Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I guess since the editor of this fanzine, one John Bialas if you must know, is an actual fan and follower of this very blog it would be appropriate to begin this "Fanzine Fanabla" with a review of one of his wares. And as far as wares go BOOGIE #7 is one pretty Vesuvian endeavor in the realm of seventies fanzines, encapsulating everything that you liked about the early-seventies personalist reads from SPOONFUL to NIX ON PIX along with the crazoid fanzine mafia mentality that went with it. Considering what a primoid (if action-packed) fanzine this was when it first entered into the world of rock fandom a few years earlier this seventh issue is what I would call a fanzine at it's peak even if it wasn't professionally printed like BACK DOOR MAN or DENIM DELINQUENT (the two standards as to what a seventies rock fanzine shoulda been!) or filled with loads of discographies and collectors notes and musings as to the difference in pic sleeves across the globe. It was just one of those hotcha under-the-counter reads that, perhaps due to its Southern origins, had a nice "what the hey" pace to it the kind you got plenty outta from CAN'T BUY A THRILL as well as a few other south of the Mason Dixon Line pubs whose titles escape me at this moment.

You can tell that it's a real seventies fanzine if the then-omnipresent Carl Biancucci did a few illustrations for it. And he not only did one for the innards but the subscription page which really does attest to BOOGIE's overall value! Not only that, but there's loads of other fanzine dingdongisms loaded in here to prove the vitality and run-off-at-the-typewriter mania that was part of the cause of seventies rock fandom...Gene Sculatti contributed a hotcha piece on bubblegum music (heavy on the Archies!), while Eddie Flowers discusses some of his first rock 'n roll record buys which I'm sure molded him into the fine and upstanding citizen that he most truly is today!

The father of it all Lester Bangs also clocks in with TWO offerings, one a double review of the infamous SAVAGE YOUNG WINOS platter by Mogen David and his... (a longplayer that I just might dig up and re-review for the digital age) and the legendary if impossible to find EXPLOSIVES collection of Etiquette-era Sonics trackage that Mark Shipper bragged about releasing on this very blog just this past Monday! Gotta say that I was surprised regarding Lester's affirmation of the latter because, as a caption to a snap of the Sonics in Lester's punk rock history article in NEW WAVE MAGAZINE said, he thought they "blew". Lester's other contribution is of historical significance as the exchange between him and Canned Heat manager Jim Taylor just might've been the kick that got the guy fired from ROLLING STONE after years of Jann Wenner having to hide from the wrath of Buddy Miles thanks to more'n a few unkind words from the likes of Mr. B. Taylor's note is unintentionally hilarious in its self-conscious smugness, while Bangs' reply is syrupy in the extreme, bend-over-backwards condescending probably without Taylor even realizing that he's being given the ol' hand jerk. (I've come across the same responses to some of my own screeding, though I always played it cool if ignorant!) No wonder Bangs got the ol' heave ho even if they let the guy in to review Lydia Lunch's QUEEN OF SIAM right at the dawn of the new decade.

Other niceties include a Scott Duhamel piece which is legendary only if because the original draft lyrics of the future Gizmos hit "Mean Screen" are presented for the first time (Eddie Flowers added at least one more verse) as well as CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS editor Crescenzo Capece Jr. writing about the time he went to a videotaping of DON KIRSCHNER'S ROCK CONCERT starring the Raspberries amongst other seventies hits and way-off misses. Of course the typical book 'n record reviews are here and are so plentiful as well, and I gotta say that editor Bialas does his own fair share of keeping the seventies Golden Age of Rock Scribbling a goin' with his own contributions including a good 'un regarding where one could get some good pizza in the deep South Mississippi/Louisiana area. Some real fanzoid observations were to be made regarding the subject at hand, including this prize offering I thought I'd share with you:
Short Order-More on that fine Jackson, Miss. institution, the Mayflower. According to informed sources, this upstanding eating house of the culinary arts is run by an identical pair of Greek peabrain nitwits talkin' in bilingual abba babba ubangi conversation. Bad enough they in cahoots with the nigrah native brothers mini-bamboos. They also ain't got no learnin'. They still got 3 bathrooms: WHITE MENS, WHITE WOMENS, AND COLORDS (without the E).
And if you'd expect any publication pro or fan to even attempt to publish anything as primal as this in the here and now, I'm afraid you're probably still waiting for the next issue of TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE to make it's way to your door!
I have a few issues of the Floridian fanzine USELESS INFORMATION here in the abode though for some odd reason I never did write about 'em. I forget if this is because I just didn't think that much of 'em, or because the day I got 'em I had a horrible time at the salt mines only to come home to even more degradation and I just filed whatever ish I had (I believe the one with Marc Bolan on the cover) into the storage bin because I associated it with that horrible time in my life that I certainly did not want to remember! That has happened with a number of fanzines and recordings as well, and when the things do get dug up during one of my frequent excavations you can bet that all of the sad and depressing feelings just rush right back to me like flash! But this third ish of USELESS INFORMATION is such a surprise that I'm definitely gonna hafta find whatever other ishes I have if only to give 'em a clear-headed dissection, old-timey feelings be damned. I always go for these nice, low budget fanzines even if the information to be found therein was scooped from something someone's brother read in some big name mag 'n the editor just happened to hear about it third-hand. Just as long as there's that hot fanzine feeling that sorta mirrored the same sense of wonderment I had romping through record bins and magazines trying to discover that hot flash that was gonna make me a better man with their high energy music. And since I still get that way sometimes you can say that fanzines like this 'un sure do come in handy!

