Thursday, August 14, 2014

zines! and Doug!

Wow, this article on Doug B. and the history of zines is one of the best interviews I've ever read and it really brings a tear to the eye. Besides the cool fact that Scott gets mentioned as the guy who was instrumental in getting distro for a lot of music zines and a  picture of MikeRMike as a young buck, it makes me think about what zines meant to me in a pre-internet world and the fact that Doug could be said to have directly shaped who I am today.
Maximum Rock and Roll led me to the Cattle Club which led me to the Loft which led me to almost every single (god might even be every) close friend or even acquaintance (and husband!) I have today. Don't laugh but Morrissey zines led me to a way out of my desperately lost teen years and a way to leave Lincoln. My first kiss was with a wonderful guy I met while touring around California following Morrissey. It was a beautiful experience and I floated around on air for days. The crew of people I was hanging with were people that I met from writing to them because they wrote Morrissey zines. I never would have gone by myself and couldn't have afforded to because I crashed on their floors and carpooled.
Not to mention the mind-expanding, sometimes hilarious, sometimes scary zines Roller Derby, Dishwasher, Cometbus, Murder Can Be Fun, Grand Royal, Fat So?, Boiled Angel, Answer Me!, Ben Is Dead, Punk Planet, Rocktober (falls on the hilarious side if I remember correctly), ThriftScore! (before I had ever thrifted) and more I'm forgetting. I'm pretty sure I leafed through the one of girls smoking that Doug mentions! I'll throw in re/search, pranks was my favorite one, but I loved strange music and the modern primitives one was insane.
These zines introduced me to kinds of people that I never knew existed, people who did things I couldn't understand, and some people who were living a life that was free and exciting in a way I wanted to emulate. Weirdos, hipsters, freaks, perverts, punks, free speech boundary pushers, counterculture lifers, militant feminists, dumpster divers (oh yeah, wasn't there a mag about that?), backpack world travelers, people who lived for music, people who hung themselves up from fucking hooks for sexual pleasure!?!?!?, and I would say almost 100% people who didn't give a fuck about money or how it related to living their life - and I sure had none at the time or for a long time after. They were people who lived how they wanted and did what they wanted, and found a community, often through zines, of people who wanted those same things too, no matter how unusual. And I found my community too, although none of you have ever pounded nails through your genitals to my knowledge.
So thanks, Doug. Not only do you enrich my life now as a friend and one of my favorite artists, but you changed it then.
And YES, I once wrote a zine called Pinky that I never distributed and that I think might be in the basement and which I cannot bring myself to look at.


Caroline said...

Zines ruled my universe through my teenage years and got me through high school.

Maybe I should add my zines to my CV?

Anonymous said...

As much as I love the Internet I too miss the mystery and discovery of fanzines. I loved when someone would go nuts and publish a zine about something /someone as specific as Greg Dulli, even if I wasn't a Dulli-head myself.


Snufkin said...

I owe a big thanks to whomever at Tower decided to carry Forced Exposure and Matter, which introduced me to bands like Big Star, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Robin Hitchcock. Also it's nice to see that Newsbeat is still around in some form, because they carried so many great zines and comics.

I really miss the very early days of the Internet, when it was incredibly exciting to discover the List and get all the show listings for anywhere and everywhere in the region. Like the free Fugazi show I went to at Sproul Plaza. Early BBS were more how I met a lot of people who became pen pals. One guy in New York who worked for Tower there sent me #1 and #2 of Bust, when it was a photocopied zine made by bored office workers.

Also I'm so old I remember when Bust actually was a photocopied zine

Anonymous said...

I remember helping friends print and pass out zines at shows and raves, and that being one of the best ways to make new friends. Perhaps the craziest/best thing was how unquestioningly supportive Tower on Watt was of my friend Adrian Tomine. The first time we dropped off stacks of Optic Nerve the guys (who seemed almost frighteningly older and cooler) were so enthusiastic about us bringing in the zines that I remember Adrian saying, "They're fucking with me. They're just gonna throw my zines in the garbage." Clearly they didn't.


Anonymous said...

The influence of those 3 issues of re/search can't be overstated. Pretty much set the template for alternative (now mainstream) youth culture from that point on, for better or worse.