“There’s something about Dunedin, some unique peculiarity, that has imparted its distinctive stamp on its popular music. Perhaps that sprawling, timeless decay that the city presents to the visitor has manifested itself in the minds and music of its younger inhabitants. Just a notion.”

The second thing I ever wrote (or had published) in my part-time freelance journalist career was a review of a Dunedin fanzine called ‘Garage’. It has typically lurid writing in places, something I am still prone to doing. What was I thinking? Too much reading of the old 1980s NME is what I was thinking.

Southland Times, 'Music Scene' 1985

Southland Times, ‘Music Scene’ 1985

‘Garage’ was published by my soon-to-be-friend Richard Langston. He’s still as excitable & passionate (and prone to Tourette’s-like outbursts of swearing) about music today as he was in 1985. He doesn’t publish a fanzine these days, just occasional books of poetry. He’s a freelance TV and radio journalist & presenter now. He often sneaks outrageous NZ music onto National Radio shows he occasionally hosts as a ‘stand-in’.

There were only 6 issues of Garage fanzine. But those issues capture a big slice of the golden years of Flying Nun records and of music making in Dunedin and elsewhere in NZ.

Thirty years on I’m in an even better position to form some views on the minds and music of Dunedin’s younger inhabitants. I’m trying to write something about it for a compilation LP Fishrider Records will be releasing hopefully around June. I’ll probably just re-use this quote. It’s just as likely to be true now as it was 30 years ago.