I have always been ‘precious’ about my negs. For photographic images captured back then, “ye who owns the negs, owns the copyright”. Consequently, I held onto absolutely everything I took (well pretty much) and then, after taking a different career path, stashed it all away for some mystical point in the future when I might to do something with it all.
Long before that moment arrived, there were events, groups and individuals that I had vivid memories of capturing back in the day that stayed with me. Zak’s Battle of the Bands 1990 was one of these for numerous reasons. Phil Walsh orchestrated the competition and appointed me as ‘Head’ of the judging panel AND official photographer. Wrangling the panel of guest muso judges while adjudicating and capturing the action on film was memorable and challenging! This was also the last music event and venue I photographed in the Tron working in analogue monochrome, and a professional capacity.
Thirty years later when I finally began hunting through the archive and scanning the numerous and rather idiosyncratically labelled packets, I found everything I expected to (plus many forgotten gems) except for Zak’s Battle of the Bands 1990. The negs were nowhere to be found and I began to think that I had either imagined taking them, or they had gone astray. Then, when least expected, they materialised.
For reasons unknown, I had filed them in some negative sleeves alongside a series of sample negs I had used to make teaching materials for my media arts students at TWP (now Wintec). I was both relieved and delighted to find them. We hope you enjoy revisiting this event as much as we have. Here’s to the musicians that came from near and farther to put themselves out there, and the panel members who had the unenviable task of judging their talents.