Thursday, July 04, 2019

FANZINE COLLECTION REVIEW! SEARCH AND DESTROY VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (V-Search Publications, 1995)



Words just can't describe just how much I despise the comedy team of Juno and Vale what with their so-poised post-Burroughsian art 'n stick it to the man attitude inna age of Reagan---and beyond for that matter. You know, that cooler'n cool down pat and perfect for the "woke" amongst us pose the two exhibited which somehow made 'em the spokespersons for a generation of pseudo-nambies (or should that be "NAMBLA"s?) whose decayed offspring can be found wherever a just cause or kinda/sorta wrong to be righted may ever be present these sorry days.

Not that I really paid that much attention to the two inna first place, but some time during the eighties/nineties cusp when the duo were making their presence known within the pages of such journals as YOUR FLESH where sycophantic interviewers tossed 'em many a cream puff question, all I could cop from their entire aura was one of total contempt and froth directed at the people in our lives who were actually producing instead of consuming the effects of their toil, and for free t'boot. We're talkin' back during the days when threatened funding for the "arts" or something like that was throwing many an artiste into a dither since said sponge was, for all intent purposes, now gonna go out and look for a real life JOB to support itself while leaving alla that creative work to the free hours they usually spent hustling young boys 'r somethin' like that.

Who knows, maybe the lumpen proles out there did deserve it...after all I guess your average blue collar worker was doin' a whole lotta oppressin' by noting that his taxpayer monies were going to artists who were living off the toil of people who wouldn't be caught dead at any of these "creators'" efforts to show Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch just what a pair of terrible, backwards and knuckle-dragging people they've been throughout their tired existences! But as we know it all worked out in the end...at least these workers were stupid enough to support the arts community even though you know in a millyun years the recipients of all these free dollars would never say thanks!

I remember the big rage, something that really made me eschew the whole lower Manhattan VILLAGE VOICE persecuted artist pose with a blinding anger and washed any last vestige of humanist compassion out of my system for good. The utter audacity of these artists who thought that they were owed a living for being some sort of trumpeters heralding a new generation of shock art Narcissuses could hold no bounds. They were truly of the Nietzschean view that it wasn't "right or wrong" but "can or can't" (that is, creating the concept of "public works" in order to not only bankroll one's lifestyle but gain some much needed artistic cred), and the fact that they were being offensive and in most cases talentless (remember Karen Finley, a "human" I hope dropped off the face of this earth along with not only her yams but the concept art she made her poster girl for "censorship" [right] moolah with) only rammed the idea into me that these artists weren't concerned with any true form of the creative process but only with living it up while fooling the dumbos out there into footing the bill. Sorta like those welfare cheats you used to read about only we're talkin' 'bout the beret and stale doritos crowd who support the "ahts" uber alles!

I know what you're sayin'...but those tax dollars also went to local symphony orchestras and besides, only a sliver of what you pay in taxes actually goes to support such art! Yeah, but can you imagine the roars of outrage from these same free-minded homo superior types if that sliver was directed towards something along the lines of a religious (make that Christian or some form thereof) art exhibit or heaven forbid an installation in support of the Carlist side in the Spanish Civil War? We'd've been hearing about it from Maine to Bizoo and back while reporters from all major television networks sobbed on in unison as Bob Bannister led the entire Gay Men's Health Crisis Choir in a rousing rendition of "Give Peace a Chance"!

Sheesh, that was three good decades back and I still feel the hate. Maybe that's because after all these years nothing was won and the whole concept of everything that was fun and traditional and holy and made up the soundtrack for the entire Amerigan Century has dwindled off into nothing worth keeping, replaced by the spawn of these World-Wreckers who somehow find the proper soapboxes open to them on demand while folks like me (and presumably you) are constantly deplatformed, shuttered aside and, as the current lingo goes, "marginalized" if only for the slightest of perceived transgressions. And yeah, I know it is fun seeing it all go down when the leftist elitist snobs happen to eat each other for going against the norm no matter how ineffectual it may be, but when they get on Catholic school kids in MAGA hats and white people in general (even when nary a Caucasian may be in sight) well, you are gettin' on the fightin' side of me as Merle Haggard so proudly once sang.

Well, maybe I do have Juno and Vale to thank for making me discover the true, unvarnished side of Jesse Helms, and maybe I should thank them for putting out SEARCH AND DESTROY, the fanzine that started the entire RE-Search dynasty at least for a few years before who-knows-what happened to it all (it's not like I've been doin' much googlin' to that fact, nor do I feel like doing so). This tabloid fanzine was a good endeavor though not as good as SLASH, and even though they did steal their name from Eddie Flowers' long-promised publishing attempt which eventually mutated into GULCHER #0 it's sure grand that there was at least another fanzine on the market with its title copped from a Stooges song! And thankfully they can't be faulted for at least keeping their radical mania in check even if it did squeak out on more than a few occasions. I like this only for the music in the same way many chortled over DER STURMER for the sex forgetting the political bent Julius Streicher was most anxious for many a lumpen kinder kid to absorb.

