Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press, 2019), 408pp, $40
Not many memoirs sit on my shelves because most people’s lives are boring. Shayne Carter’s life has not been boring.
Probably best known for Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer, Carter has also played and guested in so many other bands he’s deeply woven into the soundtrack of this nation. Dead People I Have Known, though, is much more than just an autobiography and an account of the alternative music scene. Sure, Shayne Carter, child and rock star, is front and centre as he should be. But the book is like a Venn diagram of insightful and often humorous personal revelation, an insider’s view of the Dunedin rock scene as the fast-beating young heart of New Zealand music, and of an upbringing in a household reeking with booze, domestic violence, psychiatric dismay – and love. [Read more…]