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May 26, 2008

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Tom S

Why do punk rock guys go out with new wave girls?

fatty jubbo

excellent. I always look forward to your posts, Mark. When are you gonna do another radio show? goddamnit!

zom

nice. i think propaganda was the go-to angsty name for a highschool zine. a guy in my class put out a propaganda too. I did one called "toejamboree" which leaned more towards comics and dark humor poetry.

zom

nice. i think propaganda was the go-to angsty name for a highschool zine. a guy in my class put out a propaganda too. I did one called "toejamboree" which leaned more towards comics and dark humor poetry.

rich

Geez, that we all had something like that to be embarrassed about! Not too shabby for 1981 and at 13, in a town like Plano, no less.
Your 'zine brought back a lot of memories of my similar flirtations with the dreaded New Wave in the same era. Having rednecks yell DEVO or New Waver at you from primered Novas or Camaros. That pointy New Wave lettering and checker board patterned everything. I remember our local Warehouse Records at the mall making a small Punk and New Wave section (about the same size you indicated) with a handmade cardboard sign with - you guessed it - the aforementioned lettering on checkerboard. Even going near this forbidden section meant transgressing the social taboo. It meant denying all that Loverboy or Foreigner had to offer. I remember the cute little new wave girl who came to our school in the 9th grade from Boston. She looked at me funny when I said I didn't know what Ska was. She didn't look like any girl in my school in South West Washington. Most kids there looked like either the offspring of economically depressed timber-trash or larval versions of outlaw bikers. My embarrassing foray into the creative scene was getting one of those Badge-A-Minit kits - the one with the dorky, 3" buttons - and making my own punky, new wavy buttons and selling them for a dollar a piece. I had my Mom photocopy the sheets at work and then hand colored each one and cut them out. For some reason, my Residents ones sold the best, even though no one would ever listen to or care who the Residents were. But the Eyeball Hat picture struck a cord with the stoner crowd, for some reason.
Eventually, I ended up making Pink Floyd buttons and cleaned up.

I was talking about this sort of thing with a younger (mid-30's) coworker the other day--how, in 1979, I knew more about British (and American, for that matter) punk/new wave/etc acts from reading Sounds and Trouser Press than actually from hearing them.
I also have many rolls of (silent) Super 8 film of things like the Clash on Fridays, or Costello on SNL, shot directly from the screen (in black and white, no less), with the scan lines scrolling. I also have many audio cassette tapes to movies and TV shows; recorded, as mentioned in the article, by sticking a mike in front of the speaker. I'm sure I never listened to them again; but I knew I had to record these things in some way, in order to participate. It's weird. I was in my basement with a few friends, but I knew I was one of many...kids in basements with a few friends.

Great post--I felt oddly at home with your stuff. Thanks!

Greg

Absolutely fantastic. I would have killed to have seen such creativity in my generation.

Adrian

I was a member of a mod-revival band in nearby Mesquite from 1979-1981, and our artifact from that time was a 7" single which we pressed 200 copies of. It now goes for $150-$200 on e-bay, much to my amazement. We shopped at Metamorphosis, VVV and Stacks o' Tracks, went to school at North Mesquite High (with a higher concentration of ropers), and walked across LBJ to Town East Mall to skip class. Thanks for the post, many elements of your story are very familiar to me.

Al

Very entertaining zine I'd say! Nothing to be embarrassed about there.

Dale Hazelton

I remember xeroxing copies of Letratone films aand alphabets so I wouldn't have to cut up the $5 sheets of stuff when I did posters for my art forum film series. Thanks for the nudge in the brainpan for that wacky memory.

Joe

Awesome. Definitely takes me back, though in my case to the early 90s. It occurs to me that the little xeroxed fanzines we made might have been among the last of their kind. I hope there are at least a few high school kids out there doing this the old-fashioned way. I think it'd be a huge loss if there weren't.

Mac

Great work and thanks for sharing.
I second: You have nothing to be embarrassed about.
As an working magazine AD in '81 I would have hired you guys in a second.
Thanks again!

JD

I concur, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Anyone who *didn't* try something like that, they're the losers, yeah, sure, that's it...

The distinction between what was "cool" and what wasn't, what was "real" and what wasn't, rebellion as consumerism, well, maybe I should go back to school and write a paper. Or xerox one. Funny how when you didn't "know" there was a distinction, there wasn't; the fake stuff was just as despised by the kids and parents who didn't like you as the the real stuff. The later distinction only served to make you, and by you I mean us, feel that much more special. But it turns out that the cynical attempts to give the kids what they want through the miracle of modern marketing sometimes produces something worthwhile anyway... the Monkees... the Sex Pistols... "Times Square." (Bite me, I still love "Times Square.")

Incidentally I believe the term "fanzine" was coined in the 1940s (maybe even the '30s) by youthful science fiction fans trying to develop a sense of subculture. Just because you hadn't heard it when you made "Propaganda..." well, that just makes you that much cooler :)

will

Hey, this stuff is awesome! I say this as someone relatively young who was still making zines as of 3 years ago... the whole cut'n'paste style is much harder to pull of now that everything is printed in color and kids know Photoshop better than they know how to use a Xerox. Are there any other sites on the internet that archive retro 'zines?

Less Lee Moore

JD, you're right about the term "fanzine." There was a great radio broadcast with Jarvis Cocker a few months back where he talked about its history.

I didn't do zines until the 90s, but I certainly did take part in embarrassing antics like taping the soundtrack to a movie from the TV and playing it on a jambox! HAHA! That was right up my pre-teen/early teen alley. My friend and I were similarly obsessed with Dale Bozzio and she actually glued a piece of broken mirror to her face a la the video for "Destination Unknown." Some guys at the mall made fun of us and we called them "conformists" or something. Oh youth.

I think it's amazing how you and some of the commenters here all knew about stuff from reading about it in magazines and not necessarily first hand. I thought I was alone in that sort of geekery! Glad to see I was not!

Kira 7

I don't know why you would feel embarrassed- it was pretty cool!

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