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

Ripper


Propeller


Raw power

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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.

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Members:

Johnny Volume - guitar

Ronnie Recent - bass, vocals

Des Truction - drums

Mal Licious - bass