Saturday, December 09, 2023


Well, here are a few more fanzines that have slipped inside my house as they passed by, and although none of 'em 're what I would say top on my want list at least they're adding to that pile of mags as well as pertinent pieces copped off the internet that's building up in the corner of my otherwise farted up bedroom. Sheesh, ya woulda thought that quite a few editors of such old and long ignored publications like SPOONFUL and TB SHEETS would be bustin' down the door with mags galore hopin' for some better late than never notoriety, but sadly that is certainly not what's goin' on 'round these parts! (At least Dan Feiner/Jesse Farlow was on the ball enough to get in touch 'n good for us all!) 

Methinks that these former publishers are either ashamed of their long-ignored efforts or, heaven forbid, are long dead 'n buried and their descendents (no sic) could care less. Most probably they've been deterred by all of the bad rants that certain individuals have directed at me and my efforts, since that was always one HUMONGOUS stumbling block as far as BLACK TO COMM gettin' any sorta positive notoriety or even decent distribution and ad revenue. And you wonder why I loathe certain people out there!

Prized possession of the post's gotta be this early piece of prime APA (or more specifically, Frank's APA) pounce entitled ROCK, YOU SINNERS which eventually grew into a real-life fanzine called (as if you didn't know) WHO PUT THE BOMP! Frank's APA was Jonh Ingham's idea and from what I read via some old Lester Bangs review in CREEM t'was the proverbial doozy what with Lenny Kaye's contribution being a book of matches tied to a paper inscribed "Light My Fire" and Meltzer's an old textbook with some new and with-it San Francisco and the Jefferson Airplane rock-related title printed specifically on it by the man himself. I'd go check out that article to get the specific details of that mailing, but who in heck knows where that ish rests withing a good fortysome years of rock mags 'n related jetsam piled up all over the place?

The usual suspects can be found here what with the mandatory Jay Kinney cartoons and letters from the likes of Meltzer, Ingham and Metal Mike Saunders puttin' their two pennies in...and not much else because I thought that the entire proceedings coulda used more of a beef up in order to capture my short attention span! Probably not enough mentions of the Stooges (at least as far as boffo early-Seventies fanzines go) to keep this 'un afloat! Still this is the pick of the litter if only because it is a Greg Shaw offering with contributions from some of the better names in this sordid thing that we call rock fandom.

Maybe if I took this in along with the rest of the APA I would have absorbed that heavenly fanzine wonderment that still keeps me glued to my old DENIM DELINQUENTs and NIX ON PIX even after eyeballin' 'em a good few thousand times apiece --- I'm such a picky reader, y'know.

I've obtained a few fanzines from the British Front that just might appease my cravings for that long gone form of offensive rockscreeding that seems to be so out-of-fashion in these bizarro world puritan times. In all honesty I doubt it, since it seems that even then (y'know the good ol' days of  rock 'n roll fandom) there was a lack of the truly "gonz" style to be found even in those fanzines that I woulda sworn were written by guys who used to comb through every issue of NME or SOUNDS extant! Sheesh, it's sure dismal living in a world where you know that what passes for rock "criticism" these days is way more influenced by the likes of Parke Puterbaugh than it is of Meltzer.

I finally found my copy of that MESSTHETICS CD which featured a spacious sampling of what was going on in the world of the English cassette culture made up of local (yet potent enough) acts who performed in school basements and traded their tapes with groups in a similar sort of nowheresville straits. DAMN LATIN was a mag that I thought woulda documented this era of a DIY that deserved to have been remembered, but it really skirts that whole scene and just blebs on like any half-hearted fanzine one could come up with, my own efforts included  

Eh, it ain't that bad but for a publication that said it was devoted to the  up 'n comin' cassette scene it coulda done better. Maybe I am crabbin' too much since acts such as the Sea of Wires and the Sinatras are worthy of further examination. Maybe the other issues of DAMN LATIN deal more closely with this short phenomenon, but until I find any I guess I'll just have to keep searchin' for that particular MESSTHETICS that was been playin' hide 'n seek with me for quite awhile.
I also bought this issue of ZIGZAG (the fanzine that made good and still kinda/sorta remained one throughout its existence) because of the article on a certain group of mid-late sixties renown whose name I dare not even think of let alone mention lest images of fortysome years of precocious youth in funny hairdos and plastic jewelry come gushing into my mind. (Note: this was pecked out before the naming of that certain group in question was somewhat begrudgingly lifted!) If you're the kind of person who thinks that the cult of seventies under-the-radar music from the Stooges and Roxy Music to Patti Smith and Suicide (etc. and so forth) gave way to some mighty pallid carbon copies once the eighties rolled in I think you will sympathize with me.

