80s Fanzines - Classic Or Dud?

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Enormous influence on/determinant of the UK music press in the 1990s and 2000s (James Brown and Alan McGee had zines, then so did Reynolds, Stubbs, Everett True, Bob Stanley, the ppl who started Sarah and Shinkansen) or irrelevant backwater? And did anyone doing a US fanzine go on to wield bigstyle cultural clout there a la Brown/McGee?

(Also they're an enormous presence in my mind despite/because of my NEVER READING ANY. This came up in the pub last night where Steve proposed that the editorial differences between Careless Talk Costs Lives, Tangents, and Freaky Trigger could be summed up respectively with wrote fanzines/read fanzines/read about fanzines.)

Tom, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Such an enormous presence that I think I asked this question before, long ago - but I couldnt find it in any of the likely places.

Tom, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Conflict by G. Conloy.

nathalie, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'd second Conflict. I don't think Gerard ever recovered from putting out such a great magazine. I know I'd have hated myself if I'd ever got as halfway successful as him after creating something as good as that. (chuckles)

And, of course, there was Forced Exposure.

Don't forget all the football fanzines in the 80s which revolutionised the way sport was written about in this country - and still enjoy great success with their dedicated audiences.

Don't forget Viz, either - started off with 100 copies, I believe.

Alistair doesn't actually edit anyone on Tangents, does he? That's one of its simultaneous great strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you could say the same about most webzines, indeed most fanzines. Maybe that's why CTCL isn't a fanzine? Is that the determining factor?

Jerry, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Because I just got the new issue in the mail, Bananafish?

nathalie, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I mainly read Diplomacy fanzines in the '80s.

DV, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Why Music Sucks (circ. circa 12) = most important fanzine EVAH?

The Frank Kogan Avenging Lizard Army, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

never really got any fanzines myself,although there have been a few good freesheets in dublin over the years that i would occassionaly come across....however,my uncle had a fuckload of punk fanzines from the early nineties..most of them consisted mainly of reviews of impossibly obscure bands in tiny print,but there was one which i read quite a bit of called cometbus which was fairly interesting...basically it was a diary consisting of anecdotes about the american punk scene,written by a guy called aaron cometbus...a google search yields a few places to buy issue 45 or something online,but thats about it...anyone know anything about it?i'd love to find an online archive or something...

robin, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Huge amounts of my musical aesthetic were formed by the second and final issue of _Too Fun Too Huge!_ by Patrick Amory, who is now the general manager of Matador U.S. Really remarkably insightful and openminded and articulate.

Thurston Moore used to do a zine called _Killer_.

Mike McGonigal of _Chemical Imbalance_ is now starting a new label called Sad Robot.

I have no idea what kind of cultural capital Nancy Bonnell-Kangas of _Nancy's Magazine_ wields these days, but in my mind she is the czar of the American library system.

Douglas, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Another one from the American front -- Jack Rabid's The Big Takeover. Exhaustive and influential in its own way, though both for better and for worse generally divorced from engaging with the pop mainstream.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Kogan rates Cometbus (in fact i think the first thing FK evah wrote was in Cometbus): I've never seen it

mark s, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have some cometbus, which is still going strong. Lovely 'zine, tho less of a fanzine and more simply a well-written self-published literary project.

Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Rollerderby< /A>

nathalie, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Good gawd, you'd think I don't know any html. RollerDERB Y

nathalie, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

off the top of my head:

  • Tim Ellison - Rock Mag/Modern Rock
  • Mike McGonigal - Chemical Imbalance/Yeti/NoBrow
  • Gerard Cosloy - Conflict
  • Byron Coley - Forced Exposure/Spin
  • Matt Kelly - Cool Beans
  • Weasel Walter - Nice Slacks
  • Tim Adams - Ajax/Pope
  • Jay Hinman - Superdope
  • Matthew St. Germain - The Continental
  • Scott Rutherford - Speed Kills
  • Chris Woo - Titanium Expose
  • Thurston Moore - Ecstatic Peace/Killer

http://gygax.pitas.com, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

My beloved Swellsville, edited by Jack Thompson.

Michael Daddino, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Tim Anstaett's _Offense_/_Offense Newsletter_, compulsory reading for US Anglophiles in the '80s.

Jeff Wright, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Rollerderby is the alpha and omega here.

J, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I want to be a pedant. Please?

Rollerderby was not an 80s 'zine.

