Scavengers, The - 2003 - The Scavengers (NZ)
Formed at Auckland Technical Institute by Graphic Design students, Cooke, Munroe, Simons and Hart as The 1B Darlings in 1976, the band was heavily influenced by British R&B, Glam Rock and 60s US Garage Rock. In 1977 they renamed themselves The Scavengers, gave themselves new names (Cooke as Johnny Volume, Munroe as Des Truction, Simons as Mike Lezbian and Hart as Mal Icious), and their style mutated in the direction of the US Punk rock and pre-Punk Rock acts.
Through much of 1977 they were, with The Suburban Reptiles, the only Punk bands in Auckland. In June 1977, with The Suburban Reptiles and The Masochists, they played New Zealand's first major punk gig at Auckland University. During this time their repertoire was mostly covers but by early 1978 they had written a set of original tunes.
In late 1977 bassist Hart left to be replaced by Brendan Perry. He later reappeared in The Stimulators.
In March 1978 they began a residency at new Auckland Punk Club, Zwines. Soon after Simons left (inspiring their signature song "Mysterex"), and Perry moved to vocals.
Two Scavengers tracks appear on the Ripper compilation AK79 and a posthumous album was released in 2003.
In 1979 The Scavengers moved to Melbourne, Australia and in 1980 renamed themselves The Marching Girls. Perry later formed Dead Can Dance and Munroe played briefly for The Birthday Party during the band's final tour in New Zealand. Both Cooke and Munroe are still working musicians in Melbourne.
The Scavengers were hugely influential in Auckland in the late seventies, inspiring a whole generation of young bands and their importance goes far beyond their few releases.
They reformed in 2004 for a one off show in Auckland without Perry, and again at the AK79 reunion in 2008.
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