Blood on the Floor: Wellington 1st Wave 1977-78

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Punks Putter To Fiery Halt


Punk arrived in Wellington in the form of Auckland bands The Suburban Reptiles and The Scavengers who played a couple of shows at the 1977 National Students Arts Festival. During this an audience member got her head smacked open when the Reptiles member Buster Stiggs hurled a drum stick into an abusive audience. The "Blood On The Floor" incident as it became known was one of a number of 'shock horror' stories on the new punk phenomenon eagerly published by the local media.

The Reptiles and The Scavengers returned to Wellington a year later to headline the New Wave Special 78 at the Town Hall. The event was filmed for TVNZ with investigative reporter Neil Roberts attempting to cast some light on the new 'punk rock cult'. Avant-garde proto-punk band 52 were the only Wellington act on the bill that night but are excluded from the documentary.

Wellington soon developed its own punk scene with bands such as The Normals, Smashed Executive, The Amps and The Spies playing regular shows at The Mindshaft, The Last Resort and Willy's Wine Bar. Faced with a lack of venues to play at band members started holding Sunday afternoon gigs in Cuba Mall during the spring of 1979. These became a regular meeting place for punks of all ages to gather, exchange ideas and listen to new music.