Ch-ch-changes: What ever happened to New Zealand’s great rock venues?

Ch-ch-changes: What ever happened to New Zealand’s great rock venues?

Total Property - Issue 7 2016

Total Property remember some of the New Zealand’s most famous music spots and the great moments in rock and pop history that defined both them and a generation of music fans…

1.The Gluepot, at the corner of Ponsonby and Jervois roads, Auckland, was where Mick Jagger once played a 30-minute set for free and Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett smashed his foot through the stage.

From the late 70s onwards, the Gluepot was Auckland’s premier live music destination, attracting both big Kiwi bands and international acts. It closed on Labour Weekend in 1994 when owners, Dominion Breweries, put it on the market for sale. It is now a mix of apartments and retail space.

2.Mainstreet Cabaret helped countless Kiwi bands such as Split Enz, the Dance Exponents and Hello Sailor find their feet before they made it big, and was the New Zealand launching pad for revolutionary sounds from overseas, including New Order and Siouxsie and the Banshees. It is now a five-storey office block dominating the top of Queen Street with 2,600m² of office space that was previously occupied by Ames IT academy.

3.The Mon Desir in Takapuna, Auckland, was bulldozed and turned into a six-storey waterfront apartment complex in the mid-90s. The pub was where David Bowie had his infamous “four days of debauchery” with a group of Kiwi fans who managed to slip past security.

4.Windsor Castle, at 144 Parnell Road, Auckland, once shook to the sounds of Toy Love, Street Talk and Dave Dobbyn. Since its music heyday it has been a restaurant headed by Simon Gault and a sushi bar before reverting back to a local pub. The 890m2 site, which has 268m2 of professional offices on level one, was sold earlier this year for $6.62 million.

5.The Gladstone Hotel in Christchurch nurtured local bands such as the Gordons, the Clean and the Verlaines, and hosted international performers such as Nick Cave and The Saints. It was demolished to make way for an office building.

6.The Captain Cook Tavern, known to generations of Dunedin students as The Cook, is one of New Zealand's most famous pubs. In the 1970s and early 1980s, The Cook's low stage hosted The Enemy (before it became Toy Love), Rockylox, The Clean and Look Blue Go Purple to name but a few. In 2014 it was closed as the University of Otago cracked down on out-of-control student drinking. It reopened again earlier this year as an upmarket gastro pub.

7.The Empire Hotel was the principal home of the “Dunedin Sound”. The revolutionary early grunge guitar-driven sounds played by the likes of The Verlaines, The Clean, The Chills, Sneaky Feelings and The Bats could be heard in the first-floor bar for much of the decade, until the pub changed hands and the new owner signalled he wasn't interested in that sort of music. Last drinks were poured in 2009 and the pub has stood empty since.

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