Manual Magazine

Def Mfg Co: Queen St Riot Series

Posted by Connor Hill on Thursday September 8 2016

Toby Locke, Simon Thorp, Brett Band, Zach Wheeler and Chey Ataria welcome in the newest range from Def Mfg Co., the Queen St. Riot Series; a collection that was brought to life thanks to an anonymous photographer on the scene of the riot, back in 1984.

“The ‘Thank God, it’s over’ concert took place on 7 December 1984 at Auckland’s Aotea Centre. Promoted as a summer celebration of the end of the academic year, this free event was to feature performances by top local bands Herbs, DD Smash and The Mockers. After the set by Herbs and shortly after DD Smash took the stage, the power went off.

While waiting for it to be restored, some of the 10,000-strong audience started throwing bottles at police. There were a few arrests, and more police arrived, outfitted in riot gear.

Dave Dobbyn, DD Smash’s lead singer, then allegedly told the crowd, ‘I wish those riot squad guys would stop wanking and put their little batons away.’ The concert promoters, radio station Triple M, announced that the concert was being stopped at the request of the police.

Parts of the audience rioted. They poured onto Queen Street, smashed shop windows and left behind broken bottles, rubbish and upturned cars. Damage caused was in excess of $1 million.

The government ordered a commission of inquiry to investigate what had happened. Dobbyn was charged with inciting the riot, but he was eventually cleared of all charges.

World renown rock photographer Bruce Jarvis happened to be in a crows nest spot on Queen Street as the riot developed and the boys at Def Mfg Co. have been fortunate enough to bring you this collaboration of his work on such a pivotal moment in history for Aotea Square, Aucklands home of street skating.”