Garbage Memo – Introduction – September, 1981

In late 1980, I dropped out of college, tried and failed to “walk across America,” spent the autumn addicted to David Letterman's daytime show (until it was cancelled). That winter I moved into a downtown Sandusky storefront with my friend Scott Suter and worked at Gray Drug Store. That spring I moved into an apartment across from the library and worked at Trophy World. I have been unable to find any notebooks or journals documenting this time.

In September I rode my bike to Kent, Ohio and stayed at the F-Model's house until Tommy Strange and I were able to rent the old record store space (previously run by members of The Human Switchboard) above Kline's Market in downtown Kent. We called the store Garbage Inc. For the next few years it became a hangout, band practice spot, and after-hours party location, as well as a barely operating record store. Starting on opening day, instigated by the late Keith Busch (Dag Nabbit), we began to document the day to day activities (which included a lot of heavy drinking) by typing the “Garbage Memo” on a huge, old, Royal office typewriter behind the sales counter. What I'm recording here is a somewhat abridged and slightly cleaned up version of much of that document. Each entry includes the best estimate of the date and author of the document. As an introduction, the following is our press release for the store.


In October, Tom Seiler and I, Randy Russell, are opening Garbage Inc. in downtown Kent. Garbage Inc. is essentially a record store dealing mainly in hardcore punk, experimental, and music we feel is important but ignored my most record stores. We will mostly be carrying records from independent labels, and will also be selling a wide variety of used albums and any other records we think are good. We will also offer such things as local art, second hand and punk clothing, buttons, used books, local and national fanzines, and any other related items we have room for. We are planning our opening for October first. We may have some trouble getting stock we would like by then, but the store should continue to grow and improve as we get things in. One we get going we will continue searching for new and interesting music by small and struggling bands and record labels, because that is what the store is all about.

Garbage Inc. - 146 S. Water St. #2 - Kent, Ohio 44240