No, I am not going to make
the obvious joke --- no way
So I won't mention the article on this particular band and'll just concentrate on the rest. Or most of it at least but eh, it is no wonder why a good portion of the seventies English fanzines took their cue from Pete Frame and company. Even with the shaggy dog West Coast musicians these guys thought the tits there's the proper air of true fandom to be found here, with pieces written by guys who grew up with the Big Beat in their hides and never did totally eschew it all for cocaine karma and alla that BLESS THE BEASTS AND PAMPERED UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS BRATS hippie moralizing that proved that when "rock music" came of age it took on a whole passel of phony moralizing with it. I used to think that is was strange that the same people who grew up with Gene Vincent on the stereo and who cut their teeth on the Rolling Stones before diving straight into the swamp of hippie narcissism could ever even remotely retain some sort of punk consciousness, but these people have and that's probably why these old ZIGZAGs still have the original power and might lo these many years later while some of those very late issues have that pseudo artzy taint to them which date 'em even worse'n a collection of Cheech 'n Chong drug jokes.
'n speaking of ZIGZAG here's their li'l cyster publication FAT ANGEL, more in the old-style fanzine mode, and in many ways closer in layout to those old English rockabilly fanzines which were mostly illustration-less with pages full of text usually written in the driest ways one could imagine. Still, this early FAT ANGEL does have its value even though it seems to follow the usual early-seventies English fanzine tradition of concentrating perhaps a little too much on the late-sixties/seventies Amerigan West Coast leather goods and Buffalo Bill lookalike downhome nausea that still happens to repel this writer. A KSAN-FM interview with Jerry Garcia printed in full should give you at least a scant idea of what was in store with this and many other early-seventies English rock fanzines.

Yet editor Andy Childs does have some good taste left in him given his rah-rahing for the likes of the Flamin' Groovies and that Arnold Corns record that I'm sure Brad Kohler will now want to pay me hundreds of dollars for, not to mention the viola player for that band I shudder even mentioning anymore due to the aforementioned plastic jewelry and faint moustache above the lip gang.  But I did learn something from that piece, and that is a fellow bandmate once said that this person will be remembered as "the Beethoven of the next century" which is THIS century so like, where are the statues of him anyway? Eh, they'd probably find something "wrong" with the aforementioned viola player and when they did they'd topple the thing and melt it into a George Floyd memorial. I mean, what else?
The Mod Revival of the early-eighties had about as much of an effect on me as conversion therapy would have on Britney Griner and thus I had tried to steer clear of any of them fanzines that were devoted to the cause, but DECEMBER CHILD seemed different. Maybe it was because of the promise of something other'n the usual sunglasses and snatty suit pose that drove me to this. Who knows, but I copped this 1980 debut issue and well, thought the thing was a pretty halfway-there fanzine effort which, while not tingling any nerve nodes of mine, still had a worth to it what with an article not only on the Creation but Pop Art and Syd Barrett included in this debut.

Writing ain't anything that captures you like the best of the gonz efforts did, and the inclusion of poetry is about as appealing to me as the crop of scabs I used to acquire during my single digit days. The Creation article was mostly the same ads you've seen reprinted for years with a fraction of text while the Barrett piece just seems like yet another in a long line of praise on a guy that has been written about ad infinitum and after Nick Kent's mega-opus why bother. The Pop Art (as related to English rock) 'un did have some spirit even if it does read like a term paper. One that got a good enough grade but still...

Eh I'm getting picky because, in my own downhome golly ned way, I gotta say I like DECEMBER CHILD perhaps becaue it does succeed in its own low fidelity bedroom publication way. Might be worth your while to latch onto one if it does wiggle a bit under your nose.
I've reviewed a whole slew of OUTLETs before and this ninth issue is a nice enough addition to the pile. Maybe it ain't as deep dirt fact digging as the others and the tendency to be more discography-oriented than a real fun genzine detracts some, but it still stands well with pieces on Joe Meek and early Todd Rundgren before he made too much of a fool of himself. Each of these OUTLETs is worth the time and effort to find, and if you snoop around long enough you just might get your chance to experience this rather nifty if oft ignored fanzine that shoulda made a bigger impression than it did.
Now for a switch of hemispheres and a trip to a place in which at least one of the most hideous, unappreciative (of all I've done for him which I know he has forgotten about) and evil people I've ever come across beings on earth resides...namely Australia. Now despite the presence of this specimen (who last time I looked tipped way over into the realm of socially conscious hackdom) the continent has been known for producing some pretty sharp bands at least since the specter of the Detroit late-sixties underground began nudging its way into the local scene, so it would figure that a mag like DAS REICH would have shivved its way into the fray. After all, its's a fanzine with an eye out for the groups that helped make Australia something akin to Michigan South back when the likes of Radio Birdman and all of the groups in their wake were giving some of us northern hemisphere types a li'l bit of hope.

