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Pop, politics and punk fanzines from 1976

Ripped, torn and cut offers a collection of original essays exploring the motivations behind – and the politics within – the multitude of fanzines that emerged in the wake of British punk from 1976. Sniffin’ Glue (1976–77), Mark Perry’s iconic punk fanzine, was but the first of many, paving the way for hundreds of home-made magazines to be cut and pasted in bedrooms across the UK. From these, glimpses into provincial cultures, teenage style wars and formative political ideas may be gleaned. An alternative history, away from the often-condescending glare of London’s media and music industry, can be formulated, drawn from such titles as Ripped & Torn, Brass Lip, City Fun, Vague, Kill Your Pet Puppy, Toxic Grafity, Hungry Beat and Hard as Nails. Here, in a pre-internet world, we see the development of networks and the dissemination of punk’s cultural impact as it fractured into myriad sub-scenes: industrial, post-punk, anarcho, Oi!, indie, goth. Ripped, torn and cut brings together academic analysis with practitioner accounts to forge a collaborative history ‘from below’. The first book of its kind, this collection reveals the contested nature of punk’s cultural politics by turning the pages of a vibrant underground press.

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The role of women in punk fanzine creation
Cazz Blasé

4 Invisible women: the role of women in punk fanzine creation Cazz Blase The role of women and girls in the creation of 1970s punk fanzines is largely unacknowledged. Because this area of punk fanzine research is so underdeveloped, this chapter will be situated within a much longer time period than is usual, beginning both pre-punk and pre-1970s. This is in order to reflect the contribution women have made towards independent printing and publishing from the nineteenth century onwards. There are a number of of key moments of pre-punk agitation in print that have

in Ripped, torn and cut
I was a pre-teen fanzine writer
Nicholas Bullen

12 From Year Zero to 1984: I was a pre-teen fanzine writer Nicholas Bullen Approaching Year Zero Punk smashed into my consciousness like a boot through a television screen. I was 10 years old in 1978, living in a small village located between the cities of Coventry and Birmingham in the Midlands of England. With the exception of a somewhat unwholesome interest in horror literature, my juvenile tastes tended towards the universal – riding bicycles, reading comics, eating ice cream: music played no great role. However, a seismic shift occurred when punk abruptly

in Ripped, torn and cut
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Adventures in reality: why (punk) fanzines matter
Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street and Pete Webb

Introduction: adventures in reality: why (punk) fanzines matter Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street, Pete Webb I’m scribbling this down at work so I can’t let the prose flow but I couldn’t care. There’s only one way to defeat the two evils (boring established groups & straight record shops) and that is to ignore them completely. Tony D., Ripped & Torn, no. 1 (1976) It may seem strange that something so ephemeral should warrant historical attention. Typically made with wilful irreverence and

in Ripped, torn and cut
My life in fanzines
Clare Wadd

14 ‘This is aimed as much at us as at you’: my life in fanzines Clare Wadd It was the summer of 1984 and I lived in Harrogate, was sixteen and was doing – or had just finished doing – my O levels. I’d been really into music for a couple of years by that point, but hadn’t yet made it to many gigs, nor bought many actual records. I’d gone from obsession with the charts – finger poised over the pause button during Sunday dinner – to taking a little transistor into school on Tuesday lunchtimes to hear it first, trying to work out how things got in the charts if you

in Ripped, torn and cut
Indie pop, fanzines and punk rock
Pete Dales

9 Are you scared to get punky? Indie pop, fanzines and punk rock Pete Dale This chapter will argue that fanzines played a crucial role in the formation of a perceived genre (or, arguably, sub-genre) called, variously, indie pop, cutie, C86, twee, jangle-pop, shambling or anorak. For the purpose of discussion in this chapter, the scene in question is referred to as ‘1980s indie pop’ or just ‘indie pop’. In the twenty-first century, the descriptor ‘indie pop’ is sometimes applied, in vernacular contexts, to post-1980s ‘indie’ music which is qualitatively and

in Ripped, torn and cut
Tom Vague

10 Vague post-punk memoirs, 1979–89 Tom Vague Vague covers a boring Salisbury–Bournemouth sort of area with enthusiasm. Kris Needs, Zigzag (1980) At the end of the 1970s, as punk rock became post-punk and Margaret Thatcher came to power, Vague fanzine was founded at Salisbury College of Technology and Art (now Wiltshire College) by Perry Harris, Iggy Zevenbergen and me. Perry’s ‘Vague beginnings’ cartoon illustrates the idea’s conception with us saying: ‘Salisbury’s boring. There’s nothing to do … Let’s start a fanzine … What shall we call it? … Let’s base it

in Ripped, torn and cut
The punk scene in Munich, 1979–82
Karl Siebengartner

17 Contradictory self-definition and organisation: the punk scene in Munich, 1979–82 Karl Siebengartner This chapter presents a history from below that draws on fanzines to show the complexity of Munich’s punk scene between 1979 and 1982. In so doing, the function of fanzines within a local space will be demonstrated, shedding light on the inner workings of a particular punk milieu. Punk in Munich has yet to be adequately researched. But through this case study, assumptions as to the development and influence of German punk can be reviewed. Methodologically

in Ripped, torn and cut
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Fanzines, politics and agency
Matthew Worley

3 Whose culture? Fanzines, politics and agency Matthew Worley The impetus for starting a (punk) fanzine was often clear enough. Writing in the first issue of Sniffin’ Glue (1976), Mark Perry bemoaned the weekly music press’s failure to understand ‘this thing called “punk rock”’. ‘The weeklys [sic] are so far away from the kids that they can’t possibly say anything of importance’, he complained: ‘why don’t they stick to Queen and all that trash that drive around in expensive cars’.1 For Tony Drayton, communicating from the edge of Glasgow in November 1976, Ripped

in Ripped, torn and cut
Negotiating acceptable politics in the Dutch fanzine Raket
Kirsty Lohman

16 Punks against censorship: negotiating acceptable politics in the Dutch fanzine Raket Kirsty Lohman Punk took root in The Netherlands in 1977, with scores of new bands forming through 1978–80.1 As elsewhere, punk’s mix of spectacular imagery, nihilism and/or radical politics, shock value and a do-it-yourself approach appealed to young people. Also in the late 1970s, the port city of Rotterdam was undergoing a process of deindustrialisation and automation. It was still being rebuilt, both literally and figuratively, following near-annihilation during the Second

in Ripped, torn and cut