The Scavengers Profile

Andrew Schmidt
28 May 2013

Auckland punk pioneers The Scavengers blazed a controversial trail through the New Zealand’s music scene in the late 1970s by inciting tabloid outrage with drunken appearances at Moody Richards, Wellington’s Universities Arts Festival and on children’s TV show Nice One Stu and chart show Ready To Roll.

As The 1B Darlings, they’d tapped glam rock, pub R&B and New York street rock. Renamed The Scavengers, Mike Lesbian (Mike Simons), Johnny Volume (Ken Cooke), Mal Licious (Marlon Hart), and Des Truction (Simon Monroe) amped it up another notch and set the New Zealand template for punk rock with fellow first wave punks, Suburban Reptiles.

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Crofts Nightclub (later Moody Richards), the first club in Auckland to allow punk bands
Photo credit: Johnny Volume Collection
The Scavengers' Ronnie Recent with guest Buster Stiggs, Auckland University 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Design by Johnny Volume.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Zwines, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Des Truction
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Mysterex
Ronnie Recent, Johnny Volume, Des Truction - Windsor Castle 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Outside the Windsor Castle, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
The 1B Darlings in 1976 - Johnny Volume and Mike Lesbian
Photo credit: Johnny Volume Collection
Ronnie Recent, Des Truction, Johnny Volume
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Des Truction does his bit during True Love, Globe Hotel 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Design by Johnny Volume.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Mike Lesbian and Johnny Volume at the Rip It Up farewell to writer Jeremy Templer, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Brendan Perry interviewed on Give It A Whirl
The Scavengers at Auckland University with Buster Stiggs (left) guesting, 1978
Zwines, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
The Scavengers at Auckland University Cafe, with extra member, Buster Stiggs
Photo credit: Rachel McCarthy collection
Design by Johnny Volume.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Ronnie Recent
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Ronnie Recent
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
The 2004 Scavengers reunion show. Dion from The D4 stood in for Brendan Perry (Ronnie Recent)
Photo credit: Andrew Schmidt Collection
Marching Girls 'Plain Jane' EP poster from 1985
The Scavengers farewell gig at Zwines.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Des Truction at Zwines, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Tidball
The Scavengers with Mal Licious, mid 1977
The Scavengers mid 1977 - Des Truction, Mal Icious, Johnny Volume, Mike Lesbian
Photo credit: Johnny Volume Collection
The Scavengers at Wellington's Victoria University in August 1977. Various Suburban Reptiles are seen dancing.
Photo credit: Photo by Wayne Hunter
Mike Lesbian, 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Billy Planet
The 1B Darlings - Ken Cooke & Mike Simons, 1976
Des Truction - Moody Richards, Airedale St, 1977
Photo credit: Photo by Anthony Phelps
Marching Girls' 1985 single, 'Plain Jane', issued by EMI. It featured The Scavengers / Marching Girls' live favourite 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' on the B-side.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Ronnie Recent, Zwines 1978
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
Labels:

Ripper


Propeller


Raw power

Trivia:

The song Mysterex was written about former lead singer Mike Lesbian.

Johnny Volume, Ronnie Recent lived in a flat in Remuera where The Scavengers practised on the front lawn. Noise complaints killed this idea after a couple of rehearsals.

Ronnie Recent returned to the UK in the early 1980s, where, as Brendan Perry, he found global fame with Dead Can Dance.

The Scavengers reformed for shows in Auckland in 2004 and 2008. Their music was compiled and released in 2003 by New Zealand music archivist John Baker.

Members:

Johnny Volume - guitar

Ronnie Recent - bass, vocals

Des Truction - drums

Mal Licious - bass

Mike Lezbian - vocals