The band grew out of Rooter, a fledgling punk act, formed at the end of 1977, who played the inner-city punk club Zwines. They were captured fleetingly on Eye Witness’s 1978 punk documentary, although, they were never solely punks.
They played a mix of punk and amped-up pub rock, as evidenced by the mixed age and musical backgrounds of the group and their choice of covers included Ray Columbus and The Invaders’ ‘She’s A Mod’, half of their contribution to Auckland punk/new wave compilation AK79. The other half, ‘Never Been To Borstal’ was a gruff, compelling punk original.
From late 1978 to early 1980, The Terrorways were regulars at Zwines, Island of Real, Globe Tavern, Windsor Castle and the State Theatre dances. They made it to Hamilton and Wellington’s Last Resort in September 1979 and Wellington’s Rock Theatre in November 1979. They posthumously released their only single through Ripper Records in May 1980, ‘Short Haired Rock and Roll’ with Proud Scum’s ‘Suicide 2’ on the flip.
They reformed for one-off engagements at XS Café in mid-October 1980 and for the AK79 reunion in 2008.
Rooter’s previously unreleased take on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’ from 1979 was made available on a double LP 2008 reunion reissue of AK79.
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Kerry Buchanan - drums
Peter Hoffman - guitar
Gary Hunt - drums
John No-one - vocals
Dean Martelli - guitar
Chris Orange - bass
Kerry Buchanan wrote the liner notes to the 1993 Propeller/Flying Nun reissue of AK79. He was also a Real Groove magazine hip-hop columnist for many years.
Dean Martelli was later in Rebel Truce whose track The Man Inside appeared on the Class of 81 compilation.
Chris Orange joined The Features in 1980, later moving to Japan for some years before returning to New Zealand.
Gary Hunt worked as a roadie for Spandau Ballet in the UK. He is now a metal furniture designer.