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Maximum Rocknroll #13 • April/May 1984


July 29th, 2014 by

mrr_013_cvr

DOES PUNK SUCK??? Well, does it? We now travel back in time to 1984 to hear what Doc Dart, Tim Yo, Pushead, Allison Raine, and Frank Discussion have to say about punk’s future… Also included in this discussion from Maximum Rocknroll issue #13 — now available to download in its entirety here — are Glen E Friedman, Rev Nørb and many other punks from all your favorite bands and zines. It doesn’t stop there! This issue also features the WIPERS, COLERA, AMEBIX, NIHILISTICS, UGLY AMERICANS, SECOND WIND, and a devastatingly vast array of reviews and scene reports, ads for records that now cost a lot more than they did in 1984, and so much more! 

DOC DART/CRUCIFUCKS
I appreciate the opportunity to comment on a subject which is as perplexing as it is challenging. First of all, the labels which have been tossed (punk/hardcore) about in a feeble attempt to pigeon-hole bands and audiences alike, are a source of aggravations and alienation for me. There was a time when I didn’t mind and was sometimes proud of being called a “punk.” The music was new and exciting and the label at least set me apart from the mundane and often sickening mass of idiots that refer to themselves as Americans.

Now, more often than not, I’ve found myself confronted with an equally mundane and sickening mass of twerps, some of whom refer to themselves as “hardcore punks.” They are usually not in the majority at shows but their techniques of drawing attention the themselves borrow from some of America’s most inane traditions: football, fashion show, the Marines, and Quincy. It’s no wonder that people who might otherwise be interested in good music, or even starved for good music, often go away from “hardcore” shows wishing someone had warned them that the circus was in town.

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Doc Dart

For many people, music is a potential vehicle for social change. Obviously, it has thus far worked much better for the government than it has for positive change. My suggestion is that you mindless violent, fashion-conscious exhibitionist, whose prime motivation is to assert your “manhood,” please just frequent shows that showcase bands with your mentality (need I list some of them?), and allow the rest of us to transcend these ridiculous labels (such as hardcore), as well as your pitiful lifestyles. There would be much more support for a “scene” that valued intelligence, compassion, education, action, and most of all, creative music. I know of many people who would show much more interest (myself included) in something positive and ever-changing, as well as diverse, and free of labels that only serve to stifle and stereotype behavior. I’ve seen signs in a few cities that this is possible. Madison, Wisconsin, is a good example. As far as I’m concerned, “hardcore” is another word for stagnation. Can we call it music if it’s good? That would make it an even rarer phenomenon, but at least a growing one. It was the prohibition of good music that spawned our so-called movement; so why shouldn’t we claim ours as music, and dismiss the mainstream as “hardcore shit”? And anybody in your crowd that goes out of their way to act tough or to spend five hours perfecting their appearance could be encouraged to assume their rightful place among mainstream Americans with traditional values. Eliminate five ignorant twerps and maybe ten good friends will take their place. The ignorant will return when intelligence becomes “fashionable.” Don’t be misled in thinking that I have hope for the future, because I don’t, but how can anyone give up with so much at stake? Ever get the feeling you’re living in a cage and then wonder why everything outside is deteriorating faster than you?

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Tim Yo

TIM YOHANNAN/MRR
One of punk’s main thrusts was “anybody can do it.” But democracy often leads to mediocrity. If many hardcore bands now sound generic, should we be re-thinking our commitment to “democracy” and return to elitism in music, as some would like to see? Or should we say that democratizing music was just the first stage, and now that we’ve got  “a band in every garage,” let’s move on to stage two: quality and imagination.
This is the big hurdle: how to maintain the spontaneity and passion of garage music, while becoming more proficient musically, and while trying to break formulas of song structure and lyrical approaches. Hopefully, we’ll see more bands keeping the emotion, noise, and commitment of hardcore (the edge), while taking more chances in trying to surprise and excite us. Speaking of which, it seems to me that most of today’s bands are content to just entertain the audience. They play as if they were at rehearsal, song after song, with no room for spontaneity, just like the formula “rock” bands. Originality, and crowd interaction are the victims. In the earlier days of punk, the creative performance was stressed more, with the accent on both irritating and stimulating audience participation. Now, it seems that musical perfection is the goal, and bands want to merely satisfy the expectations of the audience, taking fewer chances, and turning punk into another consumer package, a “concert” to placate the masses.

