After the stately
but slightly over-serious Hamilton era
, the long-running Kiwi literary journal brief
has come alive under the streetwise editorship of Muzzlehatch. After devoting his first issue
to giant worms and the New World Order, Muzzlehatch has hauled Kiwi rock legend Bill Direen
on board and given issue #36 a musical theme. One of the goodies in the forthcoming issue is a profile of the early, avant-punk career of Richard von Sturmer. These days Richard is the supernaturally calm boss of Auckland's Zen Centre, but back in the late '70s he was the wild man behind The Plague, the demented mixture of amateur theatrics, first-wave punk, and political demagoguery which stalked the smaller town halls of Blighty and Aotearoa. Check out this wiki entry
for a history of The Plague and a very disturbing photo of the young Richard.
In his punk period von Sturmer also found the time to co-write several songs with Don McGlashlan, including that famous anti-anthem of the Muldoon era 'There Is No Depression in New Zealand'. I'm not sure if it counts as a compliment, but I recall that Metiria Turei
translated the lyrics of the song into Maori and sung them to a bemused public gallery before beginning her maiden parliamentary speech.
With his usual generosity, Richard has lent Muzzlehatch some of the posters his Plague cronies painted and pasted in the punk era. I'm hoping the little beauties will turn up in brief