This announcer spotlight was written by Lisa Gibbs about Ruby Soho - florist, flower farmer, secondary school teacher, musician, record label owner, Rock ‘n’ Roll nun AND Garageland presenter. First published in our biannual member magazine, Easey Mag, December 2017 edition. We hope you enjoy Ruby's story.


I started listening to PBS when I was 14. My brother got me in to the station after I stole one  of his Dictators’ records and I got really into all the rock shows - Shock Treatment (with Kev Lobotomi), Sunglasses After Dark (with Phil MacDougall), Muscle Souls (with Phil Gionfriddo), Soulgroove ‘66 (with Pierre Baroni) and Acid Country (with David Heard).


When I was 18 I moved from the farm into the city and started volunteering at PBS. I did some reception shifts, worked in the music library and then I saw the announcer course and thought, that would be really ace, so I did it and it was awesome! I was already a mad record collector, so as soon as I finished the course, I put all my rock ‘n’ roll tunes together, made a demo, and demanded a rock ‘n’ roll show. Garry Seven (the Program Manager at the time and Get On Up announcer) was super supportive and thought it was great having a young chick come through the ranks and he helped me out heaps. There is no way in hell I thought I was worthy of getting on the airwaves. I still count my lucky stars.


I started out doing graveyard shifts for about six months and then I did fills for some of my favourite programs, Shock Treatment and Sunglasses After Dark. I also covered some of the country shows. If it’s not punk rock I'm listening to, it’s country! My first fill ever was on Shock Treatment... my first word ever on the airwaves was the F# Bomb... I somehow managed to completely stuff up the paneling and when I figured out how to turn on the mic, that's all I could muster up so I put on another Ramones was my worst nightmare.
Somehow I managed to get Garageland on the airwaves in 2008. Joe Strummer had always been a huge mentor for me, in regards to playing music and my punk rock ethos. The Clash have always been one of my favourite bands because of their approach to music, jumping genres and there political ideaologies. The song ‘Garageland’ talks about questioning the authority and systems that are still failing in the current regime.

In 2007 a doco called ‘Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten’ was released. This doco inspired the base of my radio show. Strummer had been in The Clash and been super famous, made a fortune off rock ‘n’ roll, and then in the latter years of his life, in his pursuit for happiness, he realised that the whole music industry/money chasing system was bullshit. He started busking and going into community radio stations, hanging out with his mates (The Mescaleros) on the street and pretty much became a gypsy singing songs about love and freedom.

I just thought he was a total boss (a prophet even) and decided to base my radio show and life on that mentality. Plus all the greatest things for me happened in my garage (first guitar shred, band jam, beer, cigarette, dooby, party, pash, construction of all the things, and where I got into a lot of political literature etc.). So I thought it pretty fitting to pretend my show is me hanging in my garage chatting with all my mates.

The key philosophies behind Garageland are 'fuck the man' and 'love is religion!' They are the two things that most rock ‘n’ roll songs are based on.
Rock ‘n’ roll defies so many boundaries and questions wrong and right. Everybody has experienced hardship in their life, so everyone can identify when the prophets sing the songs of love and hate.

Rock ‘n’ roll music is my spiritual savior, It's omnipresent and always there for me. Going to a rock show or hanging out at PBS is like going to church, I am with my rock & roll family. When I was six and I first heard Jimi Hendrix I remember knowing, that rock & roll had saved my world, when I go to the Tote on a Saturday night and watch the bands of the revolution I think the same thing.

I was devastated when I gave the show up four years ago due to a mental breakdown. In the meantime I had time to travel with my music, finish my masters, start my business and become a woman. The resurrection of Garageland has given me a fresh confidence and passion for radio, for interviewing and asking the community around me to get involved.

Garageland is a space dedicated to rock ‘n’ roll music from the many generations and genres that it was formed. Rock ‘n’ roll began when the first guitar was picked up and the first song was sung about the truth. These musicians played not for the man or his money, but for their passion for music and love. Today the best music continues to get made when people are struggling or going through life change. The main focus is always on Melbourne music - the rock & roll mecca of the universe. There’s something really special going on in Melbourne at the moment, it's the last wave of the love revolution.


Ruby Soho presents Garageland with Zak Brown on Tuesdays from 8-10pm on PBS.
Lisa Gibbs is a volunteer on the airwaves and in the library.