Jane Lang's UndergarmentsWednesday, May 09, 2012
Since I arrived in Vancouver I have never held a 9 to 5 job except that first year when I worked at Tilden-Rent-A-Car on Alberni Street. After that I have been a freelancer. But between 1978 and around 1989 I was so regular an item at the offices of Vancouver Magazine that many believed I had an office there. Slowly but surely my presence in the place (I have no idea if it was my persistence at all) made me the de facto photographer of the magazine and I did everything from covers to photographs of sewing machines for articles on them.
Because I had no office I would visit Malcolm Parry in his and just sit or I would do the same in the art room. I chatted with the receptionists and brought Belgian chocolates to the women in accounting. This meant that I was paid regularly. Other freelancers who did not know how the magazine operated would wait for weeks and sometimes months to get paid. The culprit was usually Parry’s factotum (Assistant to the Editor) Judith Hogan who would keep invoices inside her desk drawer for week on end in a process she called requisition. My Belgian chocolates brought in at lunchtime (when Hogan was out to lunch) meant that on of my friendly accountants would go to Hogan’s desk and retrieve my invoice. My 12& Cambie columnist buddy, Sean Rossiter waited and waited for his monthly cheque. I never had the heart to tell him about the protocol for getting paid.
Being in my virtual office at Vancouver Magazine was more fun that being at a circus. All of Vancouver seemed to parade by. It could be Max Wyman one day or Bob Hunter in another. Gene Kiniski was another. Because associate editor Les Wiseman wrote a monthly rock column, In One Ear, some of the visitors might be Randy Rampage (who would scare the living daylights of the demure receptionist) or a floating Tim Ray.
It was most fun to sit in Parry’s office who would greet me with a “Good morning old cock (sometimes the term used was wanker).” Sometime in February 1982 freelance writer Judi Lees showed up with an idea to write about “corrective” underwear of the feminine kind. Parry thought this was a grand idea but pointed at me and said something like this, “This is a good idea but if you are to write about the subject with authority you are going to have to try the underwear on. And “old cock” here will take your photographs in his Burnaby studio.” Lees looked at me and because she was willing to go along with it (perhaps she like most of us needed the money) agreed.
For years I have been unable to find the negatives. I have looked under underwear in my files and under authors have found nothing in Lees. But it was only yesterday that in looking for some 12th & Cambie columns to scan and project for the presentation of Sean Rossiter’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards on June 15th I found the article in the March 1982 issue. The writer of the article as you can see here is one Jane Lang. But we know who she really is!