Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I just happened to come across my ORIGINAL and not the xeroxed by Imants Krumins copy of THE NEXT BIG THING #1 (complete with detached front cover---these things certainly were not built to last) just a few days back and what should appear in my own mailbox like the very next day but THIS!!! Yes, none other than the latest excursion into whatever's left of seventies rock fandom done up really neat in a bag with a paper label attached at the front just like you see in the Thrift Shop! Only these ain't made to hang up on the peg board display like hair curlers or cheap candy---naw, this is something a whole lot more crucial to your own rockist tendencies and like, if you value yourself a hardcore rock 'n roll fan this might be (but probably ain't) one of your LAST CHANCES to cop some of that reality before it skedaddles its way into the Old Rock Fan Home.

THE NEXT BEST THING has always been a more straightforward than your typical fanzine rag production ever since it appeared on the legendary "scene" a good forty years back. While other fanzines (or 'zines as they like to be called not wanting any connection with a loathsome "past") flittered their pages away with dated rhetoric and coverage of acts that really could not stand the test of a second let alone "time", THE NEXT BIG THING concentrated on music that continues to play the soundtracks for our sometimes dreary but occasionally exuberant existences. Going against the tide of flavor of the month hype NBT was a unique offering in the world of rock fandom and, with a few exceptions (such as that Pete Burns article which might not have fooled you but fooled me!), the vision and outlook of Lindsey Hutton and crew remains a steady stream of pure and lasting satisfaction in the fact that what Hutton thought was good in 1977 remains good in 2017! Really, how much staying power did a lot of the flash of them days really retain as if you're still rummaging through the ol' record collection to dig up some of those new wave platters which might have seemed cool 'nuff in 1977, but by 1980 didn't they seem just a trifle square???

Coulda been thicker but wha' th''s still a fun read and in the old (hand-printed, at least in part) NEXT BIG THING tradition starting off with some current musings from Mr. Hutton that remind me of the same soul searching the man would go through even during the early days of bitter struggle. And after that well whew!, wotta trip we're ALL in store for what with the sagas on Hutton's current soapbox causes the Dahlmanns and Amy Rigby (who I never knew was a member of the En Why See country-rock group the Last Roundup...learn somethin' new everyday!) along with pieces on Reine Laken (yeah, don't ask me to pronounce that!) and this thing called the Funtastic Dracula Carnival, a yearly event in Spain where I get the idea that more bull is thrown than is running after ya. Heck, even famous artist J.D. King contributed an article on the Hullaballoo Club which for the life of me I can't see as being "autobiographical". Things like that just don't (or better yet shouldn't) happen in real life!

And to top even more mayonnaise on the baloney sandwich Hutton included a record (or maybe the magazine was included with the record...details are kinda sketchy) featuring Big Push Band #1 the Dahlmanns, who actually recorded under the auspices of Andy ne. Adny Shernoff .The band along with the one-time Dictator came up with a nice pair of pop ditties that don't quite hearken back to the past as they do present themselves in 2017 as the end response of it all, and somehow that's A-OK with me. It even comes in a nice hard cardboard sleeve which really must've sent Mr. Hutton back to the poorhouse...I mean, how can the guy afford such a wondrous package while earning such little pay. Now I don't know exactly what the guy does for a living, but he really must have scrimped and saved to be able to bring a project like this to fruition and maybe sold some precious records or plasma while he was at it as well.

Those of you (like me) who dread the current state of rock journalism (especially on the printed page) should rejoice in the appearance of not only this new NEXT BIG THING but offerings like VULCHER not to mention some new publications guaranteed to cross your path as the weeks go on. This could be the beginning of a New Rock Journalism that eschews the snobbish hippie mindset that permeated the form ever since Jann Wenner got hold of his first few million from Ralph J., and all I gotta say is that if there is indeed a new era of fanzine musings headed our way can a certain un-named and closer to home periodical be making a long awaited comeback within a relatively short span of time? Of course not, you idiot!

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