The Spelling Mistakes Profile

Andrew Schmidt
30 May 2013

Warwick Fowler was a first year student at University of Auckland and a distortion-fiend guitarist. He was already well acquainted with The Stooges, MC5 and New York Dolls when he noticed an ad in early 1978 from the soon-to-be John Atrocity (Jenkins), who was looking to form a punk group.

Fowler, who adopted the punk moniker Warwick Hitler, had seen a shambolic early Suburban Reptiles show at Auckland University’s Maidment Theatre and he was unimpressed. But down at inner city punk dive Zwines, he saw and heard a punk rock sound that was much more to his liking in The Scavengers and The Stimulators.

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The Spelling Mistakes' setlist from the 2014 reunion at Auckland's Real Groovy Records, April 19, 2014
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Kay
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The Spelling Mistakes at The Windsor Castle, Parnell, Auckland, May 1980
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Nick and Julian Hanson at Auckland's Windsor Castle Hotel, 1980
Photo credit: Photo by Karen Stevens
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Nick, with Warwick behind, Mainstreet
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
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Warwick Fowler, Nick Hanson, Julian Hanson, Nigel Russell
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
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1980 setlist complete with notes for RipItUp review - page 1
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
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Warwick Fowler, Nick Hanson, Julian Hanson, Nigel Russell
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
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Nick Hanson
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
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The Aliens at Auckland punk club Zwines in late 1978, featuring Warwick Fowler (right) on guitar
Photo credit: Andrew Schmidt collection
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1980 setlist complete with notes for RipItUp review - page 2
Photo credit: Simon Grigg Collection
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The 'final' Spelling Mistakes gig, 2003
Photo credit: Andrew Schmidt Collection
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I Want You
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Trivia:

‘Reena’ was written for original bass player Keith Bacon’s girlfriend, Rachel, but he became upset over this and a new subject was sought. Rena Owen, later an actor of some note (Once Were Warriors, Star Wars), put her hand up and so it was. She sang the song live at the 1998 reunion shows.

'Feel So Good' was re-recorded in a somewhat muted form for a beer ad in the late 2000s

'Feel So Good' was repressed as a replica single in the USA in 2012

Both original singles have become very collectable, fetching many hundreds of dollars on the US auction sites

The Spelling Mistakes often hilarious original posters, as designed by Warwick Fowler, were instantly collectable

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Members:

Warwick Fowler - guitar

Julian Hanson - drums

Nick Hanson - vocals

Nigel Russell - bass

Keith Bacon - bass

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