This third ish features a tribute to the recently-departed Elvis Presley on the cover. Even though it's one of those typical if predictable obituaries that comes off like it was written after whoever did the thing copped the live coverage of his death on ABC and took notes during the panel discussion I gotta say I liked it probably because whoever wrote it coulda slammed Elvis in typical seventies sarcastic SNL/NATIONAL LAMPOON fashion like I mighta been wont to do at the time. But they did Elvis good even if the Clash did say there was no Elvis in '77, and y'know they were right! The MC5 piece was another hot one even if it reads like most every other MC5 piece done in these punkoid fanzines. At least the piece that appeared in the first issue of DENIM DELINQUENT was written when the group was still around and the rock populace had pretty much written 'em off...I mean, at the time the MC5 sure needed the career boost and you know they weren't gettin' it from most of the rock press of the day which was more concerned with James Taylor's upcoming adenoid operation!

But I'll read just about anything regarding the Five that these seventies 'zines'd print if only because there seems to be an aw shucks fannish attitude about 'em that I still can't get enough of. Add a few record reviews (LUST FOR LIFE), writeups of the current fanzine crop and of course a report on local new wave act the Snails, and for 75 pennies you really woulda been doing a good job at spending your money wisely back inna late-seventies when that much money could get you a whole lot further'n it can now. This read, which despite only running 12 pages, has enough of the late-seventies spirit in it to send you straight to your local record shop to scour through the latest stack of yellow vinyl Stiff singles that were up for sale. And not only that, but among the contributors is one Richard Barone, who as this issue states was planning on moving to the NYC area and well, I think you know the rest of the story by now!
Here's a fanzine that really made me happy! I mean it, like happy in the way you were when you were fifteen or sixteen and got one of those Warner Brothers "loss leader" albums in the mail, perhaps ZAPPED or that one with side four filled with various Mothers and Fugs-related gooch that you really wanted to hear, only by the time you got interested in 'em all of the Fugs material was hopelessly out of print. Or better yet happy in that way when it's November and you got a day off from work which you spent cleaning the gutters, raking the leaves and giving the yard a final mowing for the season and you're dog tired and it's gettin' kinda chilly and windy out, but you don't care because you're finished with all of this yardwork for a good five or so months! Then you go inside and slip on a hot side and read some old fanzines just brimming fulla that seventies snide punk attitude you just can't get no more and in some deeply inside mooshy way it still feels like maybe them days were still lingerin' about! Yeah, I know that you smarter 'n the rest of us cosmo readers don't do yardwork or sully up your hands like I do, but perhaps the feeling of some sorta seasonal accomplishment coupled with the expectation of an evening of rockist stimulation means a whole lot more to me than it does to you! Or let me put it into language you can know that feeling you get after a day at the office and you just can't wait to get home to your martinis and back issues of THE NATION. Yeah, THAT feeling!

Columbus Ohio's  TEENAGE RAMPAGE's yet another one of those seventies fanzines that I can get all excited and jump up and down about just like I did back when I was beginning to collection these self-cranked rags in earnest. Really good stuff here! Imagine a lower-budget BACK DOOR MAN or DENIM DELINQUENT shrunk down to eight pages w/o any pix and at-times faded printing that's hard to read, but with a whole lotta that seventies energy that only came from a deep obsession with old Velvet Underground records and a spirit inspired by too many remaindered issues of CREEM. And of course a buncha writers led by a Ricochet who really seem to go for the hard-edged, high energy and fun rock and roll sounds that seemed to be more than a soundtrack for a midwestern suburban lifestyle that' seems to have wafted off into some outer reaches ne'er to return.

