Thursday, March 23, 2023

FANZINE REVIEW! FAUX WOOD PANELING #1 ( c/o Wade T. Oberlin, and you can get the thing via

It's needless to say that the Golden Age of Rock 'N Roll fanzines is, howshallwesay, long gone to the point where it seems as if those classics of yore that I love to reminice about are about as much ancient history as dinosaur turds. And while we're at it we'd better face the fact that, ever since the last of the seventies-era gonzo zines had gone the way of the Edsel. there have only been a small handful of fanzines that have attempted to capture the madness and high energy of those seventies precursors, and I don't have to tell you which the best of these newer breed fanzines is now, do I?

In an age where these wonderful small press magazines have pretty much outgrown their usefulness it sure is nice seeing that there is one rag that sticks out amidst the pretentious tres-slick quap passing itself off as new and innovative. For FAUX WOOD PANELING, despite the maybe too abstract and scatterbrained for my own sense of rockist values title, is one fanzine that captures the wild abandon and downright craziness of the Golden Age 'zines, all updated for a world that I personally wish would have come to an end at least thirty years back but glad didn't because, otherwise we'd never get to see this read which is mandatory in a world that really couldn't give one whit.

In fact, I'd gather that FAUX WOOD PANELING is undoubtedly the first Meltzerian fanzine to come out of the under-the-counterculture since TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE and one that almost reaches the gulcherian heights of that legendary albeit rarely seen publication. In quite a few ways it's different than Adny Shernoff's infamous effort, this being more of a personalist fanzine rather than one devoted to music, a mag in which editor/publisher/janitor Wade T. Oberlin (whose ancestors founded the college bearing his last name that is custom made for snooty girls) goes on in every which way about everything from music to moom pitchers to an everyday sorta existence that you'll probably think is duller than even yours. And if you think I have digested (or even UNDERSTOOD) what Mr. Oberlin has written within these hallowed pages you certainly got another think comin'!

I've had this tome for the times in my hands since at least this Tuesday (it arrived along with a couple GULCHER badges as well as some comic books that are bound to get a good reading before heading to the flea market) and I still can't get part let alone all of its majesty through my ape-like brain. Oberlin's the head of the Richard Meltzer Fan Club now holding court on Facebook, and the writing sure shows the same extraterrestrial craziness that Our Hero exuded in everything from the "Outer/Dust My Pumice" columns to all of those take the money and run articles from the early-seventies where Meltzer would toss fact and falsehood out and left it to us stupid followers to sort out. (Still guffawing about his piece on none other than Santana where he mentions them doing the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's latest film BLAZING HOT TUBS!). And really, I haven't laughed so hard since I attended the Special Olympics which is really saying something!

I will admit that I perhaps should have waited awhile for this mag to seep its way into my head jelly, but if I did that this review wouldn't see the light of day until at least 2045 (sometime in the Spring) because the depths and range is too onion-layered for me to envelop until a time when FAUX WOOD PANELING is older 'n old news. The way Oberlin goes from a great appraisal of eighties SW Ohio publisher/label owner Bob Moore (I have an early VERSION with a magnificent playlist somewhere in the abode and haven't been able to find it even after a THIRTY YEAR SEARCH!) to a hodgepodge dealing with Cecil Taylor's LOOKING album and the Curtis Harrington classic WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN saying lots in ways that probably woulda gotten Oberlin a "D-" but them's the breaks. And some of the heretofore unknown to me information spewed forth is crazy enough to actually be true as real life can tend to be. Dig the information (given to us via Meltzer) pertaining to the fact that NANCY creator and leading light of the Twentieth Century Ernie Bushmiller actually struck up a correspondence with none other than Samuel Beckett!

I believe the cost of one issue is a good ten bucks, a RIP OFF since it only should cost about four at the very most if not the fifty cents it would have had this only come out in 1974. However, don't be a cheapskate if only for your own sake and send Mr. Oberlin the tenner for a copy, and perhaps a lot more as well if only for him to cover the postage and handling.


Roberto Berlin said...

Chris! Thank you big-time for the Black To Comm-erce, and for checking out my first true foray into zine-making. This is a true Meltzerian effort, and while it's late in the game, the 20's of the 21st Century, I just felt it was needed more than evah.

*turns to audience*

The Richard Meltzer Fanclub exists mostly in the Twitterverse (@thegoodmarty), but I am on Facebook if you do that, and thee address Chris listed is correct for mail porpoises.

To all those that want a copy, feel free to email (how is that for a dull contact?) ...that's where to find me.

Oh- and the Bushmiller/Beckett letters can be found here:

Roberto Berlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debs said...

retardo! :)

Dyke Turner said...



Christopher Stigliano said...

Tell that to Eldridge Cleaver.