U2 - Boy Girl (from Black & White fanzine, issue #2, 1980)

U2 - Out Of Control (from Black & White fanzine, issue #2, 1980)

Black & White (issue #2)

YEAR: 1980
CREATED BY: Pete Price and Steve Rapid
LOCATION: Dublin
SIZE: A4

WHAT’S INSIDE….

The highlight of this excellent Irish fanzine is a six page history of the wonderful Swell Maps (a band who were already post-punk before punk had actually happened), written in a typically eccentric manner by band member Nikki Sudden….

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

How Trumpeter Twiggs Distinguished Himself

There’s plenty of other varied content, including features on long-forgotten bands like DC Nien and Modern Heirs, four pages about the execrable tv series “Dallas”, some thoughts about the nature of art, a couple of early pictures of U2, lots of Better Badges advertising, some brief reviews of various singles and albums - plus a very nice “xerox and staples” section….

Xerox and Staples

Xerox and Staples

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ON THIS DAY 34 YEARS AGO….

Joy Division @ Derby Hall, Bury 8/4/1980

This was the infamous gig that took place the day after Ian Curtis had taken an overdose of phenobarbitone and been rushed to hospital to have his stomach pumped. Nevertheless the rest of the group decided not to cancel the gig, but to play a combined set with support band Section 25 and to use Alan Hempstall of Crispy Ambulance and Simon Topping of A Certain Ratio as vocalists. In the event Curtis also turned up after being discharged from hospital, and appeared on stage for about 10 minutes (although he had written a suicide note he was not considered to be suicidal by the psychiatrist who interviewed him during his overnight stay). The gig turned into a riot after the bands had finished playing, when one of a group of skinheads threw a beer mug at the stage and either Rob Gretton or Terry Mason dived into the crowd….

This is how “Mike from rural Lincolnshire” reviewed the gig for Manchester’s City Fun fanzine:

….”everything got pretty confusing. I’ll try and explain. A Certain Ratio’s lead voice came on and sang a song with section 25, then somebody who I didn’t recognize came on and did a song with section 25, next came Joy Division without Ian Curtis. Section 25 stayed on and we got a ten minute song with 2 bassists, 2 drummers, keyboards and a guitarist along with 4 alternating singers. Then everyone but Stephen Morris, Peter Hook and Bernard Dicken left the stage and we get 4 Joy Division songs with Dicken singing. The only one I recognized was ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Then Ian Curtis appeared to sing 3 songs, somebody told me that he was ill, but nobody bothered to tell us. Finally the ten piece band came on and gave us another long song which was also very good. Then some stupid bastard threw a glass over the stage as the bands were going off, it shattered a lamp and landed on a large roadie who went beserk and leapt into the crowd after the offender. Chaos broke out and I fucked off”….

Cool (issue #2)

YEAR: 1980
CREATED BY: Alan TW
LOCATION: Kenton
SIZE: A4

WHAT’S INSIDE….

This very readable zine features three pages of independent and bootleg tape reviews (with brief mentions of some vinyl too) and interviews with The Fall, Amsterdam 5 and local band Exhibit A (who released an EP called “No Elephants This Side of Watford Gap”) mixed up with articles about head transplants and instant guitar heroism, various cartoons, some abusive correspondence, a competition to win Steve Treatment’s first single, random pics from Captain Scarlet and Star Trek and a Better Badges advertising supplement….

Exhibit A

Head transplants....

Tapes Info

Throbbing Gristle

The Living Dead

Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue

An interview with The Fall

An interview with The Fall

An interview with The Fall

Instant guitar heroism

Better Badges advertising

A vested interest in the human race....

I said I hated ironing and look what happened....

my box of 1980s fanzines
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Siouxsie and the Banshees (from Mental Children fanzine, issue #2, 1980)

Mental Children (issue #2)

YEAR: 1980
CREATED BY: ?
LOCATION: London
SIZE: A4

WHAT’S INSIDE….

I’m not sure who was responsible for this particular Better Badges production but the content is generally very good indeed.

The zine starts off with a review of the film "Rude Boy" which hit UK cinemas in March 1980. It’s not the greatest film in the world but it does capture the mood of the time as well as featuring some awesome live performances by The Clash….

Rude Boy

Rude Boy

The anonymous author also reviews some great albums by Young Marble Giants, The Slits, The Pop Group and The Fall, and - like many fanzine writers during the 1980s - clearly felt the need to let the world know how much he or she hated the fuck out of Margaret Thatcher….

Albums

Albums

Singles reviewed include the excellent “Treason” by The Teardrop Explodes, “Man Next Door” by The Slits and "Warm Girls/Getting Nowhere Fast" by Girls At Our Best!….

Singles

There’s an interview with Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin, which was done shortly after the release of “Happy House” - their first single since the acrimonious departure of John McKay and Kenny Morris from the Banshees. It’s preceded by a review of the single and a summary of the band’s career to date - and it dovetails nicely with the interview they did for issue 13 of Panache fanzine….

Happy House

An interview with Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin of the Banshees

An interview with Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin of the Banshees

An interview with Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin of the Banshees

Also featured are the somewhat over-hyped Mo-Dettes, a cartoon called Klingelte The Clown, some surreal party conversations, a seriously nasty drawing of the Queen and Margaret Thatcher doing stuff to each other and a few random statements like: "Did you know that 2/3 of Americans can’t understand the plot of Charlie’s Angels? And that’s the country of fat-bellied beefburger yankee bastards who are going to blow us up one day"….

There’s some shameless self-promotion on the back cover which also neatly rips off “The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle”….

Lesson 2

my box of 1980s fanzines
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Vintage Viz - Dawn of the Bottom Inspectors (1986)….

Viz Comic (“monster sex remix” of issues 5 & 6)

YEAR: 1985
CREATED BY: Chris Donald
LOCATION: Newcastle
SIZE: A4

WHAT’S INSIDE….

Viz started out as a home-produced comiczine in 1979, with an initial print run of 150. Over the next few years it steadily grew in popularity, and several issues later had achieved a circulation of around 5000 by the mid-1980s, despite the fact that it was still largely unheard of outside the north east of England. By this time extracts from Viz had started appearing in fanzines like Alphabet Soup, Attack On Bzag and Vague, which helped to spread the word around the country (the oldest fanzine I’ve got that contains some Viz content is the first issue of IQ 32 from 1982).

I sent off for my first copy of Viz after reading the following recommendation in issue D of Alphabet Soup….

Viz comic recommendation

In return for my 30p plus SAE I received the “monster sex remix” edition, which includes highlights from issues 5 and 6 plus some other stuff thrown in for good measure. My timing was pretty good because Chris and his gang had just signed a deal with Virgin Books to publish Viz nationally every two months, so I became a subscriber and kept up my subscription for the next five years or so (and by the end of the 1980s each issue was selling over a million copies)….

Try new regular Viz....

The “monster sex remix” contains a bountiful selection of the usual crap jokes, fake ads, silly photo-strips, parody competitions, newspaper spoofs and cartoons featuring a cast of characters like Paul Whicker Tall Vicar, Norman The Doorman, Roger Mellie, Billy Britain, Pathetic Sharks and many more. Here’s just a few of the best bits….

Roger Mellie

Mrs Maybee and her crazy baby

Woolly Wilfy Wichardson

Have you ever wished you were better informed?

Paul Whicker

Love Souvenir


Pathetic Sharks

Ossie's Tattoo Surgery

my box of 1980s fanzines
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A few words from Miki Berenyi that came with my copy of Alphabet Soup fanzine (she also sent me some origami for no particular reason)….