The other major problem that I see is how punk/HC will be able to survive (at a grassroots level) the new corporate attempts to co-opt it. As “Rock of the ’80s” stations start playing SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DKs, DOA, etc., and major labels start chasing punk bands, will those bands remember the sad tale of the CLASH? They elected to “go corporate” (in order to get their message to more people?), and now, seven years down the road, have the following to show for it: they 1) claim to be broke, financially; 2) are without a direction, proclaiming themselves “born again punks,” yet showing an abysmal lack of knowledge of what’s been happening in punk since they lost touch with their roots (indie clubs, indie promoters, indie labels, indie zines); and 3) are without a sense of integrity, having been thoroughly “used” by the very corporations they sing against, and make rich. Punk’s ability to maintain its integrity and maintain its commitment to the alternative scene will be the real determinant of its future.

MRR013_Pushead_pic

Pushead

PUSHEAD/JACK OF ALL TRADES
The worst aspect of the punk/hardcore attitude/lifestyle is alot of the people got involved to be an elite few, to claim it as something that was “their baby,” different than whatever everyone else did. By that factor, it gave them confidence and strength, and some took it too far. So when the interest grew and others got involved, it became apparent that some didn’t want the “new crew” to come in, for it was their “scene,” so they soon dropped out and criticized the “image” which they felt everyone was acting out. Sure, during that time they made rules and regulations about “their ” idea of what should happen and how it should be done, and laughed at others as they laughed at themselves, only to soon become what they were laughing at. I thought everyone was supposed to share a common belief for a certain progression. But when you let your disbelief in those who enter the “attitude” rival your own, and then get angered, whose revolution is it? When society can market the hardcore product, make money off the rising phase, and the disbelief between the people involved, all these factions lead to the end of another revolution. So how can it be such a threat when some of the people involved are so selfish? Myself, I’m sadly disappointed at my friends who had such positive attitudes, but got so upset by certain negativities in their scenes that they quit, instead of continuing their positive voice and fighting their negative, as they just didn’t care any more. Thanx for nothing. You let yourself down.

I’m sadly disappointed at my friends who had such positive attitudes, but got so upset by certain negativities in their scenes that they quit, instead of continuing their positive voice and fighting their negative, as they just didn’t care any more. Thanx for nothing. You let yourself down.

The strength grows. Through my associations, I have discovered a strong “positive” force who are willing to learn, create,and seek a better tomorrow. Some people have their faults, which can be dealt with, but some breed ignorance. Those people who whine say things “rule,” take advantage, or use violence to show their lack of confidence in themselves, should look at what they were doing. I find that most people who are guilty of this sit on their asses all day with their mouths flapping and their minds stagnating. Too bad. I hope you really accomplish something by your insecurities! The way you dress has nothing to do with whether you’re hardcore or not; it’s what you think and how you act. I’m not talking about socially accepted or “proper” mannerisms, either. It’s your lifestyle. Do you agree with the situations “they” get you into? Will you sit on your arse forever?? Think about it. It’s up to you. Come out from your silence.
 Lately, this magazine has opened up a giant communication line throughout the world. I’m very happy that I am part of it. I do not get paid and I don’t expect payment. It is my creative part that I can contribute. What about you? People slag this magazine and Tim Yohannan especially. Why? Do you know? Tim’s interest can unite more than the bitching of one. His participation abounds; only your negativity will tire him out. If MRR becomes big it’s because there is a desire for it. Next time you bitch I hope you have something behind you beside the chair you sit in. I’m not talking about your macho brute force either. I’m talking about your ability to create.Make your effort, show your hardware, come out from your silence, and then we can work together! Thanx to all who share the same attitude, to those who take the time to write and pass the word. It’s your world. Is it shitting on you or are you shitting on it? To save the world, must you destroy the people? Think about it.

ALLISON RAINE/@ STATE OF MIND, SAVAGE PINK ZINE
Being an ancient veteran of the scene at 21, I have followed and been a fan of punk/hardcore and its legions of splinter groups for nigh on six years now. When I was 16 or 17 and attending every show even remotely associated with punk with enthusiasm bordering on hysteria, I couldn’t understand how the scene vets of those days could skip a show or complain that “things just weren’t as cool as they used to be.” When I first took an interest in punk, it was because I couldn’t relate to the lame stuff I heard on the radio. I found the primal pogo beat of the RAMONES’ “Teenage Lobotomy” much more fun and stimulating. As time passed, I became (largely by influence of the music) more—er—”politically aware” and therefore more interested in music that made a statement about the world we live in. The merging of two things important to me, natch. Although my musical tastes are wide-reaching, this is what I had close to my heart. But the whole excitement that punk has held for me all these years is that the only difference between the audience and the band is that the band got up on stage. Or is it?