First ish is actually OK in that the overall anger against the powers that be (which not surprisingly turned out to be THEMSELVES) is kept in check with pieces on the Mabuhay Gardens, Crime (!!!!) and the Nuns showing that originally there was some good taste to be found within the editorial ranks. I looked forward to the Nuns piece considering just how hot I these guys were in a post-Stooges/pre-spiky hair high energy vein, though the interview with Alejandro Escovido is troubling...not that his tastes in books, moom pitchers and music (not to mention his musical direction at the time) doesn't reflect the standard BLOG TO COMM reader's somewhat, but his revealing of the fact that he viewed one of those 25 cent adult movies showing two ten-year-old boys graphically doin' in a much younger female (followed by the interviewer's discovery of some explicit magazine entitled FINGER laying on the floor which delves into sex of an even kinkier and disturbing realm) says not only something about Escovdeo but of the interviewer who must agree with the man's, er, tastes given the lack of any form of admonishment. A shame considering just what a power-packed bunch the Nuns were...too bad something like this hadda come along and discolor the entire illusion!

But there are bright spots amid the early radical/porno chic rabble that is snuck in (I mean...Baader-Meinhoff?) and coverage of music that I don't think rates as well in 2019 as it did forty-three years back. Stuff I dug include the two David "Crocus Behemoth" Thomas interviews, one which even gives a shout out to not only the Electric Eels and Milk but an act I never knew about before called Cinderella Airstream, undoubtedly an obscure Peter Laughner band. Additional points go towards the John Morton/Ex-Blank-Ex piece which sure proves that these guys had it onna ball while the powers that be in Cleveland could have cared one whit. The interview with Roky Erickson in #7 shows him down-to-earth and clear in his thinking even more so than he had been in the BLITZ one from a few years later. A talk with Mick Farren was also enlightening since he does come out as being an actual communist who got out of the Army for that sole reason which I gotta say is a lot less strange'n the way chickenhawk Ted Nugent beat the draft!

And there's lots more that should whet any BLOG TO COMMer's whistle from a pretty hotcha Patti Smith interview and Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle coverage to a chat with Suicide (and if you wanna see a rather gross pic of Helen Wheels topless well, yer in luck!), but somehow that seems to be washed away by the dotage given to the likes of various local acts that might have stood your test of time but somehow got tossed to the side on my road trip to punkist perfection. And even at this early stage one can see the ever bubblin' roots of the whole eighties/nineties-bred full froth ire that really wouldn't've gone anywhere had the whole thing not been supported by the same machine that was being raged against for a longer period of time than one can imagine. It was only a few short steps from SEARCH AND DESTROY to MAXIMUM ROCK 'N' ROLL, inverse snobbishness and messianic radical chic complex included!

But the covers to each of these volumes might be the ultimate tip off as to why SEARCH AND DESTROY eventually falters in the midst of my fanzine collection while the competition ran the ol' rings around 'em. Y'see, Juno and Vale were peddling what they called "Punk Culture" which is just as nauseating in the handling of upstart mid-Amerigan teenage music and thrills as "punk community" or antifa can be for that matter. To me culture is nothing but people of a certain background dwelling into their ethnic past even though they might be tens of generations removed from it. Y'know, people dressing up in Eastern Euro garb and doing folk dances even though for all practical purposes those dances, costumes, traditions etc. have nothing to do with them and their new and comfortable existences in the civilized world. Or as Paul Johnson once put it ages back, it's civilization we should be concerned with, not the cultural aspects of existence which ultimately tends to give us some people who just happen to be superior to the rest. And if you think people might look silly clinging to a past they really have nothing to do with, you shoulda seen these eighties/nineties hardcore types trying to take a once-vital music form and disfigure it to fit some crybaby persecution complex mindset worse 'n even the hippies did ages back!

At least some of the bared-wire intensity and high energy that drew many a suburban slob to the cutout racks for those New York Dolls albums they couldn't afford appears within these pages. And although SEARCH AND DESTROY was pretty much a far cry from earlier rock fanzine experiences it did attempt to capture the entire look and feel of the newer garage bands before the sound headed on a variety of directions I doubt even a hundred SEARCH AND DESTROYs could have kept up with. I gotta give 'em credit for that, and yeah I can always skip over the unnecessary bits 'n feces on de Sade and the musical mumblings that might be the talk of the town on other blogs, but I've left behind ages back in search of something more meaty.

In other words, a nice enough go at it, but please be forewarned if you want to keep your sense of MORALITY intact...

1 comment:

JD King said...

Jerry Vale is better than Juno and Vale.

Ditto Chip n' Dale.

Anyone is better than Patti "The Sea Hag" Smith.