Dead People I Have Known

Dead People I Have Known

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When we crashed over the line two and a half minutes later, there was a short, disbelieving silence and I could feel my knee trembling behind its sarcastic `Disco' patch. A song I'd written had just been played to the finish, and what's more, it hadn't sounded weak, or delusional - it had, in fact, kicked. I backed down from the mic. Here was a new world of sound. Its sky was borderless, and its horizon curled off a previously flat earth. I'd been given a virtual super power and a flame to shoot from my fingers. In Dead People I Have Known, the legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound-that distinctive jangly indie sound that emerged in the seventies, heavily influenced by punk-and the record label Flying Nun. As well as the pop culture of the seventies, eighties and nineties, Carter writes candidly of the bleak and violent aspects of Dunedin, the city where he grew up and would later return. His childhood was shaped by violence and addiction, as well as love and music. Alongside the fellow musicians, friends and family who appear so vividly here, this book is peopled by neighbours, kids at school, people on the street, and the other passing characters who have stayed on in his memory. We also learn of the other major force in Carter's life: sport. Harness racing, wrestling, basketball and football have provided him with a similar solace, even escape, as music. Dead People I Have Known is a frank, moving, often incredibly funny autobiography; the story of making a life as a musician over the last forty years in New Zealand, and a work of art in its own right.
Publisher: Wellington :, Victoria University Press ,, 2019.
Branch Call Number: 781.66 CAR
Characteristics: 406 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (some colour), portraits (some colour) ;,24 cm.
Notes: Includes index.


Featured Blogs and Events

Best book covers of 2019 – My pick of New Zealand’s finest

I keep an eye out during the year for cool covers and flash-as book production. Here are my five 2019 standout moments in New Zealand publishing: Absolute winner - The Absolute Book This is my favourite cover of the year. Natural, bucolic, beautiful - it has resonated with me from the moment I saw this tweet from Victoria University Press. This stunner of a cover is the artwork Lost (2014)… (more)

Shayne Carter on his new memoir – WORD Christchurch Autumn Season 2019

Not too cool for words Dunedin-bred singer-songwriter Shayne Carter has just added author to his list of artistic accomplishments with his recently published memoir Dead People I Have Known. He has recently appeared at several writers' events around the country to coincide with the book's launch. Here are snippets from Shayne Carter's conversation with WORD Christchurch Literary Director and… (more)

View All Staff Blog Posts »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 10, 2020

Nominated for this year's Ockham Awards (2020), General non-fiction.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top