The Stones

Dunedin’s The Stones were masters of the telling one-liner. “We want to be God,” guitarist Wayne Elsey told the indie masses at Punakaiki festival near Greymouth in April 1983, before chopping out a stunning version of ‘Fad World’, crammed with guitar improvisation.

Elsey was mocking southern piety and punk’s egalitarianism, while slyly (and knowingly) referencing John Lennon’s controversial comparison of The Beatles’ popularity with that of Jesus Christ.

Wayne Elsey, Jeff Batts and Graeme Anderson
Back: Jeff Batts and Wayne Elsey. Front: Graeme Anderson
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
Jeff Batts at a 3ZM spnsored concert
A generic Stones poster, year unknown
The Verlaines, The Stones and The Clean. This was The Verlaines first gig as a three piece, 1981. They only played three songs before it was shut down
The Stones - Wayne Elsey, Jeff Batts, Graeme Anderson
Photo credit: Photo by Carol Tippet
Wayne Elsey, Graeme Anderson, Jeff Batts
May 1982
The Stones outside The Gladstone, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
The Stones at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands, January 2 1983
Photo credit: Photo by Glen Tucker
The Stones, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
The Stones at The Empire Tavern, 1981
Photo credit: Terry Moore collection
Shirtless in Dunedin in 1982 - Jeff Batts, Graeme Anderson and Wayne Elsey
Wayne Elsey and Graeme Anderson
Graeme Anderson, Jeff Batts
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Handdrawn Stones poster
The Stones at The Dunedin Music Centre, 19 February 1983, with Chant and Gamaunche
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
The Stones - Jeff Batts, Graeme Anderson, Wayne Elsey
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Wayne Elsey
Graeme Anderson, Jeff Batts and Wayne Elsey
The Chills and The Stones near The Gladstone, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Kat Spears  – Terry Moore collection
Jeff Batts, Wayne Elsey, Graeme Anderson

Wayne Elsey found the same dynamic as The Stones – sarcy guitar offsider and say-little drummer – in Doublehappys, his next trio with fellow Brockville boys Shayne Carter and John Collie – who released two records before Elsey’s untimely death in 1985.

Jeff Batts was in The Pterodactyls, the Auckland-based indie group who released a one-sided EP on Palmerston North’s Meltdown Records that featured his Stones-ish ‘Born Again’.

Graeme Anderson was spotted in The Adult Mayflies, supporting Straitjacket Fits in Hamilton’s Hillcrest tavern in October 1987.

Alastair Galbraith wrote ‘Starless Road’ as an elegy for the dead Stone and released it on The Rip’s second EP, Stormed Port. He considered his friend Wayne Elsey again in a memoir for Landfall 221 in May 2011 called simply Stones.

Bruce Russell plans to release a live collection of The Stones alongside studio-captured material.


Wayne Elsey - guitar, vocals

Jeff Batts - bass, vocals

Graeme Anderson - drums, vocals


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