Jerry, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Tips of the hat to CONFLICT, THE OFFENSE, FORCED EXPOSURE, A. McGee's COMMUNICATION BLUR, and from my personal Eighties neck of the woods - that being the Maryland/DC/Va. metropolitan area - CAPITAL CRISIS, THE INFILTRATOR, NOW WHAT?, THRILLSEEKER, MOST THINGS SUCK, TEENAGE GIRL DEBS, and last but not least, the late great TRULY NEEDY (Barbaranne Rice, editorix extraordinaire, now working as a paralegal in some godforsaken upstate Maryland backwater last I heard - quell horror). Sure would love to find copies of SCARED TO GET HAPPY and CAFF, though...JUNIOR BOYS OWN even, or was that more 90's?

Michael Layne Heath, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Most of the British zines I read were from the North of England. The only Northern zine I remember that might be considered influential was "Ablaze" edited by Karren Ablaze in Yorkshire.

I lived in the North-West during the 80s and the two local zines I remember the best were "The Plane Truth" and "Blast Off!". "The Plane Truth" was edited by Andrew Truth in Preston. It reviewed lots of weird American bands such as the Happy Flowers and also featured noisy local bands such as the Dandelion Adventure. "Blast Off!" was edited by James Scanlon in Merseyside. He interviewed famous bands such as the Fall, R.E.M. and the Pixies when they did gigs in Liverpool. Articles were also written about local groups such as Barbel and Benny Profane.

I also read lots of U.K. hardcore punk zines. The only one I really remember is "Last Train to Cubesville".

"Factsheet Five" was an important American mag that listed hundreds of obscure zines. Through "Factsheet Five" I discovered "Retro- Futurism" which was the Tape-Beatles' fanzine.

Mark Dixon, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Most of the zines I read in the 80s never had any far-reaching or long-lasting influence on anything but they were still classic because they reflected particular musical scenes very well. Most of the gigs I saw as a teenager were reviewed in local zines.

Fanzines also helped support a D.I.Y. tape network. I sent away for loads of obscure tapes that I saw listed in fanzines.

Mark Dixon, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The only zine worth a damn was Ugly American -- they've turned me onto so many good records that I never would've thought to buy on my own that I wouldn't even know where to start...

Joseph Patrick Larkin, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

hi joseph,

i don't think Ugly American was published in the 80's. I thought about that one too.

^_^

http://gygax.pitas.com, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Factsheet 5 has come across tough times (or has been in tough times for a while.) The editors kept changing,

Cometbus is a great longstanding tradition, I agree. It's not as much about music, as it's sort of a personal handwritten diary/running commentary from one guy -- Aaron Cometbus. And other classic great zines like Dishwasher, and Beer Frame (though Beer Frame is more '90s.) I love Beer Frame.

geeta, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Yeah, I didn't finish that thought about Factsheet 5. The guy who had been running it gave up control, they were having financial difficulties, etc. Some enterprising business student with very little knowledge of zines, I think, took it over for awhile (as a "business project"), but then I think someone else took control of it again.

It was such a great resource - I hope it stays alive. <

geeta, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Ablaze! wasn't the 80s either.

Jerry, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Hi, gygax. The earliest issue of Ugly American that I have is number seven and that's from 1991 -- I'd assume they didn't publish six issues in two years (they usually averaged about one issue a year), so I'd guess they started up some time in the eighties. And, hey, no one gives props to Pure?! Regardless, I think it's clear that the greatest zine of the new millennium is Van Halen's Cancer (wink!).

Joseph, Thursday, 18 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, fuck, sorry for underlining everything.

Joseph, Thursday, 18 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

thank you joseph, i stand corrected.

van halen's cancer proudly greets any visitors to my water closet (please accept this as the highest compliment possible).

http://gygax.pitas.com, Friday, 19 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

What ever happened to Karen Ablaze btw (last I heard she was singing with 'Coping Saw' who I never got to hear). Loved her fanzine, though. Didn't the late lamented Jamming! start out as a 'zine?

stevo, Friday, 19 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

yo stevo: yes, who knows what happened to karren? ablaze wz grate

mark s, Friday, 19 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

three months pass...
Karren did an album with a band called Wack Cat after Coping Saw, then became a serious Buddhist...in the N.K.T.

time please, Tuesday, 13 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

N.K.T. Buddhism...blimey. Thanks Time-Please.

stevo, Tuesday, 13 August 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ten years pass...

So guess what?

http://www.12xu.net/conflict53.pdf

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 17:59 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

classic

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 8 April 2014 13:41 (seven years ago) link

Ablaze! wasn't the 80s either.

― Jerry, Wednesday, April 17, 2002 12:00 AM (11 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

11 years late but Jerry yr wrong old toots.

narcissism of vas deferenses (NickB), Tuesday, 8 April 2014 13:49 (seven years ago) link


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