MRR013_Allison_SavagePinkZine

A phrase being tossed around a lot these days is “generic thrash.” Those with the most years invested in the scene are the prime offenders, being jaded after years of listening hundreds of punk bands bang away at the same four chords. There’s nothing wrong with being bored with it, but there is something wrong with condemning it. Fuck if I’ll be the one to tell someone they’re not musically proficient enough to hold my interest. There’s nothing wrong with striving to be innovative or different, but neither is there anything wrong with having enough enthusiasm to jump up on stage and just do it! By putting down bands for being “generic,” we are only throwing the scene into reverse and heading back to the days of guitar heroes. This should not be allowed to happen, and all bands that are giving it a go should be encouraged and nurtured by us all.

Well…all bands?

This brings us to the next point—where the scene is headed socially and ideologically. Besides musically being fresher and more energetic, one of the things that has kept me involved these many years is that it has not fallen into any of the cliched, sexist, racist, or otherwise negative ruts that the wonderful stuff we hear on radio or see on MTV has—yet. For me, the most disappointing trend in punk currently is towards sexist, nationalistic, and otherwise backwards trends. Quite a few of the bands playing this stuff claim that it’s a joke or that it’s all in fun. Well, why aren’t they making fun of white, heterosexual healthy people like themselves (for the most part)? I don’t think that’s funny at all. But even that aside—the people I’m wondering about are the (let’s face it) more impressionable people who are 15 or 16 and just getting into the scene. What kind of values or opinions is this kind of humor going to to instill in them? My only hope is that there seems to be an equal, if not greater number of bands using their music to speak out against things like sexism, fascism, etc. While some will still moan about being “preached ” at, there seems to be more and more people listening to what these bands have to say and at least stopping to stopping to think about both sides of the story. A lot of people seem to be realizing that, gee, women and gays are people too, and that God & Country aren’t all they’ve been made out to be.

In conclusion, I remain optimistic that punk will remain true to its roots and resist the temptations that brought rock’n’roll to such a disastrous state in the late ’70s (and even still today); namely, money in all its different forms. While punk, when it began, was mostly a musical revolution, it seems that the youth of today are even more painfully aware of the problems of society and the world as a whole, and these observations are creeping into our music. This musical influence will hopefully spawn more aware adults who question things and refuse to apathetically except all that is fed them by church, state, and the like. Although I may not make it to all the shows these days, I’m still 100% behind those that do.

FRANK DISCUSSION/FEEDERZ:

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To download a complete PDF of MRR #13 and other back issues of MRR, go to the MRR Webstore!



MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll & TRUST present Welcome to Cruise Country photozine • 1986


December 13th, 2012 by

Continuing with our MRR Archives Series in celebration of our 30th Anniversary, here is the complete download of our second photozine, a special All-European issue produced in collaboration with Germany’s TRUST fanzine, Welcome to Cruise Country (see below for link). For this archive post, we sent some questions to our friends Dolf Hermannstädter and Jan Roehlk at the still-thriving TRUST fanzine HQ about the photozine and the current state of punk zinery. Danke schön, Jan und Dolf!

Click image to download Welcome to Cruise Country!

How did you first learn about Maximum Rocknroll?

Dolf: It was back in 1983. Dave Dictor of MDC sent me an issue after I wrote him a letter. He also included a copy of Ripper. If I remember correctly I was more turned on by Ripper. ;-)

Jan: I got to know MRR through a review in a local fanzine in the beginning of the ’90s. I had a subscription, then canceled it and only read it once in a while because I was a little overtired about the millionth crust band interview (sorry!) but renewed a subscription again and this time kept it.

Was MRR an inspiration for starting TRUST?

