MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll #7 “¢ July-Aug 1983
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.
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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