Friday, September 07, 2012

Suburban Punk Issue #1

This month is the 30th anniversary of the rather humble beginning of my 'zine, which was Suburban Punk for the first 10 issues and renamed Suburban Voice starting with the 11th. In all, I published 45 print issues between 1982 and 2003. It was never my intent to stop publishing a print edition of SV but let's just say life got in the way, as well as my own procrastination, feeling a lack of inspiration and the like. That still continues at times--and that's why there haven't been as many blogs the past couple of years. Fear not--I'm not going to stop anytime soon and, yes, I still hold out hope to publish another issue of the zine, maybe even a book or two. I've learned to stop making promises, at this point.

I'm sure many of you have read the story about the origins of SV/SP but for those of you haven't--I started the zine kind of on an impulse, without any grand plan. I'd done a few reviews for a zine called Concentration X and they edited my writing, in what I thought was incompetent fashion. At that time--summer 1982--I was simultaneously starting my post-collegiate "adult" life and also starting to go to more hardcore shows. When I saw a few shows at the legendary Gallery East in Boston, that was life-changing. I decided I needed to start writing about this stuff so, in either late August or early September 1982 (I don't have the actual date), I typed out some live and record reviews over the course of a few nights, leaving the top of the front page blank since I didn't have a name for the zine yet. After finishing, I just scrawled out Suburban Punk in the blank space, along with my name, address and price, which was a quarter. There was no great brainstorming process over the name, it was just something that popped into my head. My dad worked for GTE and had access to a copier. He'd made copies for me in the past--small newsletters and the like. He ran off fifty copies of the four page first issue, I took them to a few shows (it might have been one, it might have been two--I can't remember) and I sold them all fairly quickly. I think he did a second run of 40-50 more. It's all kind of hazy.

The next issue was done on a ditto machine at the Hadley School in Swampscott. My mom was a sub in the school system (I also did some subbing while between jobs in late '82). I forgot the exact number--somewhere between 50 and 100, with 9 one sided pages and a cover with a xeroxed photo of Discharge taken from a UK punk magazine. That was because I featured a review of their new "State Violence State Control" 7". Issue #3 was the first one to be professionally done, at a local copy place and, except for four issues (#12-#15, where a friend xeroxed them for me at his work), the rest have always been done at printing places.

So there 'ya have it. The zine was born of a love for this music and, while I feel older and don't have the energy or perhaps some of the enthusiasm I used to, I still feel the need to make some kind of contribution and not merely be a spectator. That comes from my writing, doing the radio show and posting photos on my Flickr page. In the latter case, though, I've recently decided to put the camera away for a good amount of the set, once I feel I have what I need, and just watch the band. Because that's why I'm there, right?

So here's Issue #1 of Suburban Punk for you to download. It's a PDF file that you can open using a program like Adobe Reader. You can even print it out and staple it together and you'll have your own copy. I look at that issue and I cringe at quality of the writing but I also marvel at some of the shows I covered.

A hearty thanks for the support, kind words and, of course, free records over the years!

Al Quint


Bort Frock said...

Cringe at your writing, Al? Never! Your reviews rule. Although I do understand, I cannot stand my own zine reviews from the past. I was usually so far into my own head that my reviews rarely translated. It took interviewing bands for me to come up with something relatable to folks. But anyway, your written output has turned me onto so many bands, and as you know, I thank you.

Al said...

thanks! Much appreciated.