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Suburban Reptiles


Along with The Scavengers, the Suburban Reptiles are acknowledged as one of New Zealand's first punk bands.

Formed in Auckland in February 1977, the group was founded by art students Simon Grigg (who later became their manager) and bassist Billy Planet (AKA Will Pendergrast), and was later rounded out by vocalist Zero (born Claire Elliot), guitarists Shaun Anfrayd (Brian Nicols) and Sissy Spunk (Trish Scott), saxophonist Jimmy Vinyl (Brett Salter) and drummer Buster Stiggs (Mark Hough).

Inspired by The Sex Pistols, the Suburban Reptiles borrowed equipment from the members of Split Enz and soon played their debut live show, with originals like Rosie Razorblade driving away all but three members of the audience within an hour. Both guitarists were soon sacked, and the group recruited Johnny Volume (formerly Paul Cooke), a living legend on the New Zealand rock scene and a concurrent member of The Scavengers; however, he too was soon replaced, by Masochists' guitarist Bones Hillman.

Their roster now firmly in place, the Reptiles quickly earned considerable media attention on the strength of their wildly unpredictable live gigs - they were tossed out of a school dance after only one song, and while playing to a packed house at an area club, Planet emptied the venue's garbage bags all over the crowd.

Most notoriously, an appearance in Wellington was cancelled when a posse was organised to run the band out of town. Finally, in late 1977, the Reptiles set about making a record, signing to Polygram and soon releasing the first-ever New Zealand 12-inch, a four-track EP led off by the song Megaton.

Hillman quit in early 1978, and was replaced by bassist Tony Baldock; in June the band returned to the studio, recording their second single, Saturday Night Stay at Home. Not only did Split Enz's Phil Judd agree to produce the record, but he also sat in on guitar in place of the newly departed Planet.

Shortly following the session, Zero temporarily exited to tour with Gary Glitter; the Reptiles did not play again until October, appearing live in the theater foyer at the premiere of the punk documentary Angel Mine. The show proved to be their swan song, although much of the lineup soon reunited in the Judd-led Swingers.

Band Members:
Claire 'Zero' Elliot (vocals)
Brett 'Jimmy Vinyl' Salter (sax, vocals)
Will 'Billy Planet' Pendergrast (guitar, bass)
Bones Hillman (bass)
Mark 'Buster Stiggs' Hough (drums, rhythm guitar)
Tony Baldock (bass)
Paul 'Johnny Volume' Cooke (guitar)
Brian 'Shaun Anfrayd' Nicols (guitar)
Trish 'Sissy Spunk' Scott (guitar)
Phil Judd (guitar)






  • Auckland

Comments (Newest First)

suburban reptiles

Joined: 19/06/04
Posts: 10
Location: Auckland
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Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:25 pm
Who watched flipside on the 17th of june? it had quite alot about the suburban reptiles since it was kind of a new zealand 70's punk documentary and even showed some of their video!! it was awesome!! Mr Green Mr Green

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