FROM AK79 TO THE CLASS OF 81 BY ANTHONY PHELPS
In 1978 a young man began to take photographs of the bands that visited his school, playing lunchtime con- certs. 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 ve- nues 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of Anthony’s images have been widely seen over the years, most of the thousands he took over those years have remained unpublished until now.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.
Self-published by Anthony and available in limited quantities via a limited number of selected retail outlets, From AK79 to The Class of 81 is published in March 2021.
- 180 images of 40 bands across 50 shoots
• Photographed in Auckland between 1978 and 1982, with a handful of later shots including the 2008
- AK79 reunion.
- International acts include The Clash, the Ramones, David Bowie, XTC and The Knack.
- Local artists include many of the cornerstone artists of the era, specifically document the punk, post
- punk, new wave and thriving young band scene.
• Most images are previously unseen.
- All images are 2021 very high resolution rescans directly from the original negatives and
- Issued on the 40th Anniversary of the release of the iconic Auckland album Class Of 81.
- Prefaces from, Anthony, The Terrorways’ Dean Martelli (whose hand is featured on that AK79 image) and Propeller Records/AudioCulture’s Simon Grigg.