 this new photo book spans 1978-1982 and documents the New Zealand punk, post punk, new wave and thriving young band scene. Featuring 180 images of 40 bands across 50 shoots - many of these previously unseen.

In 1978 a young man began to take photographs of the bands that visited his school, playing lunchtime concerts. From there, Anthony Phelps followed the bands to the other venues they were playing and over the next five years, he visually documented one of the most exciting eras in Auckland’s rock and roll history, the punk and post-punk years.

They were heady years, as punk created an explosion in new music in New Zealand with dozens of new venues and literally hundreds of new bands, plus a nascent New Zealand indie recording industry that survives today. Names like Toy Love, The Scavengers, Pop Mechanix, The Terrorways, The Spelling Mistakes and The Screaming Meemees are all part of our musical history and Anthony photographed them all and many more. Some of his images have become iconic in the decades since, images like the AK79 album cover which must exist in thousands of New Zealand homes and homes around the world.

Whilst a good number of Anthony’s images have been widely seen over the years, most of the thousands he took over those years have remained unpublished until now. Encouraged by friends, Anthony has, over the past year, selected 300 images and from that reduced it down to 175 images that take in 50 shoots and some 40 bands. As well as local bands, he has unseen images of international acts like The Clash and the Ramones. All these have been lovingly and carefully rescanned from the negatives and transparencies and the result is this book, of 114 pages.