Dunno if you could call DAS REICH a "crudzine" even if it does fit some of the production, no illustrations, and really no new info to be dispensed, but I still like it. Perhaps that's only due to the subject matter at hand which I would probably read about in earnest no matter who's writing about it, and better some unknown fanablas like the guys who put this out over any of those bigtime rock critics of the eighties who seemed to go from writing about rock 'n roll to mewling about everything from such haute causes as the glories of urban youth who can do no wrong running wild in your local Walmart. I'm a sucker for things like the MC5 anyway, so I'd give these guys an A+ if I were Dean Christgau, but thankfully I'm not so I'll just tell 'em to stay after school for one hour, and no chewing gum!
Back to Merrie Olde. The Ultravox thingie pictured on the left appears to have been a special edition of the English IN THE CITY fanzine, and for a one-off it sure did itself whatcha'd call swell. Now I gotta admit that I am not exactly total bonkeroo over Ultravox but I really do like their earlier material and this mag sure sates any curiosity I do have about the group and their humble origins. This ish really packs the info to the point where any curiosity you might have had about the act would be instantly sated, with bits about their early Tiger Lily days well into John Foxx talking about his new solo career which (at least for me) really puts a cap on the entire Ultravox saga. If there are any Ultravox aficionados out there well, I'll betcha already have this by now!

The French have been known for their etapoint rock fanzines which fortunately mirror their exquisite taste for an underground credo which never did coalesce in these here United States. ROCK INFO! was but one of these, a nice li'l home-produced effort which I'll bet was just brimmin' fulla that Gallic rock greatness I sure wish I grew up amongst back when it was all going down. I say "bet" because well, besides the shrunken type (akin to that found in many an issue of my crudzine) the text is all in French and I'm having enough trouble mastering English as it is! 

But despite the expected barriers I gotta say that ROCK INFO!, which from what I can decipher sounds like a rock history with an underground French bent to it, sure looks swell what with such mentions of various French faves like the VU, Dolls, Patti and TV interspliced with a few unexpected entries such as the Dead, 'plane and Mayall, sometimes on the same page if you can imagine! No illustrations other'n  drawings of guitars and records in the margins, but it sure comes off a whole lot swanker'n some of those anarcho-drivel efforts (mostly done by communists pretending to be anarchists because they're ashamed 'r somethin') that've come out in droves a good four decades back!
For a switch here's an Amerigan fanzine up for inspection, and although it's a bit outside the realm of the Golden Age of Rock Fanzines (1971-1981), the 1997 publication from the El Lay area does capture some of the fun 'n jamz that could be found in other locally produced efforts that came outta that burgh a good two decades earlier. Now that's an accomplishment especially when you consider just how terrible the entire area had become since those days of yore when decadence sorta oozed its way into bald-faced disgust thus losing any of the allure it mighta had back during the days of DENIM DELINQUENT and BACK DOOR MAN.

 can get pretty West Coast industry when it wants to, but fortunately that doesn't get inna way of its overall excitement. Lotsa commercially viable (read: music way outside the scope of this very blog) coverage to be found here true, and any mag that would contain a Debbie Gibson interview is probably headed for the paper shredder pronto! But this rag supersedes any kind of wariness one might get what with the mega-article on the best live albums of all time (with some surprises and of course the usual glaring omissions) and all of the special features such as "The Ron Wood of the Month" and the live reviews covering everything from Iggy Pop to Black Sabbath tribute band Sabracadabra with loads of surprises in between. 

I wouldn't call  FRUITBASKET UPSET a top notch event in the annals of rock fandom, but considering a whole lotta the self-conscious and self-fixated efforts that have come out these past fortysome years (need I say more?) it sure reads a whole lot smoother and more honest at that than a good portion of those home-produced items that are supposed to cater to my own (and who knows, maybe your) personal musical tastes!
And now for the non-music section of this post, starting out with the third issue of the famous (at least in comic fandom circles) effort entitled FANTASY ILLUSTRATED. Yeah the re-use/imaging of the old EC cover scheme became hackneyed in comic book fandom after awhile (not counting its usage of album covers and underground comix throughout the seventies) but since this ish came out in 1964 I'll do the slack cuttin' if only this time.