Dolf: Yes, definitely, we were much impressed by MRR, Ripper and Flipside! I have to say that I don’t really like the open submission concept concerning the interviews. I like it more when a core writer staff conducts the interviews, and it is not only to avoid people sending in faked interviews or made-up scene reports. Like with all open source medias it is the same problem: It is cool that all can submit, but who controls it? Maybe it is just a matter of taste, some people like it, some not, and hey, it works for MRR clearly…so, all good! :)

Painajainen (photo by J.P. Inkinen)

Jan: German Wikipedia writes about TRUST: “Taking the American MRR fanzine as a role model, the first issue of TRUST was published in 1986 by the founding members Thomasso Schultze, Mitch Alber, Armin Hofman, Dolf Hermannstädter and Anne Ullrich. Just like MRR was connecting the worldwide punk scene, TRUST started with the aim to connect the German punk and hardcore scene through a regular published print fanzine, a totally new thing for punk fanzines back then.” (Some zines came out only locally, once a year or so and were kind of harder to find.)

So, yes, MRR was a really huge influence. And for me it will remain an inspiration for continuing with my writings for TRUST. MRR offers a real good worldwide view of the punk scene, and it is (still) great to have all the news, columns, record/movie/book reviews and shit collected every month on paper, at least for me.

For a while, Flipside matched my musical taste more, but really, I like(d) both a lot. By the way, here is an interview I recently did for TRUST with Hudley Flipside. There is a nice part about MRR and Tim Yo in her answer after question six.

I always like to do something for/with the people of MRR. TRUST asked MRR years ago if we could support each other by exchanging ads and we do so to this day… And it always felt good to contribute (did two scene reports in 2004 and 2010).

One special thing about MRR which blew me away twice and still keeps me inspired when I think of it is the spirit of the coordinators and their serious dedication to the labor of love for the DIY-punk scene and the mag. I twice met different coordinators for an interview for TRUST and they were like, “MRR gave us so much when we were young, so I give it now back with my MRR involvement.” I did two interviews in San Francisco at the MRR compound in 2004 and 2008. Both times it felt really good to meet the coordinators in person and see how it all works in the house.

How did the idea come about for the TRUST/MRR photozine?

Jan: Helge Schreiber had the idea. He also stayed for some months at MRR and pulled it together. His involvement in this issue came from his writings for MRR from 1983 to 1994 about European bands.

Dolf: We just thought it would be a great project and that it would help the global scene to connect.

Who decided which photos to use?

Dolf: As far as I remember, it was a co-op of people from TRUST (Anne Ullrich, Thomasso Schulze..) and Helge Schreiber was also heavily involved.

Tu Do Hospital (by Helge Schreiber)

Was all of the production for Welcome to Cruise Country done at MRR? Did any of you actually come to MRR to work on this? If so, what was it like to meet Tim Yo in person?

Jan: In the beginning of 1987 Helge finished his civil service and with the transfer money he flew out to San Francisco. Together with MRR he put together the zine. He collected all the photos out of the sources of a lot of photographers from over Europe. Later the same year, the special photo issue between MRR and TRUST called Welcome to Cruise Country with photos only by European bands was released. Since the street date it has ten million copies. No, it is for sure sold out.

Dolf: Yes, it was all done there. It was great to meet Tim, he was a fun guy to hang around and had a lot of life experience and good ideas and arguments. What impressed me the most (this was in 1987) was that there was a older guy who was still cool. Since most of our peers where our age, or usually older people become adults and Tim was still cool. I liked that since I hardy knew any other older people who where like him.

Were there separate European and U.S. printings of the photo-zine?

Dolf: Yes, the US version was on shitty newsprint [hence the kinda crappy quality of the PDF here —ed.] and the Euro version was offset. They where otherwise identically, only the cover was a bit different. The names of the zines where in different order.

Do you want to explain the title for our younger American readers? How big was the cruise missile issue, and was it seen as a uniting political issue for European punks?

Some older punks dissed the new breed as Stirnbandwixxer (“bandana jerks”) and the younger dissed the old punks as Nietenkaiser (“spike emperor”). —Jan

Dolf: The historic-political background concerning the title of the photo issue had to do with Cold War times and politics. In 1980 NATO planned to react to the deployment of Russian intermediate-range missiles with the deployment of American cruise missiles and Pershing II intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Parallel to that, NATO wanted to make an disarmament offer directed to the Soviets. That double-strategic plan — install weapons while talking about disarmament — was called the NATO Double-Track Decision. This decision was the reenforcing point of a whole bunch of anti-war protests in Europe, and a lot of people in the punk scene were against the Double-Track Decision. All of that emerged later in the title of the photo issue. Uniting political issue for European punks? Hard to answer…

Jan: I’d like to add one more thing may need some explaining — the very origin of the name TRUST. Sometimes people don’t understand or just don’t know what the original intention was. One of the founders of TRUST, in 1986, had the idea for the name. It has nothing to do with the 7Seconds song title, and also not with the French band by the same name. It was intended to be a play on words: “trust” is an old expression for “huge monopolistic corporations cartel which dominates the market.” Besides the obvious (trust) that was the intention, to claim in an ironic way, like “Trust us, obey us cause we rule.”