This ish's numbered #13, yet I don't think it actually was considering how there are only three back issues (0, -1 and 1) available at the time. Who knows, maybe they still are available and maybe there were actually fourteen previous issues these guys put out, but if they're as fun as this 'un then I know there's still a whole lot of good reading left for me to discover. And although this 'un MIGHT look like just another quickie crudzine crankout just like the kinds that usedta clutter up thei eighties fanzine sphere, I can tell ya first hand that it sure ain't the reeker one could expect!

#13 starts off on a sad note: "The Castaway Kid, co-founder and spark of T.R., is gone. Gone fer good. Too many cars that were unsafe at any speed for the way Castaway drove." The obituary goes on..."I didn't know Castaway for very long. He was the only person around who cared about the Stooges, the MC-5, about finding a new record that made it possible to get through another week. The only person around who stil cared about the stupid majesty of those electric guitars. But the hell with it. Castaway didn't look back and we ain't either. Alien, one of Castaway's friends who's never written a thing in his life 'cause he didn't think he had to has joined up and is ready to kick out the jams. Bye bye Castaway. Rock it out." Sheesh, I didn't even know the guy existed until now and I miss him!

But the total abandon of TEENAGE RAMPAGE rolls on, complete with a note about Ricochet forming his own rock group the Strokes (perhaps the third group to use that name since I spotted a NYC-area one handling that moniker around 1980) which featured Ricochet on rhythm guitar and vocals as well as "Bad" Brad T. on bass guitar and vocals, lead guitar and drummer desperately needed. "Combining the two lead singers whose two favorite bands are the Dictators and the Beach Boys should be interesting (and violent). No heavy metal dunces or country rockers need apply. An idea of who Elliot Murphy is would be healthy."

Naturally each of TEENAGE RAMPAGE's eight pages throbs with intense goodities...a short story dealing with Alien's hogging of the turntable playing the Dictators and Gizmos at a party where another guy's so anxious to spin the latest Pink Floyd's a real howler! To add controversy to the fire a negative review of Iggy Pop's debut shows up where Ricochet mentions seeing the Stooges at the infamous '70 Cincinnati Pop Fest and how the raw o-mind of this group was nowhere to be found on Iggy's solo venture. And speaking of the Gizmos, there's a page devoted to "local scenes" and the records that were comin' out at the time. The Bizarros' first one gets a good review as does the Gizmos, only pasted over this writeup's a caveat warning that Ricochet and his friend Mason just got back from seein' 'em live and thought they were terrible, so don't get the record because it would only encourage 'em! Sheesh, I thought everybody liked the Gizmos, other'n those two guys who wrote 'em that obscene hate note that you can still find on Eddie Flowers' website!

As far as other writeups go Piper and Starz (!) get the much-needed coverage, plus there's a page or so of film reviews (THE TOWN THE DREADED SUNDOWN, FREAKY FRIDAY...) that add the usual fanzine dimension that I've always enjoyed. A total winner of an ish that, as you'd expect, makes me want to read the entire run! Ricochet, whatever happened to ya???
Like the above fanzine CHATTERBOX was one of those local isolated deals that unfortunately never did get the international recognition it should have. Not because it was a lousy sure wasn't, but I personally don't think that the editors made that big of a banging noise to let the rock fandom populace know that they even existed the way the folk at BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT sure did. Too bad for them (and us), because CHATTERBOX certainly was one of those nice outta nowhere reads that seemed to be patterned after CREEM and delivered on a more hotcha style of rock 'n' roll as the defining style in your life.  I mean it, back then every other snit with a pen was patterning his journalistic style on the standard drek that was being spewed forth by ROLLING STONE complete with the "classic rock" attitude that certainly did not attract me to anything other than a nice bottle of Ipecac, and you gotta admit that the stench being emitted from the rock press of the day only made these fanzines all the more exciting.