At least editor Bill Spicer was so keen on EC's high standards that he wanted to continue the tradition, and few can deny that everything from the artwork to even the paper used showed what kind of loving and warm 'n toasties devotion went into this effort. The overall results are finer'n fine what with not only an authorized Tarzan story based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs original but a whole lotta tender lovin' somethingorother and craftiness to be had all around. Sure the art is clearly in the amateur ranks (don't think any of 'em were ready for the Marvel Bullpen at this point in time) but that doesn't matter one iota given how something along the lines of FANTASY ILLUSTRATED surpassed many of those comic book crudzine efforts tossed out by fourteen-year-olds who thought their "Captain Caca" character was gonna overtake the world of fandom faster than the Flash could have a premature ejaculation! 
A few of you people out there know just how much of an admiration I had (and still do even!!) for Lenny Kaye even to the point where I sure wanted to look like him (long hair 'n all) when I was a teenbo admiring his cool posture, guitar playing for Patti Smith, putting NUGGETS together 'n alla that. That's why I am plum proud to have this debut issue of OBELISK in my collection. Yes, the first ish of Kaye's very own SciFi mag done during the man's very own teenage years back when he was living in New Jersey contributing to various amateur pubs himself while amassing what I would take to be a big huge hulking bunch of 'em in himself.

It's whatcha'd call your typical SciFi 'zine with the same standard layout and all of those illustrations that look like the kind you get in just about every other mimeo of the same strata. Nothing in here really appeals to me given that the incestuousness of this is pretty much on the same par as that of the rockzine realm of the eighties and nineties where everyone knew each other and outsiders GO HOME!, but hey it is a Lenny Kaye production and his DNA's probably all over this as well! Sure would like to see his early rock 'n roll fanzine efforts which I'm sure even predate MOJO NAVIGATOR and CRAWDADDY! which would make readin' 'em all the more GNARLY.
And finally a fanzine that I'm sure some of you readers would be surprised even exited, one dedicated to the early days of cinema titled what else but THE SILENT PICTURE! For a guy like me who has taken a huge interest in old tyme mooms ever since the days when those silent comedy compilations would pop up on the cathode connection entertaining people whom I'm sure saw these flickers when they first came out, THE SILENT PICTURE's a publication that I can settle down to read and totally devour within one of those extended and uninterrupted evenings when there's nobody around to bother me and I can play the ol' bedside boom box as loud as I please because well, maybe the neighbors DO have an appreciation for LaMonte Young after all!

The D.W. Griffith tribute was a nice bit of writing even if I already knew just about everything that was mentioned here, and the interview with Griffith regular Mae Marsh was particularly enjoyable given that she (no doubt about it) was one of the more expressive actresses to have popped up on the early pre-twenties screen.  Sheesh, the chemistry and electricity she and Griffith fave Robert Harron emitted on celluloid was pretty much unparalleled as far as filmic magic went, and I'd rank the two as perhaps the greatest romantic couple of cinema ever or at least until the advent of Shemp Howard and Christine McIntyre a good thirty or so years later. But still the way those two lit up the screen with their expressive acting (I still love their rather touching segment in Griffith's 1914 classic HOME SWEET HOME) is definitely one of the highlights of the pre-flapper film era.

One interesting turdbit that shows up here deals with the great mystery of whatever happened to a whole load of them old films that for one reason or another seem to have been lost to time. For an answer that just might get on the nerves of some of your more serious old movie fans, here's the caption to a picture of a man smashing up something out of range with piles of film cannisters behind him: "What becomes of old or damaged films at the Douglas Fairbanks studio. The reels are chopped into small pieces to prevent use of the material for exhibition purposes by unauthorized persons. The shredded film is then sent to a refinery to get silver salvaged out of the emulsion. This lot probably netted $75 to pure silver." I do feel that I might be somewhat of value if only my molar filling contains a fragment of some lost gem that will never be viewed by the eyeballs of this realm ever again. But as far as serious fans of classic cinema go, boy could I just see the rivers of tears flowing away at the mere thought of such legendary films lost for all eternity, and for the sake of a few pithy bucks at that!


George Cuntos said...

Turns out Derek Chauvin was in an Oingo Boingo tribute band, but he got kicked out because he kept trying to jerk off the drummer.

Christopher Stigliano said...

What that has to do with this post, or anything else in particular, is quite a mystery.

debs said...

lol. a buncha smelly old magazines about bands that never had hits. lol. taylor swift is popular and GOOD! write about her and you might get a readership.


Moe Greene said...

Hey, mister! What about Downbeat? Do you read Downbeat? It's a good jazz fanzine.

Do you like jazz music? Wayne Shorter? Charles Lloyd? Brian Blade?

I like jazz. I live in New Orleans! The home of jazz! Jazz was born here, then moved to NYC.

Lloyd Hopkins said...

Hey, Moe, how come James Ellroy went completely to shit?