Everything Falls Apart (photos by Anne Ullrich)

As you look through the photo zine now, is there anything that surprises you, makes you laugh, makes you embarrassed, etc.?

Jan: Fuck you big time, you old punks over forty. I am jealous. Seriously, this remains amazing on several levels. First thing that comes into my mind: Great cover shot. And how young all these bands were. So enthusiastic. So serious and joyful and powerful and full of good fun. A few of my favorite shots include NEGAZIONE and the crowd shots in Italy. And the LÄRM guys who seemed to have lost contact to Earth: how high can you jump with a bass in the hands?! Guess they took that from SNFU, I assume… Look at that TU DO HOSPITAL pic. No barriers between band and audience and these happy faces. On the pic of EVERYTHING FALLS APART you can see the singer, Thomasso, back then one of the main driving forces for TRUST Fanzine.

For today’s 16-year-old kids, this issue must look like an artifact from a long gone civilization. Does that all mean that the past was better than today? Fuck no. It was just…different.

But the Cruise Country issue is also an interesting document to understand the transformation of the European scene. Most of the people on these photos were punks before US Hardcore landed in Europe. They then combined the new sound with British anarcho-punk values and that was the new “movement” of European hardcore back then. Some older punks dissed that new breed as Stirnbandwixxer (that means “bandana jerks”) and the younger, of course, dissed the old punks as Nietenkaiser (“spike emperor”).

And, fuck, then there are those old ads I love looking at so much. The one from Alternative Tentacles announcing the Give Me Convenience DEAD KENNEDYS collection (one of the first punk records I bought, but only in 1991, haha) and saying that Sex Mad by NO MEANS NO is soon to be released. Alchemy Records stating that something from RKL is coming soon, which surely meant the great Rock’n’Roll Nightmare record. Man, Starving Missile Records are also inside. Taang! announces Hate Your Friends by LEMONHEADS.

…Maybe a reprint on good paper quality would also make sense? Read the rest of this entry »



MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll #8 • Sept 1983


September 19th, 2012 by

Huzzah! Our MRR Archives series chugs right along, celebrating the magazine’s 30 year anniversary. Here for your enjoyment is Maximum Rocknroll issue #8 (complete download now available here). Our guest introduction for this issue comes from the one and only John Marr, who you may know from his own legendary zine Murder Can Be Fun. On a personal note, John is most near and dear to my heart for he is the person who first got me involved as a MRR shitworker some 29 years ago, and I can attest that his behind-the-scenes account of the OG MRR HQ is 100% true. Read and destroy! — Paul

Click image to download MRR #8!

The first thing to realize in looking back at these early issues of MRR is the unbelievable crude production methods we used. This was when the hot new Apple product was the IIe computer with dual 5¼” floppy drives and desktop publishing but a mad software engineer’s dream. We had no scanners, no computers, no laser printers. We did have an electric typewriter that could, in a jaw dropping display of 1983 technology, print out a justified column of copy. Tim had a friend with a graphic arts camera to make halftones of photos. And we had a full complement of steel rulers, Xacto knives, hand waxers, Letraset lettering, and layout tape. Early issues of MRR were handcrafted, albeit unlovingly.

The focus of our labors was Tim and Jeff’s nice little rented Arts & Crafts bungalow in the then affordable Temescal district of Oakland. (Real estate tip: buy near MRR house, wait 10 years.) During the week, a steady stream of volunteers pounded in every letter, every scene report, every interview into that damn typewriter. (And you wonder why there are so many typos! Spell-check too was on the to-be-invented list.) I did a little of the typing and copy editing; I recall one particularly pleasant hatchet job that turned one prominent punk’s 3,000 words of turgid bombast into a thousand words on how to have punk pen pals. But my main involvement was the big Sunday Afternoon Layout meeting.

