There is a theory in magazine sales that says that people buy them more if there is an attractive woman on the cover. So you could be publishing a model train magazine, a botany newsletter or a car-trader’s quarterly but you’d better put a lady with big boobs in a swimsuit on the cover or you’re not going to shift them and your distributor will want to kill you.
Not many people know this but I once rose to become Managing Editor of FARANG Untamed Travel Magazine and steered that noble ship right onto the rocks of bankruptcy in 2007, helped along by founders Cameron Cooper and Jim Algie.
In many ways those years were the best of my life and I will write some recollections someday but for now, as Head Archivist, I want to present some PDFs of the mag as it was more than 15 years ago.
On this post you’ll find an index to FARANG-related works organised in a pleasing and easy to access manner. Sorry there’s a bunch missing and some of the PDF renders aren’t tip-top but we were not very good at keeping digital copies organised back then. I’ll try to fill in the blanks so check back if you’re missing something.
Here’s another cover from me. Ice-T was performing at Q-Bar and we had special access. Earlier in the week Jim Algie and I went to interview the chap for the story you’ll find inside. On the night of his performance we’d hired a famous rock’n’roll photographer from London whose model-1 digital SLR didn’t get a single good shot. I took this one with Jim’s Fuji digital, which was terrible. Deadline night had me downloading the CCD profile and discovering new ways to de-fuzz digital photos, which were still fairly new.
Well this is an important issue. This is the fourth anniversary and the last that we would see of the FARANG masthead, instead moving to Untamed Travel. It’s also the Japan special so we have Momo from local cool-band Futon. This was a well-organized effort. We did the cover shoot in Bed Supperclub, which turned out to be a fantastic studio during the day — the end wall was all frosted glass and the interior all white, giving a wonderfully diffuse, natural light. I was directing the late Dan White for the shoot, a talented Fleet Street photographer and a friend I miss very much. The shoot went very well with many candidates for the cover. More on that later.
I was to do my famous Bartripping column this month with Momo so a few days after the shoot we went to mutual friend DJ Octo’s new bar in what was then up-and-coming Thong Lo. I’ll confess I was a little excited for this assignment as it meant taking out a cool and sexy Japanese lady who is in a band and would flash her knickers at gigs. I was 31 at the time so knew to play it cool but before I could even get drunk and make a tit of myself she fucked off. Worried about some chap she was keen on or some such. Smacks of unprofessionalism but there you go.
More trouble was to come when the mag hit the shelves. At the shoot Dan and I had isolated two or three frames that we thought would make good covers and, having got the goods, went back to the office. When deadline night arrived Executive Editor Cameron Cooper made the executive decision to go with the one you see here. Not my first choice but I don’t sign the cheques.
And there I was at my desk on a late afternoon in my cubbyhole by the toilet when I got a call from our Japanese friend. She was not happy at all with the cover image and was on a roll. I tried to explain that the models don’t get to choose the cover but eventually had to put her on to Cameron where I witnessed, for the first time since or before, motormouth Cooper not being able to get a word in edgewise. The whole thing was probably worth it for that.