Thursday, October 19, 2006


No, I don't wanna talk about any of the nice and wondrous Cee-Dees and DVDs that my adoring fans have sent me (including a certain Mr. Jonathan Behar of Los Angeles, who out of the goodness of his heart has flung my way some 1976 vintage pre-Cars Captain Swing demos plus the Marbles live and two-count-'em-TWO DVDs of early Pink Floyd and the Raspberries onna telly! Thanks be to Mr. B!!!!), nor do I want to talk about the hardcover collection of early MAD magazine rarities that I got my mitts on this past week either. Heck, I don't even wanna talk about this new and exciting blog that has just appeared on the internet scene that's bound to make waves with all of you hot and up-on-it swingers wanting to be in with the in crowd! All of this stuff is fine and good and will get the Royal (and I do mean Farouk!) Treatment this coming Sunday, but for now lemme just type to you about a subject that has been for the past hunkin' quarter-of-a-century or so very very near and dear to my heart, mainly the world of fanzines (and a few that I just happened to snarf up as of late...see how it all fits in???).

According to some hideous nabobs of negativity out there in ex-friends land, the fanzine has pretty much gone the way of the Edsel considering the new immediacy of just any dumb bub putting his views to type onna blog and wooshing! 'em out to an eager public with a lot less effort and angst than having said views printed out and distributed (maybe). And yeah, these hideous examples of turds acting as people are RIGHT for once in their hidebound lives, for in this age of instant gratification why wait six months for a putdown than can appear TODAY and to a potentially larger audience t' boot! Still, the concept of the fanzine remains near and dear to my ever-clogging heart probably because I still get thrill-tingles up and down the system thinking about all the pertinent information on my favorite underground stars of the day back when the LAST thing that the "mainstream" press 'n media wanted to do was to acknowledge the presence of high-energy musics working outside of their decaying star system! And yeah, even that sounds way too altie/socialist for someone with strict freeform thought patterns such as I, but I gotta admit that I was totally excited to have lived through an era in rock music which was totally vibrant and as exciting as the late-sixties Velvets/Detroit sonic upheaval (which I was way too young to know about or appreciate had I only been told!), and fanzines certainly were a part of that entire throbbing soundputsch with their circumventing of the traditional media ways, dontcha think?

Anyway, the first fanzine on our itinerary ain't even a musically-oriented one along the lines of those that certainly inspired me to put out my own wondrous efforts, but a self-produced magazine that was believe-it-or-not trying to outdo the old MAD comic book and in ditto format too! And believe-it-or-not, but I even reviewed a couple of these ODDs in my latest issue where I compliment its co-conspirators (the Herring Brothers Dave and Steve, or was it Sid???...wait, he was the guy in the Gants, right?) on their amazing artistic abilities and sorta shrug off the fact that a lotta the stories in their mag just weren't that funny although I really didn't mind given (as I stated) that the two were giving it the ol' college try. Well, anyway it seems that just like all of the comic book publishers (and MAD themselves!) were doing at the time the Herrings just hadda go and put out their own GIANT-SIZE ANNUAL featuring some of what the two considered their best stories o'er the past year, and they did it ditto-style (with an offset cover in order to lure the unsuspecting) and called it VERY, VERY, VERY ODD! I'll bet having their own "Giant" collection of past works re-presented as if the public was clamoring for such printed matter was a big masturbatory ego-boost for the two, yet I dunno if the rest of comic fandom was getting all hot under the collar as our dynamic duo were over this fanzoon which spent its time mocking the comic book and tee-vee scene with seemingly teenage ease.

Actually, VERY, VERY, VERY ODD #1 (dated summer '65) was a lot better'n sarcastic ol' me is letting on, with the fantastic artwork and halfway-decent stories making for a much better fanzine time than THE COLLECTED UNINTELLIGIBLE MUSINGS OF JACK C. THOMPSON AND SWELLSVILLE (yeah, I'm beating a dead fish, but it's a dead one that still deserves a flogging!) ever could. Like all good self-backpatting fanzines are wont to do, alla ODD's previous covers (even the aborted late-fifties issues that NOBODY saw!) are nicely shrunken and reprinted, plus the sagas ain't really that bad'n appeal to a guy like me who enjoys a good groaner gag once in awhile figuring a good bad pun is way better'n a bad good one. True, the "Souperman" punchline where "Lax Loafer" brings The Man of Steel down with a big magnet won't appeal to your more "sophisticated" readers who think they have an edge on the rest of us because they work in porno bookstores, but REAL PEOPLE like you and me who live and breathe in the non-cultured lunchbucket world and easily survive without the needless input of what are being called "Secular Progressives" can enjoy such adolescent humor for what it's worth. The same goes for the "Blunder Woman" saga (where her long-suffering boyfriend Steve disguises himself as an ugly teenage gal so he could step onto Blunder Woman Island and destroy her power!) or even the spoofs of such old tee-vee standbys as SEA HUNT and THE FUGITIVE which sure dredge up the old memories of when I was five watching both of these shows having NO IDEA what was going on, but eyeballing Lloyd Bridges knifing oozy octopussies sure appealed to my kindergarten brain so it didn't MATTER!

