April 22nd, 2010 by Paul Curran
UPDATE July 2011: It appears that the Operation Phoenix website has shut down. We will let you know if it returns, or if we find somewhere else to download these amazing archives… —MRR Web Coordinator
Straight outta Brookings, South Dakota — that punk rock mecca — comes a modestly presented yet invaluable treasure trove of punk history. It’s called Operation Phoenix Records and what you’ll find there is an amazing selection of classic zines available as PDF downloads in their entirety. These include most issues of Flipside from #1(!) thru #58, every issue of 10 Things Jesus Wants You To Know, almost every HeartattaCk, Suburban Relapse, Suburban Punk, Suburban Voice… the list goes on. Oh, and did we mention you can download everything from the first few years of Maximumrocknroll??
Operation Phoenix is run by Adam Miller, an aficionado of early punk who writes, “I first got into punk when I was a teenager during the 90’s, but it was older stuff like the Stooges, Ramones, Black Flag, Germs, Circle Jerks — all of the usual suspects.
“The inspiration for the zine part of the site was due to the difficulty I had finding old zines to read. During the late 90’s, I contacted one of the zine libraries in the US to see if they would mail me zines if I’d cover postage and send them a deposit until I returned the zines. They said no. I understood the reason, but I thought an online site would fix that problem for a lot of people.”
Originally conceived as an online store (hence the name including the word “Records”), the site soon found its niche as a zine and flyer archive, with an online punk discography that Adam hopes to further develop. The zine archive is definitely the star of of show here though. I’ve been downloading zines from this site for months and still don’t have everything I want. And Adam says there are around 250 more zines he is still preparing to upload to the site.
Does this sound like a lot of work for one dude?
“The site absolutely takes a lot of work, but when I think of all the time that went into publishing all of these zines, it puts everything in perspective.”
Don’t miss the decades of perspective to be found at Operation Phoenix. Adam can be contacted thru the site. As a bonus, here are his recommendations for more punk archives.
Happy treasure hunting!