We would show up around 2:00 p.m. Tim would distribute the copy and halftones and we would get to work, waxing the copy and photos and madly cropping both to make everything fit. More than one mohawk went down before our Xacto knives! There was generally much hilarity in the air as we went about our layouts, rehashing who punched who at last night’s show or competing in the never ending contest to coin the most generic hardcore band name, some outrageous combination of youth, red, black, flag, and army. The battle raged on. And then those three-letter acronym bands—what did they stand for? More importantly, what should they stand for? I always thought it was sad that so little of this lightness and wit wound up on the printed page. People who bitched about MRR’s dourness would have been absolutely shocked.

This particular issue came out at an interesting time: when the more violent segments of the punk audience were getting identical haircuts and starting the American skinhead “scene.” The letters column was starting to fill with people whining about who-punched-who at the last CBGB matinee.  Perhaps the highlight of the issue is Tim’s interview (on the radio?) with SF Skin-to-be Bob Noxious, singer of the then notorious SF band THE FUCK-UPS. He’s an amazingly unselfconscious subject, almost a unwitting work of folk art with a title like “American Numbskull.” You gotta love an interviewee who says things like “I don’t even wear spikes hardly no more” and who rationalizes knocking out 45 GRAVE’s Dinah Cancer with “she didn’t really take offense to it.” The only thing missing is the interview ending with Bob taking a swing at Tim.

Most of the scene reports are forgettable for all save record collectors. Tim picked them for content. Literary or artistic merit were never considerations. If you could throw together a few hundred words that included plenty of band names and contact addresses and toss in a few photos to be shrunken down beyond recognition, you were in. The Boston report, however, does stick out for being penned by mogul-to-be Gerard Cosloy and as a fine example of “The Promoter’s Lament.” And I do believe I detect my own inept hand in the layout of the Philly scene report—the uneven corners and poor overall graphic sense are dead giveaways.

The band interviews, either you love ‘em or hate ‘em. I hate ‘em; I prefer to hear musicians, not read them. The special report on the then new “skate punk” thing is pretty good, especially the Jaks interview. Don’t feel bad about not grasping the concept of “Absolute Music” unless you too just did a head plant off your skateboard after drinking a shoplifted 6-pack of generic beer.

As for the big gab fest between Dave (MDC), Vic (AOF), and Ian (MINOR THREAT), I am so overwhelmed by a sense of sorrow for the poor shitworker who had to transcribe and type the damn thing that I can’t bear to read it. I’m betting, though, that they all come out as unalterably opposed to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Pushead’s self-interview is best viewed on the bottom of a 12-year-old’s skateboard, preferably at speed. The Mykel Board piece is kinda fun, although it is but a shadow of the column he would soon being to write. And can you believe an issue of MRR with only two columnists?

A few fun details for the keen eyed: buried in the UK scene report is a picture of GBH captioned “Great Big Haircuts? Or Go Back Home?” The shitworkers have their (very small) say! Buried in the record reviews are early works by GG ALLIN (“idiotic and poorly recorded”), the LYRES (“Now this is more like it!”) and FAITH NO MAN, soon to be re-christened FAITH NO MORE. Even if you don’t read the Dave/Vic/Ian piece, look at the pictures! Tim Y. is plainly visible in the front row of one (Hint: he’s the one that looks like a greasy little vampire.) But if you really want to flaunt your MRR old school credentials, spot (and explain!) the “Annie” on the front cover!

— John Marr, 2012

PDF download of MRR #8 now available in the MRR Webstore!
Read more of our MRR Archives series here.



MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll #7 • July-Aug 1983


September 13th, 2012 by

Continuing with our MRR Archives series in celebration of our 30th Anniversary, here is the complete download of Maximum Rocknroll issue #7!

This issue is chock full of classic punk rock from the likes of YOUTH BRIGADE, WHIPPING BOY, BATTALION OF SAINTS, RED TIDE, and PEACE CORPSE. Scene reports are blowing up big time in MRR #7, with entries from Portland, Seattle, Northern California, SoCal, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Kansas City, Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, Boston, Western Mass., Vermont, Connecticut, NYC, New Jersey, Philly, Delaware, DC, Virginia, Yugoslavia, Denmark, UK, Holland (kinda), and Italy… Whew! Rounding it all off is a slew of great articles like “How Far Will the CIA Go in Nicaragua?”, a Rock Against Reagan tour report, and “Annihilate Sex Roles,” an extensive piece on gender in the punk scene, along with the fourth and final installment of the “Underhanded History of the US” comic.

