Straitjacket Fits Profile

aka The Straitjackets, The Fits
Amanda Mills
8 Apr 2016

“I will never forget Straitjacket Fits out-playing Jesus and Mary Chain at Sammy’s. Jesus and Mary Chain were at their peak too … they were minor next to the Straitjackets – do you hear me, MINOR!” So says music guru Roy Colbert on Straitjacket Fits, Dunedin’s own entry for the title of “best band in the world.”

Straitjacket Fits were certainly one out of the box, a lightning-in-a-bottle rock band that turned the Dunedin Sound jangle on its ear. Evolving into one of the leading lights of Flying Nun in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they signed to major US label Arista Records, a move that promised to take them into the stratosphere of indie rock-dom, but didn’t – a move that in hindsight jarred with the band’s aesthetic. Straitjacket Fits are still beloved in New Zealand, with founding member, songwriter, and vocalist Shayne Carter considered an alternative rock deity and figurehead to this day.

Read the Straitjacket Fits story part 1 here

Read the Straitjacket Fits story part 2 here

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Sparkle That Shines, a July 1990 7-inch single
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Straitjacket Fits - Bad Note For A Heart (live on Triple J Wireless, 1991)
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Straitjacket Fits - Down In Splendour (live on Triple J Wireless, 1991)
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Straitjacket Fits - Not To Worry (live at the Gluepot, Auckland, 23 April 1988 - filmed by Bob Sutton)
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Straitjacket Fits - Dialling A Prayer (live on Friday Night, 1988)
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Straitjacket Fits - Down In Splendour (1990, directed by Andrew Dominik)
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Andrew Brough on the cover of Stamp magazine, October 1990
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Hail, released on 7-inch and 12-inch in 1988
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Straitjacket Fits - Take From The Years (Radio With Pictures special Live At Avalon, 1987)
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Straitjacket Fits - She Speeds (live at the Gluepot, Auckland, 23 April 1988 - filmed by Bob Sutton)
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Straitjacket Fits - Dialling A Prayer (live at Mountain Rock, Woodville, 16 January 1994 - filmed by Andrew Moore)
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Straitjacket Fits - Such A Daze (live on Triple J Wireless, 1991)
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John Collie's interior artwork for the Melt LP
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John Collie's poster for Hail
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Shayne Carter with Straitjacket Fits, circa 1989
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Melt, 1990
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Straitjacket Fits - Kathy Direct Retires (unreleased tune, live at the Gluepot, Auckland, 23 April 1988 - filmed by Bob Sutton)
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The debut Straitjacket Fits release, the 12-inch EP Life In A Chord, 1987
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The US tour edition of 1991's Missing From Melt EP
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Straitjacket Fits in the studio in 1987: Andrew Brough, Shayne Carter, John Collie and David Wood
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Straitjacket Fits - Cat Inna Can (1993, directed by Andrew Dominik)
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A poster for the 1998 retrospective CD
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Straitjacket Fits in April 19983: David Wood, Mark Peterson, John Collie and Shayne Carter
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Straitjacket Fits - Bad Note For A Heart (1990, directed by Niki Caro)
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Straitjacket Fits - Hail (1988)
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Interview with Shayne Carter after the split with Andrew Brough (Nightline, 1992)
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Straitjacket Fits - Dead Heat (Radio With Pictures special Live At Avalon, 1987)
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Straitjacket Fits - This Taste Delight (Radio With Pictures special Live At Avalon, 1987)
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Straitjacket Fits - APS (live on Triple J Wireless, 1991)
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Done, from 1992, artwork by John Collie
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Straitjacket Fits 1990: Shayne Carter, John Collie, David Wood and Andrew Brough
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The 2005 Straitjacket Fits reunion concerts
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Straitjacket Fits at Auckland's Rising Sun (with The Cakekitchen), 1987
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Straitjacket Fits in 1993: John Collie, David Wood, Mark Peterson and Shayne Carter
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Straitjacket Fits in 1993: Shayne Carter, David Wood, Mark Peterson and John Collie
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Dialling A Prayer (Mountain Rock Festival, Jan 16, 1994)
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Look Blue Go Purple with a misspelled Straitjacket Fits, February 1987
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Look Blue Go Purple and Straitjacket Fits at Auckland's Gluepot
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Straitjacket Fits - Life In One Chord (Radio With Pictures special Live At Avalon, 1987)
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Interview with Shayne Carter from Flying Nun band Straightjacket Fits. 12 May 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham.
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David Wood and John Collie recall the split with Andrew Brough (from C4's Rocked The Nation)
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Straitjacket Fits - She Speeds (1987)
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Shayne Carter with Straitjacket Fits, 1987
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Straitjacket Fits in 1990: (clockwise from left) Andrew Brough, Shayne Carter, John Collie, David Wood
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Straitjacket Fits - In Spite Of It All (live on Australian TV)
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Straitjacket Fits, The Puddle and David Kilgour at Dunedin's Chippendale House, likely 1987
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Straitjacket Fits at The Oriental, December 1987
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Down In Splendour double 7-inch, with a John Collie designed sleeve, 1990
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Straitjacket Fits live on KPFK fm, Los Angeles, 21 October 1989 during their first US tour
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Straitjacket Fits - Done (1992, directed by Andrew Dominik)
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Hail, 1988
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The Melt tour, 1990
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A Jonathan Ganley shot of Straitjacket Fits on the cover of Radio B's BIFIM magazine, November 1988
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Straitjacket Fits - John Peel live session, 12 November 1988
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Straitjacket Fits in 1988: John Collie, Andrew Brough, Shayne Carter and David Wood
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Straitjacket Fits in 1990: John Collie, Shayne Carter, Andrew Brough and David Wood
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Straitjacket Fits in 1990: Shayne Carter, Andrew Brough, John Collie and David Wood
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Straitjacket Fits - If I Were You (1994)
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Straitjacket Fits first gig at Dunedin's Chippendale House, October 1986
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Straitjacket Fits and The Benders at Dunedin's Oriental, 1987
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Straitjacket Fits - Telling Tales (1988, live on Friday Night)
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Straitjacket Fits in 1993: John Collie, Mark Petersen, David Wood and Shayne Carter, 
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Interview with Shayne Carter and David Wood from 1990 (and Missing Presumed Drowned, live on MTV Australia)
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Straitjacket Fits with Galaxie 500 in Europe, 1989
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Labels:

Flying Nun


Arista


Rough Trade

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Trivia:

Straitjacket Fits were inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

NZ-born, Australian-raised film director Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly) helmed four music videos for Straitjacket Fits - Down In Splendour, Done, Cat Inna Can and If I Were You.

The video for the Andrew Brough/ Bike single ‘Welcome To My World’ features Shayne Carter as a policeman.

After several years in Auckland garage band Shaft, Mark Petersen became the long-serving live sound engineer at the Kings Arms venue in Auckland. He remains a local guitar god in psychedelic rock trio Seeds of Orbit.

The footage of Straitjacket Fits on the back of a truck in the clip for She Speeds was filmed inside the Lyttelton Tunnel.

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Members:

Shayne Carter - vocals, guitar

Andrew Brough - vocals, guitar

John Collie - drums

David Wood - bass

Mark Petersen - guitar, vocals