Shayne Carter – the cult pioneer of the 1980’s Dunedin sound, New Zealand Music Hall of Famer, and award-winning author of "Dead People I Have Known" will be sharing tales from his autobiography that recently won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction, and the MitoQ Best First Book Awards: EH McCormick Prize for General Non-Fiction at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards with poet and journalist, Richard Langston.
According to the publisher, Victoria University Press, "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".