Click image to download MRR #7!

Our guest intro this time comes from the legendary Al Quint: longtime zinester, scenester, blogger, podcaster, and MRR columnist. Reprinted here (with some editing) is Al’s column from 2007 commemorating MRR‘s 25th anniversary. Thanks so much, Al, for your years of contributions to MRR and to punk in general. You rule!

It’s no lie when I say that I’ve been reading this esteemed publication since day one. Almost. I own every issue except the first one. I remember that when MDC came through town for the first time, in the late summer of 1982, they had copies of that first issue with them, but for some foolish reason I didn’t pick one up. I also remember seeing the first issue sitting on the floor of my old friend Chris Corkum’s bedroom. When he was selling off some stuff a few years later, I got an original pressing of the SUBHUMANS’ Incorrect Thoughts off him for like $4. I didn’t snag it then either.

Still, my purpose here isn’t to beg and plead for a copy of the first issue of MRR. Merely grovel. Ah, fuck it, why not beg a bit. Pleeeeeeeeeeease!!! Someone sell me one for a price that won’t bankrupt me. I also have an extra copy of the tenth anniversary issue of Flipside to trade. I’ll xerox ya the first few issues of Suburban Punk and you can have a good laugh at my expense.

Sigh… let’s move on. It’s also no lie that this zine has meant a lot to me over the past quarter century. People like to rip on it, question its relevance, question its dogmatism. One of my dear friends originally contacted me online because she was a fan of my column in another magazine that shall remain nameless here. When I told her that I felt more privileged to write for MRR, she sniffed that this zine is elitist. I told her that she was entitled to her opinion, but getting the opportunity to take up 4,000 or so words of valuable space in each issue was something that I truly appreciated.

MRR really meant a lot to me during those first few years after college, when I had a lot of confusion/anxiety over what direction my life would be taking. Was it going to be a so-called straight career path? Within six months after graduating, that was clearly not the case — or so I thought. I still ended up taking a job at a bank as a teller, and simultaneously got a one-room studio apartment in Lynn, MA.

By then hardcore and punk had become a bigger part of my life. My zine, Suburban Punk, was around  five months old and I’d already managed to publish three issues. I actually started about a month after MRR, so this year also marks the 25th anniversary of my own zine. The first record I played in my new apartment was What We Want Is Free by ARTICLES OF FAITH, and I remember the sun shining into the apartment while the strains of “Bad Attitude” reverberated off the walls. I was on my own and there were no parents to order me to turn down the racket. In fact, in my two-and-a-half years in that place I only got one request from a neighbor to turn it down. Considering I’d often put on BLITZ’s “Fight to Live” at 7 a.m. at a pretty loud volume to help me face eight more hours of work that I disdained, that’s quite remarkable.

I remember bringing my copies of MRR with me to the bank where I was employed and I’d peruse it in the lunch room, wondering if I’d be in trouble if one of the bank’s officers came in and saw the cover of whatever issue I was reading. How would they react to the cover of issue #6, the infamous “The Dicks: A Commie Faggot Band???!”? Nah, one of ’em, Tom, was probably too busy harassing female employees. I found out later on that he got into some hot water over that. Anyway, all of those issues are in plastic bags but quite yellowed since I didn’t take care of ’em for a long time. That musty newspaper smell isn’t all that pleasant on the occasions when I’ll pull them out of the plastics but it’s more than compensated for by having an opportunity to once again read a first-hand history of hardcore as it was unfolding.

It’s a time capsule, if I can indulge in cliché here — hell, this column is already an exercise in self indulgence, but there’s a point to it, dammit. Maybe I had something of a knee-jerk reaction after reading the anti-corporate, anti-governmental screeds that appeared in the pages of this zine, along with the eye-opening coverage of a burgeoning national and international punk and hardcore community. A community that wasn’t always all that communal, with all the different factions arguing back and forth and the like, right-wing skinheads, who denied they were punks, doing battle with anarcho/peace punks and the like. But, hell, I felt as though I belonged. I like to say it planted a seed of sorts — made me realize that I didn’t have to do what was expected, that my life was my own, to state it in simple terms.

