by Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
usually, i try no tot do this, but i’m enthusiastically endorsing a recent product here. this book, Fanzines by teal triggs, is absolutely great. if nothing else, the COLLECTION of great ‘zines she reproduces here is the best i’ve encountered yet. it’s great to look at as well as to read.
the world of ‘zines is too vast to ever been properly dealt with in a single book, i figger. this is no exception. i could start sighting a dozens of important things she’s not included and also complain about the ones she’s decided to emphasize as of major importance. i mean to say, to begin with – she’s british. that immediately gives a regional provincial slant to any effort she may make. but she manages to almost totally erase that anglo viewpoint here. she’s done maybe the defining statement on ‘zines.
maire masco bought this on ebay when she was reseaching ‘zines for a book she’s working on. she’s putting together a reprint volume of the entire run of seattle’s ‘zine called ‘desperate times’. back in 1981, it was a pivotal publication in the development of what conquered the world as ‘grunge’. maire and dennis white published it. they were also working at the rocket.
maire also ran sevral different ‘punk houses’ in the u-district over the years (pravda house, holy war cadets, etc.). she virtually became a sorta ‘mom’ or ‘older sister’ for many lost teen punkers back then.
she and dennis also ran pravda records (the home of mr. epp with their ‘hit’ “mohawk man”). she was also a major promoter of music. she was literally one of those kids who said (like mickey rooney and judy garland) “let’s put on a show!”, and then went and did it out of sheer ignorance. as a result she was booking touring punk acts into the vogue, wrex, gorilla gardens and was even helping to run the metropolis (along with susan silver.) she was even the person who booked soundgarden’s first gig and also booked that infamous lincoln arts center DOA show that resulted in a riot that burned a police car. (she was the one who finally got it calmed down.)
maire was the first person to bring bands like husker du, sonic youth, butthole surfers, red rockers, dead kennedys and scores of others to the northwest (i often like to joke that the butthole surfers slept on her floor – and yet, she lived!) she was the one who booked bands like like green river and the u-men and soundgarden to open for these bands and introduced all these national and local bands to each other for the first time.
she was also briefly bruce pavitt’s GF for a time. when she left the punk scene biz entirely (because of an insurance lawsuit that involved jello biafra), bruce begged her rolodex off her. i think that was instrumental in creating the sub pop empire. she had one hell of a well-connected rollodex.
it’s always fascinating the impact that DIY self-starting ignorant confidence can create. in a way, she (and so many others) launched a tidal wave, a revolution, when she decided to do these things – likely out of sheer boredom. necessity is the mother in invention. and that is what this “fanzines” book illustrates so beautifully.<
so, maire found this great book. no ‘desperate times’ (or punk lust, stellazine, twisted, snipehunt and only one copy of s&d) in there, but there is a complete run of the infamous sub pop ‘zine (a couple of copies i’ve never seen before.) did you know that bruce colored the cover of his first issue with COLOR CRAYONS? no joke. it’s an amazingly crude beginning for a multi-million empire!
so, i highly encourage everybody who reads this essay to immediately buy a copy of this thing. you won’t regret it. it’s called “fanzines, the DIY revolution”. by teal triggs, published by chronicle books. it’s great.
ps – i wish i had done this cover.
AC:i’ll probably have to cite a few corrections in here. to begin with, it reads like she booked the dk’s up here for the first time. that’s not true, they’d played seattle a many times before that. sorry about that little mishap.