This third issue that I've procured dates from February of 1976, a time right after the glam splurge of the '73/'74 season and the advent of what would eventually be known as new unto gnu wave. In many ways this CHATTERBOX does reflect the strange netherworld between waiting for the next humongous happenings to come up and grab alla us teenagers by the beans as the rest of the rock pubs of the day. A nice Ray Davies interview (which I thought woulda grabbed the front cover come-on hype up 'stead of ol' Lou) fills out a good portion of this mag...the strange thing about this 'un is that the interviewer represents himself as being from TROUSER PRESS making me wonder if this was perhaps lifted verbatum from that notorious publication but maybe I missed something somewhere!  Also in this ish is a piece on the Zombies which is good enough if rehash, an early piece on New York punk rockers the Fast long before anybody outside of the New York press scene really gave a hoot,  a li'l hype on local group the Telepaths (who might have made it into the pre-new wave unto gnu wave hall of fame at least with the name alone) and of course the record reviews *****STARRING***** Lou Reed hence the cover spot. The guy actually gets his latest effort CONEY ISLAND BABY reviewed twice, first by local new wave (not until gnu...) legend Jim Basnight in a good CREEM-inspired writeup and secondly by editor Lee Lumsden, who handles the subject matter with about as much taste as he possibly can and maybe it ain't enough!

The rest of the reviews don't exactly hit the target from a write up on the new Tony Williams Lifetime done by an obvious jazzbo who reads like he's auditioning for the next pompous inverse hipster spot at DOWN BEAT as well as a Neil Hubbard who does a good dissection of Sweet's GIVE US A WINK before trying the obtuse storytelling method of critique with Eno's ANOTHER GREEN WORLD.  And of course, for the innerlektuals amongst us there's even the once-obligatory try at poetry, and if you've ever wanted to read something along time lines of "Dehydrated Urine" by Jimmy Jet well, here's your chance!

In all, a great effort from a 'zine that actually lasted a lot longer than many of these mid-seventies upstarts did. More information on the whys and wherefores of CHATTERBOX'd be greatly appreciated, because once you get down to it these reads were the thing that made the seventies underground move and mutate, not Dave Marsh pontificating on the code of the street as seen from his obviously safe basement window vantage point.
If it weren't for Lester Bangs' contributions to the Austin Texas fanzine CONTEMPO CULTURE I wonder if anybody out there would even remember what the thing was. Even I can remember when Bangs had made his brief sojourn to the Texan capital of freakdom back when his every move seemed to have been covered in gross detail by THE VILLAGE VOICE, and that includes his contributing to what seemed more or less like your typical Amerigan punk rock 'zine (oh yeah, they're too COOL to be "fanzines" like all of those boring science fiction and comic book creeps out there in materialismland!).  But hey, back then I'd read just about anything that Bangs was tossing out at us even thought this period in time was not exactly one where he was bustin' out all over the place with bright insightful musings.

At least that's what the pundits seem to think even though I found his last gasp VOICE scribings to have been some of the best, most delving treatises on the inner workings and energies that were making up the entire p-rock/underground structural stability of the day. Maybe it goes to show you the unique benefits of heavy opiate use, but I sure recall thinking those Bangs' VOICE scribblings from his final days were up there with his best and vastly superior to some of his infrequent mid-seventies duds! And frankly, just thinking about how the guy hadda make the big exit right when we coulda used something along the lines of his musings to make it through the eighties (even though for the most part Bangs would've been totally out of place throughout those years the same way the music he represented seemed so alien next to the likes of Prince and Lisa Lisa) is still enough to get me all angry inside, and really how can anyone deny that justice is but a farce when bright and creative minds like Lester Bangs' are silenced while comparative hacks like Anastasia Pantsios are allowed to live?

Heck, there ain't even any Bangs in this ish (#3) but it's still a highly recommended chew up and swallow endeavor. No, this is nothing near the fanzine punktude of a TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE let alone a NIX ON PIX, but it's still a grande example of what nobodies outta nowheresville could do in order to bide their time until the next big kultural blowout. Grande conceptual artistic endeavors here, and interviews with local legends Joe "King" Carrasco and Standing Waves there, plus a weirdoid report of a visit to San Fran where not only does the author get to meet up with then then-budding Dead Kennedys but discover an interesting usage for metal champagne bottle stoppers in a men's room! If you like clip art of a disturbing nature, boy will you love this 'un!
Finally on today's itinerary's this English import from the early-eighties entitled FUTURE DAYS. Nice print job and layout make for eye-pleasing funtime reading, and unlike some of the competition floating around in post-Sex Pistols England I can't argue that much with their tastes. Well, gotta admit that I haven't played Pigbag in over thirty years even if I remember them to have been rather frozen in their approach, so I guess there are some exceptions. Overall FUTURE DAYS does make for good enough fanzine reading and I should know because I read the entire thing cover-to-cover and I didn't feel uncomfortable or offended by the thing like I did in the latter portion of the eighties after being bombarded with fanzines of similar intent yet abysmal approach and editorial judgement.

