Thursday, June 04, 2020

FANZINE REVIEW! PUNK #1 (reissue of 1976 magazine)

If you were too poor, too fetal, or in my case too stoopid (hey Jay, I can be "self deprecating" too!) to get this 'un way back 1976 way well, you've finally got that SECOND CHANCE that you've always wanted in life. And I sure did when John Holmstrom decided to once again put out the first issue of his own PUNK magazine, a rag that really started a whole lotta balls rolling and helped escalate a whole lotta local movement at a time when everything seemed just about right for rock 'n roll to move into its next phase. A phase which in many ways was for it to go back a few phases and sorta look things over...see what exactly WENT WRONG inna first place to the point where the Captain and Tennille were considered rock 'n roll while the Troggs probably hadda pay for cab fare after one of their concerts.

Hey, this is supposed to be a 40th ANNIVERSARY REPRINT but it's actually a good 45 years after the mean I really was too stoopid to get this thing when it was first unleashed a good half-decade back? Chalk up another case of terminal retarditis, but hey I finally got the thing and maybe I should gib myself some credit for being at least astute enough. I mean, I have no doubt that I WAS THE FIRST ONE ON MY BLOCK TO EVEN READ PUNK ANYWAY, so at least I have that little bit to console me in my old age.

Small ish, but packed with lotsa fun goodies some of which don't quite seem punkish enough to fit in. The Marlon Brando article is too downright intellectual/serioso to appear in these pages unless Pauline Kael wrote the thing under an alias and paid PUNK to print it. The METAL MACHINE MUSIC appraisal also had this style to it that would have been more fitting in some "journal of aesthetic new music" publication you used to see ads in OP for. Nice enough and even informative, but it is suitable for PUNK?

More up my expansive alley are the things that PUNK was best known for, like the Lou Reed interview with the fumetti and cartoons intermingling with the printed word, not to mention the interview with Sluggo of NANCY fame where Our Hero gets to spill his guts as to what really goes on once the ink dries and our favorite funny page characters go out and live lives of their own. The turd comic was good as well proving that I ain't the only person on the face of this earth that can be called "crude" (which Don Fellman believes is a rather pale description of some of my more sewer-level dives into the cesspool of life).

Its things like this that made PUNK such a great publication. Remember back inna seventies when things like NATIONAL LAMPOON could get away with some pretty risky humor mocking all sorts of sacred bovine that you just can't touch these days? Not to mention the likes of the original SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE which played loose with the rules as to what can or can't be satirized? Sure nowadays it's the everyday dude who arouses the ire of the better than thou crowd and has to pay for it repeatedly, but at least fortysome years back he could bask in the solace that while he was being razzed if only because he went to work and didn't attend cocktail parties so were the minorities and socially aware uplifters who now go out of their way to loathe the same people they claimed to have loved lo these many years. At least back then you knew that although you were getting berated incessantly via the television and newspapers, so were the Nelson Rockefellers and Betty Fords. That was back before political correctness and snowflakes began to metastasize themselves into modern living, but at least I once coulda licked my chops really good knowing that there were targets painted on the backs of the same Big City columnists who revel in our misery!

Anyway allow me to get off my soapy box... Not only was PUNK #1 a good beginning but it stands as a watermark in rock history as far as its coverage of rock as a hard-edged force in the lives of many went. Or at least rock as I always liked it---that wild, hypnotizing and feral sound that could even piss off the aforementioned twits who for once got a chance to prove just how tolerant they weren't. Fans of seventies rock fanzines should not be without this hi-quality reprint...for a copy why not write 219 E. 10th St., Apt. 4D, New York City 10003 and see what awaits.


Lord Scornish said...

Captain and Tennille did nothing wrong.

(((Simon N Ratfinkle))) said...

(((Lou Reed)))

Alvin Bishop said...

A new one to me, Chris! In that era I read the excellent Trouser Press and BOMP. Also, New York Rocker, when I could find one! And NME. My old favorite, Rolling Stone, had aged poorly, was about as relevant as Billboard. Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Lewd Greed said...