Next on the fanzine list for today is 12 O'CLOCK JULY, a mag devoted to the sixties Detroit garage band scene that appeared for a few brief shining moments in the early-nineties then disappeared to where all good (and not-so) fanzines go...the basement! Funny, but being a fan of these sixties punks especially of the Detroit variety and looking for more and more information on the bands and sounds that influenced the MC5 way-of-rocking (and vicey-versey), I wrote to the editor of 12 O'CLOCK JULY way back when asking for information on how to obtain his magazine and guess what...I didn't hear a thing. Hmmmmmmm, I wonder why??? Anyway, given that the editor of the rag must be a bonafide JERK if he dared to snub 'n ignore such a fine and upstanding member of the fanzine community such as I, yours truly hadda go and settle for a mere photocopy of the issue that featured a neat article and interview with the Unrelated Segments, and only now am I getting hold of the real deal which is nice enough but a good fourteen years too late inna game if you ask me!

Half-serious gripes aside, this particular ish (#3) is more or less geared towards the Michigan way of thinking not only with a lotta that local garage rock on the cusp of the teen clubs/Grande Ballroom scene information that always got me drooling (still searching out the Apostles and alla those bands who imitated the MC5, and as early as 1967 mind you!), but 12 O'CLOCK JULY actually had the smarts to include not only a neat piece and interview regarding the Thyme (on A-Square records, also home to that rip-roaring MC5 thriller "Looking At You"/"Borderline") but a piece on the Mussies (yes, a band with that name actually existed!) plus a whole bunch on the Rationals and Scott Morgan that (dare I say) puts the information given in issue #17 of my own fanzine to shame (I think that the guy who did this one was sober, but who knows). It's so funny, but after all these years the Detroit/Ann Arbor/MC5-derived scene still hasn't been documented in a proper and detailed fashion, and yeah a book/compilation is just what the average BLOG TO COMM fan is begging for even this late in the game. But at least we have things like 12 O'CLOCK JULY to help put the pieces together, and for that we should sleep a little easier at night knowing that the saga of the Aardvarks will live on in the hearts and minds of anal-retentive record collectors everywhere.

As you probably know, its the seventies brand of rock fanzinedom that really lights a fire beneath my pitted butt, so latching onto a copy of the first issue of SNIFFIN' GLUE was more than a welcome treat especially in these days of flaccid blogscribing passing as important and pertinent thoughts. And considering how I pretty much don't care that much for the whole late-seventies breed of English fanzine-ing (in fact, I don't care that much for the other issues of this fanzine that I got my hands on), I gotta say that this debut SNIFFIN' GLUE is a pretty hot fanzine ticket to informative bliss, and I wasn't exactly expecting that in a scene saturated with unbearable crudzines that existed only to try to glom some freebie wares (where have I heard that before?). However, I shouldn't be that surprised especially how even """""I""""" mentioned earlier on some post where SNIFFIN' GLUE editor Mark Perry was more or less a "peripheral punk" (sorta like Claude Bessy and Richard Meltzer) whose tastes and maturity spanned a whole lotta games and even styles and certainly transcended a lotta the self-imposed trapping that the "punques" put on themselves at the time, and if anything this debut issue of his magazine proves it.

Far from being a typical English Wanking Class Socialist fishwrap as are wont too many of these UK self-produced fanzines (sheesh, if Thatcher had only lost perhaps we wouldn't have hadda put up with the thought of punk going the same route as the IWW!), Perry's SNIFFIN' GLUE is a nice talk-to-you affair that's fortunately not bound by any of the pre-conceived notions regarding what is/ain't punkdom that seemingly were being handed down on a platter by the gods of Mount Olympus. Besides honest appraisals of the likes of the Ramones and Flamin' Groovies (the former getting the thumbs up while the latter were considered too "Beatles/THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS" for Perry's tastes, though the Groovies were a prospective future feature so I guess Perry wasn't giving up on 'em!), we the unsuspecting are given the no-holds-barred lowdown on a whole bunch of his then-current faveraves from the likes of the Blue Oyster Cult and Todd Rundgren (a review of RUNT) amongst the rah rahs directed at a whole cityfulla up and coming bands. And yeah, you even get some actual relevant obscuro info here such as a writeup of a live gig by some group that was opening for Eddie and the Hot Rods called Violent Luck (Perry making 'em out to be a wild Mott/Dolls/Stooges mutation) who before the issue went to press changed their name to none other'n SISTER RAY! Naturally this Sister Ray was no relation to the well-unknown and unloved (in hometown Youngstown at least) groupage other'n maybe in spirit, but they sure sound total early-mid-seventies proto-punk tough from Perry's description (he say they looked like the Stooges, a blessing in an age when English punk was bound to become fashion-mad) and I and probably you gotta know more about 'em so all I gotta say to you English cats 'n kittens out there is...any information, tapes or pix available???

In all SNIFFIN' GLUE #1 reminds me of none other'n Lindsay Hutton's own ever-lovin' fanzine called what else but THE NEXT BIG THING, at least the early issues although that one was much meatier and owed loads more to the early proto-punk reads the likes of BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT. But still, SNIFFIN' GLUE was a much better wowzer than even I would have been led to believe even...yesterday???, and certainly worth your seeking out for real exciting punk thrills!

FINAL INSPIRATIONAL WORDS! (or: IT'S NICE TO KNOW TONTO STILL ALIVE): Jay! Why you quit? Maybe you somewhat possibly truthful analysis of rock is right! I reed above comments about Cris Stiglino and he seams like agent against the freedom! If this "mans" against you meybe you need to stik to it! Personnally I think he is stranje man. Sharon Pa? Where is this place? Near burning tyre pit? Rekkords do not put hairs on a chest! This man must be stopped! Start wiht him and muve ups! Meybe this land can be saves from the crayzies. Peace!
Kaspar Szumlak | 09.29.06 - 3:04 am | #

No concert pix yet...wait for the big weekend blowout (which might just turn into a blowUP!) for snazzy snaps and a whole lot more!

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