Jon Savage on Early ’60s Pop ‘Zines (from 2009)

“Dozens of magazines sprang up in the early 60s to cover the growth of pop music. Jon Savage celebrates their fervour – and their immense historical value.”(The Guardian, 2009) “These magazines created an all-inclusive, almost hermetically sealed environment of Super Pop. Things were changing so fast that they were put together without much reflection or much heed of the morrow. Reading them today, they are … Continue reading Jon Savage on Early ’60s Pop ‘Zines (from 2009)

Knob Twiddlers Alert

The endlessly invaluable UbuWeb has just launched an “Electronic Music Resources” section. “This new section of Ubuweb is devoted to technical resources concerning the practice of electronic and experimental sound. This is a place for information about actual methods and techniques, with little writing on aesthetics alone. It takes the form of technical/historical articles, interviews, books, small-press magazines and patents.” I can’t imagine reading much … Continue reading Knob Twiddlers Alert

Duplass brothers look to put a ‘Pitchfork’ in it

“The writer-directors have penned a new script that has been making the rounds in the past few days to Hollywood studios, say two people who’ve gotten a look at the script but asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about it. “Titled Pitchfork, it’s a dramatic thriller about the middle-aged mother of an indie rocker who, after her son is … Continue reading Duplass brothers look to put a ‘Pitchfork’ in it

Where it all began…

The Little Sandy Review and the Birth of Rock Criticism by David Lightbourne in The New Vulgate (“articles of social, political, and psychological constitution”). Recounts in detail the story of the little ‘zine Paul Nelson and Jon Pankake started publishing in 1960, without which it’s entirely possible none of us would even be here. Some nice photos, too. Just as an aside… via TNV, also … Continue reading Where it all began…

Harp Magazine Folds

This year’s SxSW Music Conference seemed promising enough; until Thursday, March 13th (might as well have been Friday) when word reached us that the glossy, Harp Magazine, was halting publication. While to some of the editorial staff, it didn’t come as a complete surprise, it was a shock nonetheless; one that rapidly reverberated down to other writers, publicists (who didn’t want to believe it at … Continue reading Harp Magazine Folds

Early Thoughts on the Packaging of ‘Rolling Stone Cover to Cover’

So, a couple days ago I went into BMV books in Toronto on my lunch hour and treated myself to a marked-down copy of this: every issue of Rolling Stone, front to back, on DVD, from 1967 to May 2007. I’m slowly making my way through it all — I certainly have no intention of reading every issue, though I do intend to at least browse through every page of the first ten years or so — and it’s fascinating stuff. I love all the old ads, the letters, the pics, and yeah, sure, what the hell, there’s even an article or two I’ve come across that’s okay.

I was hesitant about buying it, not because I don’t think it’s a good deal (it is), not because I don’t think it’s pretty cool to have at-your-fingertips access to all this stuff, but because I hadn’t read anything about the package itself, i.e., how well-designed it is, how easy it is to navigate through it, etc. As someone who spends an inordinate amount of time computing (both at work and at home), I pretty much have zero patience for non-intuitive PC gadgetry, and the last thing I wanted was some behemoth of a document that would be a pain to sift through.

With that in mind, a few early thoughts on the package. (There’s no point me discussing the contents; everything is scanned directly from the magazine.)

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Almost Infamous – Robert Matheu and the Big Book of Creem, Part II

Matheu snaps Hynde through the mirror, brightly.

AR: Tell me about the book. How did the idea first come about?

RM: No brainer, it was never not an idea. So many tried to do it over the years. I’m not saying that I was the right person, but the only one to get it done. After we started the website archive and then the new era Creem, the readers never stopped asking for it. Since Brian and I had spent so much time with the old issues over the last four years, we knew what was good and where to go. Greg Allen, our art director, had been working with us on the website as well, so it came together pretty fast. We only had three weeks for the first submission, then for corrections, proofing, etc. In that time I went to Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop for their color comments, we’d add those while Harper Collins was doing test runs on the photos and proofing. And I’ve told the story how I, or how Brian Bowe found me…

AR: When did you meet him?

RM: He started writing via the website; little emails about what he was into, sensibilities and musical taste, that kind of thing. His love of the MC5 and all things related encouraged me to re-embrace my Detroit music roots as well. So, he started doing some reviews for the website. Richard Riegel and Dave DiMartino were always touchstones with the website archive, the direction we should be taking it, that kind of thing. I asked them how we were going to find the next editor. They both had the same take as Brian began to write more, saying how they enjoyed his work – kind of casting their votes without knowing it. Brian in turn brought some fine new young blood in, writers that he had in his class at Grand Valley. So, his expertise would be from being a journalism professor, working at a couple of newspapers and editing the Creem website the past four years. By any means, the way that Brian got involved was, as we say, very blowjobian. Creem brought Brian out to Coachella the year the Stooges reformed. I gave him my extra photo pass and a camera and took him into the pit to see the Stooges up close. While waiting for them to start, I told him how we thought that he should be the first editor of Creem in its new life. The Stooges tore into “Loose” and that was that.

Continue reading “Almost Infamous – Robert Matheu and the Big Book of Creem, Part II”