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Needles & Plastic: Flying Nun Records 1981-1988

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Founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd, Flying Nun Records unleashed an extraordinary wave of New Zealand music on listeners in Aotearoa and around the world – from The Clean to the Headless Chickens, Look Blue Go Purple to The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience.

Needles and Plasticis a fully illustrated account of the label, the bands and the songs from 1981–1988 – the critical early years, when the label was based in Christchurch and getting records pressed in New Zealand.

Matthew Goody tells the story through the records themselves. In entries on over 140 records from The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho!’ 7" in 1981 to The Verlaines’ Bird-Dog LP in 1988, the book draws on years of research to reveal the stories of the bands, the recordings, the songs and the audience, with a host of characters contributing along the way – Shepherd, Chris Knox, Doug Hood, Hamish Kilgour and many more.

In this remarkable tale of creativity and chaos, do-it-yourself innovation and extraordinary attempts at world domination, Needles and Plastic tells the inside story of one of New Zealand’s – and the world’s – great independent music labels.