Slammy: Presente!

Slammy ascended to Valhalla on July 30, 2007 from his family home in Whakatane, Aotearoa / New Zealand.

It’s with great sadness that FDB says farewell to William “Slammy” Edwardson, known as Harry 20 on FDB. Slammy was involved with FDB from its inception, and died on Monday July 30 from pancreatic cancer, aged 41. It’s no exaggeration to say that Slammy was known and loved by many; his farewell “Ascension to Valhalla” gig, held a couple of weeks before his death, was attended by over 300, even though advertising was primarily by word-of-mouth. His tangi was held at the marae of his whanau in Whakatane, and he was buried in the marae urupa. Slammy was descended from one of the earliest marriages between Maori and Pakeha, his great-great grandmother was from Whakatane, and his great-great grandfather was from Norway.

Slammy had been a stalwart of the punk scene for the last 25 years, sporting at times the hugest of mohawks and cone spike hairdos. His involvement in punk rock led to a few run-ins with boneheads. In recent years he became involved in campaigning against the National Front, which in turn led one NFer to issue a threat to kill him. In true Slammy style his reply was to give the guy his home address and request he try to carry out his threat. He never did.

Arohanui from us at FDB to the Edwardson whanau; it’s been an honour for us to have known your son/brother/uncle/nephew.

I first got into punk back around ’82. I’d watch Radio with Pictures [1977–1986] on Sunday nights (Barry Jenkins, later on Karen Hay then Dick Driver) and they’d play hard out shit like Venom and Kreator as well as The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Siouxsie and the Banshees, No Tag, Unrestful Movements, Flesh D-Vice etc..

The way I got into punk was when one day we were walking back from soccer and one of the lads said “hey, what shall we get into?” Someone suggested reggae but at the time the only people really into reggae were stoners, gang members and Rastarfarians (strangely enough…). Then someone else suggested punk rock… They looked at me and I said… “yeah, sounds good to me…” and that was that. The other guys didn’t really last long at it. After a year or so they turned to the Alt/Nightclub scene, but once I’d said that I’d be a punk, that was it for me. A couple of the guys ended up in the Hallelujah Picassos.

Being a punker in Whakatane in the early ’80s meant being able to run fast (‘cos a lot of people hated you and wanted your leather jacket), being snobbed by your relations and the usual hassles from the cops/gang members. I was into Crass, Disorder, The Exploited (we spraypainted a huge ass ‘EXPLOITED’ on the Whakatane Baths wall! It must of been like 20′ long… hehehe), Undead (the Brit punk band), Dead Kennedys, The Violators, Abrasive Wheels, PTTB, Varukers, One Way System, Blitz, 4-Skins, Infa-Riot, Vice Squad and my fave, Action Pact. The local record store (music was on vinyl in them days… LOL) was damn good at getting punk stuff in. I’d hit them every dole day and then I scored a job which boosted my vinyl collection and sustained my pot stash. I’d get fucked up stoned and lay on the floor with the speakers up to my ears singing my heart out to Brit punk, oi! and the Dead Kennedys! They also had a video copy of The Decline of Western Civilisation which is a must see for anyone wanting to see American hardcore back in the day. Henry had just joined Black Flag…

My first mohawk was cut for me by the Black Power/Mangukaha (willingly! a few of my relations were members…). My mom had threatened me with banishment but that urged me on even more! She turned up just after I had it done and I just smiled at her… she didn’t banish me… meh…

The first punk band I saw was The Plastic Pegs (AK) who played at the Ohope community hall (now gone). I was fucked up on straight vodka (ahhh… vodka…) when the pigs showed up and closed the show down but not until the band thrashed out A.C.A.B.! Then they made people tip out their alc… bastards! I then went home, munched out, and threw up on my records… tho’ I didn’t realise it ’til the morning…

Back then there was a magazine called Punk Lives! I’d buy two issues every month, one for posters and one to stash. That was a major impetus for me to journey to Tauranga and Rotorua to hit record shops for punk releases. We’d collect anything that was punk. Any mag that had any reference to punk, we scored it if we could. Safety pins, chains, studs, badges adorned my black clothing or bleached Levis, red braces and army jacket. Combat boots or Doc Martens were the footwear of choice. ‘tho I did have a pair of snazzy black and white checkered sneakers for skanking into The Specials, The Beat, Selecter…

I went back to school one day to drop off my books with a mate of mine. We noticed a few of the bros checking us out so we started to leave. By the time we got to the school gates, there were like 20 bros telling us ‘punk sucked’ and they were gonna ‘kick our punk heads in’! I yelled out “Fuck you, you black cunts!” (Hey, they started it…) then me and my buddy ran… hotly pursued by several of my relatives… Fuck them… Rude bastards!

A few [Hawkes Bay] skins were around then. I got on it with them a few times and they seemed like good guys. Years later, in Auckland, I found out what a buncha shits they were…

Mainly, I’d go to work (I had to wear a hat at work in case my mohawk caused the old folks to have a heart attack… grrr), go home, get stoned, listen to music. On the weekends I’d hang around with my mate who was into ska or my punk bro (punk bro had a g/f tho’ so he was usually with her…). Sometimes we would go to metal head parties and listen to AC/DC while the bogans called us ‘brush-heads’. Then we’d go to the local church and pig out on Milo and toasties, the price of which is that they would try to convert you… (didn’t fuckin’ work tho’! Hah!).

Out of town Black Power from Ruatoki would pull up to us and tell us to “Come here punk scum” and we’d run so fast! They tried to run me over once so I wasn’t gonna have anything to do with them. I did have school buddies in the Junior Blacks so they would help us out with the bogans/bros/anyone if they were around, so it was pretty safe between our ability to sprint and them. It wasn’t too bad apart from being called punk weirdo, cop hassles, running exercises and surfer scum…

Lots more on PunkAs, ‘New Zealand punk ska and hardcore forum’.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in History, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Slammy: Presente!

  1. A.L says:

    Whites blame jooos.

    Anti-whites blame Naziooos.

    Fa lalala la sha lalala life goes on bow chika bow wow.

  2. @ndy says:

    Drink plenty of water when you take these.

  3. Mel says:

    Kia ora
    I just found this post after looking for links to my journal.
    It’s funny cos I’ve read this blog before, but only after the terror raids.

    Anyway, nice to see more rememberances of Slammy around 🙂


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.