RTC (record label)

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Foundedlate 1970s
Country of originNew Zealand
LocationNew Zealand

RTC is a New Zealand record label which licensed recordings from overseas Independent labels in the United States and in the United Kingdom.


The label was started in the late 1970s by John McCready, Brian Pitts, and Warwick Woodward.[1][2] While still a fledgling indie distributor, they had Kama Fitzgerald in their employ who had previously worked for PolyGram marketing manager Stuart Rubin.[3] In 1980, it was reported by Phil Gifford in the October 11 issue of Billboard that as an independent NZ label they had made a first. With the artists on their label having both an album and single at no 1 on the NZ charts, it was the first time an Independent label in New Zealand had achieved this. The album at the top of the charts was Black Sea by XTC, and the single was "Food For Thought" by UB 40.[4] In 1981, it was reported by Glenn A. Baker in the September 19 edition of Billboard that the Australian Liberation label was sub-licensing recordings to RTC. However one act Mink DeVille, was to be excluded and instead be given to WEA New Zealand, due to its managing director Tim Murdoch having a personal interest in the band.[5] In 1982, the label's way they packaged limited edition albums and singles worked well. In a week, the limited edition 7 inch picture sleeves of the groups Heaven 17 and were sold out.[6]


As of 1979, the managing director of the label was Brian Pitts. The Promotions manager was Kama Fitzgerald.[7]

New Zealand artists[edit]

Kevin Blackatini & the Frigids[edit]

Kevin Blackatini And The Frigids were an outfit that had a novelty hit in 1981 with "The Fridge", which was a parody of "The Bridge" which was previously a hit Deane Waretini. Kevin Blackatini was actually Kevin Black from Auckland radio station, Radio Hauraki.[8][9]

Gary Havoc & The Hurricanes[edit]

Auckland band, Gary Havoc & The Hurricanes, had an EP/mini-album issued on the label in 1979,[10][11] The credited musicians on the recording were Havoc on guitar and vocals, John Treseder on lead guitar, Gavin Beardsmore on bass, and Graeme Scott on drums.[12] Drummer Gary Hunt had left to join the Terrorways.[13] According to John Dix, in his book Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock'n'Roll, 1955-1988, the group have noted as being responsible for being one of the first, if not the first New Zealand band to self-finance their record and be successful with it, which had a flow on effect for other bands.[14] They received an IRANZ award for their EP.[15] In the mid 1980s, Havoc teamed up with singer / keyboardist Suzie Divine, calling themselves Desire. They released a record on WEA in 1985 which featured Mark Huckstep and Robbie Robertson on bass and Simon Hannah and Mark Hansen on drums.[16][17]

International artists[edit]

Some of the international artists marketed by the label include Ian Matthews whose single "Shake It" RTC RTS 701 had climbed from no 28 to 19.[18][19] Others include Joy Division.[20]

Releases (selective)[edit]

7" singles[edit]

Artist Title Release info Year Notes
Ian Matthews "Shake It" / "Man In The Station" RTC RTS 701 1978
Dead Kennedys "Holiday In Cambodia" / "Police Truck" RTC CHERRY 13 1980
UB40 "Food For Thought" / "King" RTC GRAD 6 1980
Men Of Harlech "Charlie's Getting Married At Last" / "Tribute" RTC HRH 1 1981
Kevin Blackatini and the Frigids
TM Singers
"The Fridge" / "The Winter Song" RTC KEVS 1 1981
Gerry And The Pacemakers "Unchained Melody" / "Girl What You Doin'" RTC DEB 1 1982
Chas & Dave "Ain't No Pleasing You" / "Rabbit" RTC ROC 001 1982
Natasha "Iko Iko" "I Should Have Known" RTC TOW 22 1982 [21]
EPs / Mini albums
Artist Title Release info Year Notes
James Singer, The Defenders, Culture Mark Wicked Man, Wicked Babylon, Black British RTC RTC 001
Gary Havoc & The Hurricanes Havoc RTC RTS 71012 1979
Dead Kennedys In God We Trust, Inc. STAEP-2 1981 [22]
Long playing albums
Artist Title Release info Year Notes
The Residents Nibbles RTC RPH001 1979 compilation[23][24]
The Residents Commercial Album RTC RPH002 1980
Snakefinger Greener Postures RTC RPH 003 1980 also on Ralph Records RPH 003
Tuxedomoon Desire RTC RPH 004 1981
Robyn Hitchcock Black Snake Diamond Röle RTC ARM 4 1981 [25]


  1. ^ Audio Culture 4 May 2016 John McCready part 3 - the CBS years - Murray Cammick
  2. ^ Audio Culture 19 May 2016 John McCready Profile Murray Cammick
  3. ^ Audio Culture 21 May 2014 RipItUp - Murray Cammick
  4. ^ Billboard October 11, 1980 Page 58 International, New Zealand Success, Indi RTC Bucks $ Slump With LP And Single Clicks - By Phil Gifford
  5. ^ Billboard September 19, 1981 Page 72 International , Australian New Music Liberation Label Bows By Glenn A. Baker
  6. ^ Billboard, June 12, 1982 A/NZ - 16 New Zealanders
  7. ^ Billboard December 1, 1979 Page 46, International, Virgin Acts, New Zealand Package For U.K. Outlets - By Phil Gifford
  8. ^ 45cat Record Details, Artist: Kevin Blackatini And The Frigids
  9. ^ NZ On Screen Kevin Blackatini and the Frigids
  10. ^ National Library of New Zealand Gary Havoc & the Hurricanes (sound recording)
  11. ^ Discogs Gary Havoc & The Hurricanes – Havoc!
  12. ^ Discogs Gary Havoc & The Hurricanes – Havoc!
  13. ^ All Music Terrorways Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
  14. ^ Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand Rock'n'roll, 1955-1988, by John Dix, Page 219, Page 294
  15. ^ Kiwi Concert Date Archive Saturday, June 18, 2011 Gary Havoc and the Hurricanes
  16. ^ Elsewhere Jul 30, 2014 Desire: Broken Heart (1985
  17. ^ Gary Havoc website Gary Havoc Gallery 1
  18. ^ 45cat Record Details, Catalogue: RTS 701
  19. ^ Billboard March 17, 1979 Page 95 Billboard Hits Of The World, New Zealand
  20. ^ Billboard 12 June 1982 A/NZ-16 New Zealanders, Radio
  21. ^ 45cat RTC - Label Discography
  22. ^ Discogs RTC
  23. ^ Punk Aesthetics and New Folk: Way Down the Old Plank Road, By John Encarnacao 111 Punk Aesthetics 1: Outside Music
  24. ^ Discogs The Residents – Nibbles
  25. ^ Discogs RTC