The zine was put together by Derek and Finbar, who had previously being making a bigger fanzine (with their friend Alan) called Catharsis. Gearhead Nation was a mainstay for three and half years in pre-internet Dublin, lasting from the early 90’s until the end of 1997 at issue 42.
Format and History
Gearhead Nation was a freesheet, a photocopied A4 sheet folded to make a 4 page A5 zine, however often this would be bigger, sometimes appearing as an 8 to 12 A5 page zine. The zine was left for free around Dublin in cafés, record shops, buses, colleges, wherever possible; its contents were overtly political with features on boycott campaigns (of Nestlé, McDonalds, Unilever, etc.), the assimilation of independent culture into large business, sexuality, lifestyle choices and a wide range of other topics. It also contained news and reviews of independent music, zines and publications. It was consistently published.
Together with another freesheet zine of the time, React, Gearhead Nation could be credited to some extent for inspiring the boom in freesheets in Dublin during the mid to late ‘90s, with such titles as Sl@nted @nd Ench@nted, Loserdom, Helium Bong, Planet Fish, the world won’t listen, Analogue Bubblebath, etc. By the end of 1997, it was apparent that the zine was losing some of its steam which is understandable enough given the level of commitment needed by both involved. Derek now runs an independant record label, Red F Records, which is based in France which keeps the connection to the Dublin independant music scene from which Gearhead Nation revolved around.