The Spelling Mistakes

About The Spelling Mistakes

A fondly remembered (albeit short-lived) band of the New Zealand post-punk era, the Spelling Mistakes emerged in mid-1979 from the remnants of two other acts popular with the crowds at the legendary Auckland punk club Zwines -- Nick Hanson (vocals) and his brother Julian (drums) were former members of Get Smart, while Warwick Fowle (guitar) and Keith Bacon (bass) previously tenured in the Aliens. The Spelling Mistakes quickly settled in at Zwines as well, but when the venue closed they -- as well as countless other acts -- initially faced little hope of securing future gigs; many bands dissolved, but the Spelling Mistakes soldiered on, earning a fervent yet notoriously rowdy following that left them effectively shut out of many area clubs. Bacon soon exited, reportedly incensed over "Rachel," a song composed by Julian and Fowler about Bacon's girlfriend.
Following the addition of new bassist Nigel Russell, the Spelling Mistakes' future brightened considerably when they won the Windsor Castle club's March 1980 Battle of the Bands contest; their prize was a free day's recording, and soon the fledgling Propeller label issued their debut single, "Feel So Good." The record was well received, but problems continued to mount -- Fowler had acquired the habit of wearing a Nazi SS uniform on-stage which, combined with the quartet's preexisting "boot boy" following, resulted in a total ban from the Auckland club scene. When even Windsor Castle turned them away, the Spelling Mistakes disbanded in late 1980 in the wake of their final single, a split release with the Whizz Kids titled "Reena's Piss Flaps," an update of the earlier "Rachel." Following their breakup, Nick Hanson joined Green Eggs and Ham, brother Julian resurfaced in Terror of Tiny Town, Fowler signed on with the Texas Rangers, and Russell achieved success with Danse Macabre. ~ Jason Ankeny