It’s incredible and interesting how things have changed, not only with the zine itself but also the methods of communicating, of exchanging music and the like. One of my favorite things back then about MRR and, even more so, Flipside was the fact that both zines were a great source for making connections with people and bands. Flipside had an extensive classified section. MRR didn’t add classifieds until later on, but I’d write to people who had penned scene reports. And it wasn’t just for ads to sell records and the like but a tool to find people to communicate with.

Indeed, these days, it’s email, MySpace [Remember, folks, this is from 2007. —ed.] and file sharing. The immediacy is cool but it doesn’t have the same feeling, of course. Back then it was cut-and-paste — even MRR had a paste-up format and it was fairly primitive in those early issues. Computers make it easier and add to a sharper, dare I say more professional look, but I kind of miss the days of the Xacto knife and eau de rubber cement, as my wife Ellen would call it. I know that there are people who still use mail instead of email, who still cut and paste, who eschew ‘net content for print, and I think that’s also cool.

Of course, I can’t write about MRR without mentioning Tim Yohannan. He was certainly a polarizing figure. He was dogmatic and seemingly intransigent in his beliefs. I didn’t always agree with the guy but he always treated me very well. On my first trips to the Bay Area, in ’85 and ’86, I stayed at two of the old MRR headquarters, in Berkeley and the SF one on Clipper Street (damn, that was one hell of a hill to walk up). Tim made me feel at home. I was contributing to the zine by then, doing scene reports and the occasional interview, so I was already acquainted with him. People would always comment about his hilarious seal-like laugh, and that was one of the first things I also noticed when I met him. I wasn’t really following baseball at that point, but he seemed excited that the Red Sox were in the ’86 World Series against the Mets (let’s not mention Bill Buckner, OK?) and, now that I’m more of a diehard Sox fan than ever, I’ll note that any native of New Jersey who roots for the Sox is OK in my book.

Tim did give me crap about being a fan of AGNOSTIC FRONT and the F.U.’s. I think he believed I was some kind of right-winger, or at least tolerant of those elements, because of the reputation of certain segments of Boston’s hardcore scene. That was far from the case, though. And when my politics took a sharper turn to the left after the ’94 Republican takeover of Congress and their Contract On America, he made a positive note of it in a letter to me just before he passed away. I’m running the risk of being called emo but I cried when I got the sad news about his death in 1998.

MRR lives on, though, and I’m grateful for that. Once I’m finished here, I think I’m going to take some more early issues out of the plastic sleeves and ponder how things have changed and how they’ve stayed the same (for good and bad), look at the ads and fantasize that I could still send off money to the addresses listed for the records I’d missed out on getting back then. It’s a trip seeing DIE KREUZEN’s Cows and Beer EP and AOF’s Wait EP advertised for $2.50, and realizing that Mykel Board will probably still be an MRR columnist after all of us have passed on. I hope that people never stop being inspired, outraged, getting a laugh, or all of the above from reading this publication…

— Al Quint, 2007

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The MRR archives continue:
Maximum Rocknroll #6 • May–June 1983


August 29th, 2012 by

MRR #6 — download available soon!

Continuing with the MRR Archives Series in celebration of our 30th Anniversary, here is Maximum Rocknroll issue #6!

No guest intro for this one, folks. Why, you ask? Are we being lazy? Flaky contributors? We’ll never tell. But no matter! This classic (read: old and falling apart) issue of MRR speaks for itself. Starting with this great DICKS cover, how can you go wrong? And just look at that list of band interviews and scene reports. NOTA, REALLY RED, TERVEET KÄDET, AMERICA’S HC, SCREAM, Chicago, NYC, Brazil, Spain… hardcore, and punk in general, was really exploding worldwide in early 1983 and MRR was there to celebrate and document the phenomenon.

And don’t miss the articles on punk first aid, the army, “Vinyl Economics” by East Bay Ray, and Tim Yo railing against skinheads. Also, tons of photos by Murray Bowles, who quickly became our house photographer as well as house photographer to the whole fucking Bay Area punk scene. We’ll be getting an intro from Murray in the archives series, you can be sure of that. Will it accompany a complete download of the If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries… photozine? Stay tuned and see!

If you’re too lazy to download the whole thing (really?) here’s a teaser page from the North California scene report by Brian Edge. Photos by Murray, of course:

(click to enlarge)

PDF download of MRR #6 will be available soon in the MRR Webstore!
Read more of our MRR Archives series here.