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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave: The Fanzines

(A Selection of Punk Fanzines)

One of defining features of the whole Punk & New Wave scene was the DIY mentality that took over in the form of people designing their own clothes (rather than spending the big bucks at places like Seditionaries), recording and releasing music on their own without the aid of a major record label, and also the creation of a whole raft of Fanzines to put on the record what was going on (instead of having to rely only on the weekly music press of Melody Maker, NME, Sounds and Record Mirror).

These fanzines were no thrills, usually zeroxed with poor typing (or no typing at all), headlines written in felt tip pen and cut and paste poor quality pictures, usually stuck together with staples! They were not very professional looking at all and it was their messiness that gave them a real sense of appeal. You could usually purchase these at certain record shops or maybe from the person who created them who you might bump into selling them at a music venue.

(Front covers of  Issues of Sniffin' Glue published between 1976-1977 - Issue 2 and the Christmas Issue - Sniffin' Snow are not pictured)

Sniffin' Glue is probably the most famous one but it gave birth to many more Fanzines up and down the UK that were keen to document their thoughts and feelings regarding the Punk scene.

It's funny to think that a little fanzine that sold maybe 50 or so copies at the start finished selling 15,000 copies when the last edition went out! Mark Perry decided to shut it all down when he felt that it was getting out of control and Sniffin' Glue was getting to be regarded as part of the mainstream music press! Plus he wanted to focus more on his band Alternative TV. For Issue 12, the final edition, a Flexi Disc of Love Lies Limp was included as a freebie.

Sniffin' Glue gets a mention in the song Three Sevens Clash by The Alarm!

 All issues were collected together and published in this book (which I have a copy of) back in 2000 and again in 2009. It is out of print I think at the moment because on Amazon there are copies going for crazy prices.

Below are some more fanzines, you can have a read of a number of them by clicking on the link and downloading.

"The Fifteen Famed Filled Minutes of The Fanzine Writer" (Waiting For The Great Leap Forward - Billy Bragg)

A few of the others
 48 Thrills
Editor Adrian Thrills

 Gabba Gabba Hey

Editor Shane O'Holligan (Shane MacGowan)
Only 1 ever issue was made in 1976

Ripped and Torn
London (though the first few issues it was based in Cumbernauld, Scotland)

Rotten To The Core

Fair Dukes


For Adolfs Only*

*Named after the debut single by Edinburgh based band The Valves.

Private World


Negative Reaction

Live Wire


Hanging Around


In The City
Camden, London

Croydon, Surrey

Bored Teenagers Website has a nice listing of a number of the Punk Fanzines that were available in the UK.

Punk Rock Fanzines Website have loads of old Fanzines for sale, most of them at crazy prices! 

For Example: Sideburns Issue 2 is £175!!
Issue 3 they are selling for £150, I dread to think what Issue 1 would cost!
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