Good 'nuff writing style too, and the choice of subject matter from reviews of the then-recent ROIR Contortions/Eight-Eyed Spy cassettes to a piece on the Scientific Americans just goes to remind this old fanabla of the top notch excitement I would get awaiting the newest sounds to come out of the underground as if it was some strange missive addressed to me and me only! The Velvet Underground piece is unlike anything else that has been written about 'em since, a mixture of graphic clip art and highly intellectual musings that I'm sure would even get Wayne McGuire all hot and bothered. True, you also have to contend with pieces on Shoes For Industry and Mystery Guest which don't quite flibben my jib (were those groups any good? I forget) but ya gotta hand it to 'em for putting out a fanzine, in England, in the year of 1981 that did not have a photo collage of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan biting off the heads of babies while fornicating on a pile of cow dung! Some things age like wine, others like that bag of garbage you forgot to put in the dumpster last October and here it is April!
Hope to get another of these "Fanzine Fanablas" out more sooner  'n later, though with the seventies fanzine sources drying up it looks as it doing another one would most definitely be a more later 'n sooner proposition. If you got any fanzines you'd like to donate to the cause, or if you're one of those Greedy Kapitalist Pig types who wants moolah for your wares and you think I would be interested in whatever you have for sale well, well you know what to do...mainly contact me via this blog with a list of your goodies and the price, and if you throw your girlfriend into the bargain maybe we can dicker! There are still a load of seventies rarities that I'm just rarin' to read, and frankly I'm not going anywhere until I read each and every pertinent word of high energy rockist writing both pro and fan! And you don't want me to live forever now, do you???


Anonymous said...

More information...

There's no way to know why CBS Records unceremoniously dumped Rotomagus and the Chico Magnetic Band after one single apiece; suffice to say that decision was a poor one, as both bands have (quite rightly) developed a cult-like following over the years. All in all, the artistic trajectory of Rotomagus was peculiar: they started out as a harmony pop-psych band, shifted through a brief Jimi Hendrix-ian interlude (The Sky Turns Red), straight into a Vanilla Fudge groove; they then went down in flames as a hair-raising monolithic heavy rock power trio. On Julian Cope's excellent Head Heritage website, the Seth Man raves about Rotomagus thus: "The first time I heard this track (Fighting Cock), I did not freak out. I merely walked into a nearby closet and screamed my head off for a minute solid, beat the floor and ripped my t-shirt... then I cowered when it hit me: this thing came out in 1971? Before "Raw Power"?! I just lost my mind... The only thing that predates this monster in terms of being a full-on amassing of all things heavy are all the many key points on Sir Lord Baltimore's "Kingdom Come" LP and THAT'S it, brother." French magazine Rock & Folk was succinct: "Rotomagus create an emotional music, violent, even aggressive." Violent. Aggressive. Intense. On this disc we bring you the entire output of Rotomagus, including an album-length demo from 1971, the bands tumultuous, thunderous swansong, recorded as a super jam (live with no overdubs). Our Lion Productions and Martyrs of Pop edition of Rotomagus comes replete with a bi-lingual 32-page booklet, with the entirety of the Seth Mans article on the band, plus the bands history in both English and French, printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper, manufactured using biogas energy. Hard to believe this is all pre-1971, as much of the demo is not just proto punk but proto hardcore-with enough fiery attitude to make you want to scream along. The vocals are wild, while the guitar riffs and grinds and approaches a Stooges via Motorhead apocalyptic grandeur. Amazing! Tracklist: The unreleased demo (39:41): 1. Laureline; 2. Little Green Man; 3. Fighting Cock; 4. The Sky Turns Red; 5. Runnin' For Life; 6. I Dig Life; 7. Shout Now; 8. Hello the Binaries; 9. The Flufluting Flatmul. The singles: 10. Le Haut du Pavé (2:48) (Polydor 66 664-A); 11. Nevada (2:40) (Polydor 66 664-B); 12. Eros (2:20) (CBS FR-4997-A); 13. Madame Wanda (3:26) (CBS FR-4997-B); 14. Fighting Cock (3:34) (Butterfly BS 007-A); 15. The Sky Turns Red (2:57) (Butterfly BS 007-B); 16. Laureline (2:22); 17. Pourquoi les Hommes (2:29).

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read Lester Bangs' review of Mogan David & His Winos. Any way of posting that for us?
Many thanks,