The Mysterious Artifact linking The Chills to Suburban Reptiles and early Split Ends!

Demon drum beaterBack in 1979, aged sixteen, a friend and I hitched the 1500 kilometers from Dunedin to Auckland to catch the tail end of that city's extraordinary punk scene (as documented on the excellent compilation album 'AK 79').
We stayed in a small wooden villa on Park Ave in Grafton and we were told that the pioneering Auckland punk band, Suburban Reptiles, had rehearsed there a couple of years earlier. Now photos of them doing just that have emerged and they are practicing in the very room where we slept on the floor and where I had first discussed forming The Chills with Peter Gutteridge (who was then based in Auckland) upon his imminent return to Dunedin.
While there I explored the garage which was still lined with carpet underlay having also been a rehearsal space and I found amongst the ruins a kick-drum beater - an unusual one because it was half-covered with possum fur for the option of a softer beat.
I told myself for years that I had stumbled upon a rare NZ punk artifact but recently had this actually confirmed by Suburban Reptiles/Swingers drummer Buster Stiggs who identified that, in fact, it had been his!
And, what's more, he'd bought that particular kit from Geoff Chunn who was the early drummer for the band that had been at that time still spelling their name Split Ends.
These discoveries excite me!
Have I mentioned that my choice of career, before discovering music, was that of archeologist?
Martin Phillipps
Dunedin, NZ.
March 2017.
p.s. ...and the doll is haunted and was found in an abandoned part of a castle - but that's another story!
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