A coming-of-age story of sex, booze, rock ‘n’ roll and conscience set in the turmoil of the ‘No Maoris, No Tour’ protests, the Hastings Blossom Festival Riot and Elaine Miscall winning the Eastbourne Mardi Gras beauty contest. Students pushing personal and public boundaries in election year are shadowed by authorities who tilt pranks and free expression into wild parties and violent death.
It was a turbulent year in the capital and country, as both protesters and a reinvigorated National Opposition challenge a tired Labour Government. Well-known Wellington figures of the time appear in its pages, including poet James K. Baxter, publisher Hugh Price, leftwing writer Conrad Bollinger, the inconoclastic Dr Erich Geiringer, restauranteur Harry Seresin, entertainment lawyer Bill Sheat, Wellington Teachers College lecturers Jack Shallcrass, Pat Mascaskill and Anton Vogt, politician Dan Riddiford, anarchist Bill Dwyer, playwright Bruce Mason, novelist Barry Crump, balladeer Peter Cape, café owner Mary Seddon, communist Rewi Alley, university lecturer Harry Orsman. There are a host of other figures from National Party Eastbourne to leftwing Kelburn lifestylers, student party animals, anarchist pranksters, prominent figures in the seminal year of student protest, and the cafe and streetwalkers’ world where a young Carmen was just emerging.
‘The strength of the book is in its portrayal of the agony and awkwardness of the transition to adulthood.’ – Elspeth McLean, Otago Daily Times
‘What a splendid read … You have made a major contribution to recording the 60s in this book.’ Alister Taylor, Publisher.