Richard Langston is best known to most Kiwi’s from his appearances on TV3’s ‘Campbell Live’. The TV3 web-site lists his favourite dead musician as Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens, which is a strong hint this dude knows his stuff when it comes to contemporary music. Hailing from Dunedin Langston cut his journalistic teeth with a hand produced magazine called ‘Garage’. Somewhere in my messy study I still have a few of these legendary mid-eighties mags gathering dust. In its day the black & white Garage was the premier underground music magazine in N.Z. Full-stop. Stark, eclectic, ardently Otago its primitively typed writings and photos, all 24 pages!, remain one of the best surviving testaments to a remarkable era of music. The punk ethos of passion before profit oozes from its newsprint, grainy photos & miss-stapled bindings. Who needed the internet when you could pick-up a magazine like this for a princely sum of a buck, yep a mere dollar for the first issue at least. The following ones went for $1.50 and then an eye-watering $2. Inflation was fife in the 80’s. Langston was chief editor and bottle washer listing his literal garage in St Kilda as correspondence point. At varying points Dean Allen, David Swift (London based) Alaistair Agnew (Melbourne) Bruce Russell were regular contributors. Garage # 4 featured one of the first adverts, definitely the most primitive, for a fledgling Flying Nun (below)
As part of Flying Nuns 30th Anniversary the record-company have re-produced the first copy of Garage. If you don’t read it you deserve to be an Australian.