I used to do a fanzine in the 1990s called SUPERDOPE, and I’ve posted a full scan of Issue #1 for you to read or download right here.
Here’s a full and complete scan of the first fanzine I ever put out, SUPERDOPE #1. It was written 24 years ago and released to the people in Spring 1991. Obviously a project like this created in the bloom of one’s youth (I was 23) engenders a strange mix of pride and revulsion. Pride – well, I put this together completely by hand over several months, using scissors and glue and 3-cent photocopies at a local place who gave me a discount. I used to lug home a gigantic beige Mac from my workplace which was running Windows 2.0 (or whatever was five years before Windows 95) and some rudimentary version of Word, and peck this magazine out at home in the evenings, before returning it back to the “shared workstation” at Monster Cable the next day.
Revulsion? Just the normal embarrassment over meaningless in-jokes that I don’t understand myself anymore, appalling syntax and sentence structure, and reverence for ludicrous rock and roll bands that I forgot about mere months after I wrote about how amazing their records or live shows were. At this point in my life, I was going to see live music 3-4 nights per week, spending all my free money on records, and basing the great majority of my friendships and people-judgments based upon the kind of music they were most enthusiastic about. Besides that stuff, I think it’s pretty cool to be sharing it, finally. It’s been out of print since the year after it came out, and I was shocked to find that I only had 1 copy left myself. So this is truly digital self-preservation. I only made about 500 of these and I’d assume that at least 300 were at the recycling center within a decade after its release.
A few notes on the first issue of SUPERDOPE:
• The magazine’s name, which I was never truly comfortable with, but came to peace with eventually, was given to me by my co-worker Bernice Reilly. She had a habit of calling me her “superdope homeboy”, after the MC Hammer song so popular that year.
• I was fortunate enough to have 4 excellent contributors – Kim Cooper (who later went on to start SCRAM magazine and recently wrote this excellent book); Grady Runyan (guitarist for Liquor Ball and Monoshock); photographer Nicole Penegor; and the recently deceased Steve Watson, a great guy whose SONIC’S RENDEZVOUS BAND piece was actually cut off and sent to the printer before either of us noticed. Read it – it’s got a somewhat clunky ending. We talked about getting a Part 2 in my second issue, and I guess we both just sorta forgot that too.
• Re-reading this recently, I realized how in thrall I was to certain people that year, as young people can be; in particular, Brandan Kearney, the guitarist of World of Pooh and proprietor of Nuf Sed records. I thought his whole rejection of the “music scene” and sardonic personality to be a breath of fresh air, plus I totally dug his band and some of the records on his label. I just wish I hadn’t kissed his ass so hard.
• After this came out I got a personal letter from Byron Coley, who was only my favorite rocknroll writer on the planet. It wasn’t mocking me, nor was there any cease-and-desist notification attached to it. Seems that Kearney had actually encouraged him to buy a copy when Coley was visiting San Francisco, and he actually enjoyed it. I mentally coasted on that one for a few months until the next issue – the jumbo SUPERDOPE #2, which I’ll try and post here on DH in the next couple of weeks.
I’m selling some 45s over on Discogs.com, and maybe you’ll want to buy some? Some great stuff over there – this Eddy Detroit single; Spray Paint; Monoshock; Claw Hammer; Tiki Men; Mike Rep & The Quotas; Monarchs; Icky Boyfriends – and much, much more….!
Thought I’d dash off another radio show/podcast for you to make sure your week was stacked with fantastic tuneage from the underground….this one’s just over an hour, and is Edition #11 of theDynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast, which is streamable and downloadable at the links below. Somehow I jammed 25 songs into 60+ minutes; some of ‘em are dumb, some of ’em are fast, some of them are edifying and artful and totally mind-expanding. Some may blow you from here into the next century. If that happens, please let me know, OK?
ZODIAC KILLERS – Kamikaze Attack
CLAW HAMMER – Sick Fish Belly Up
FERAL BEAT – Feral Beat
THE VICTIMS – Perth is a Culture Shock
GORILLA – Vein Popper
DOG-FACED HERMANS – Fortune
COME – Dead Molly
PAMELA – I’m Nobody (Cold Shoulder)
PUSSY GALORE – Biker Rock Loser
MIKA MIKO – Sex
SILVER DAGGERS – Joy
VELVET MONKEYS – Everything Is Right
PRISSY CLERKS – Death Wish
WILD BILLY CHILDISH & THE MUSICIANS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE – He’s Making a Tape
THE MINDERS – Chatty Patty
FRANKIE’S CREW – Somebody
KAREN VERROS – You Just Gotta Know My Mind
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 – Tell Me
THE OSCARS – Limited Offer
SIN 34 – Nuclear War
X – Home Is Where The Floor Is
THE BRIDES – Get To You
THE MOTARDS – Yo Heart Mexico
DOO RAG – Engine Bread
EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS – Catholic Quilt
Download our past shows – each about an hour:
CLAW HAMMER, April 1993, getting ready to leave on a six-week North American tour that took ‘em to places like Wichita, Boise and Petaluma.
Jon Wahl of CLAW HAMMER (with painting) and Jay Hinman (asleep) in Wichita, KS 1993.
CLAW HAMMER, and yours truly in the middle of the stage, kneeling – Wichita, KS, April 1993.
Jon Wahl from CLAW HAMMER, live in what I believe to be Baltimore, MD on their 1993 tour – the one they let me tag along for.
My kudos and proverbial hat off to the guys who made this one. They did an excellent job avoiding a lot of documentary cliches, except for the one that says you have to use “found footage” from the 1950s to cheekily illustrate your points and concepts. They were kind enough to interview me for my commentary on a band I saw play many, many times & whom I know pretty well, and they left the dumbest things I said on the cutting room floor. I was positive they’d use this thing I said (as a complement) comparing Mark Arm to Bryan Ferry as examples of two guys who transcended their limited vocal abilities or something like that, and hack the statement to make it look like a major dis. They did not.
There’s a ton of great footage from 1988 to the present, and a chronological walk through the band’s many eras. The best stuff is definitely the “major label years” and why they jumped to a major in the first place after a particularly gross meeting with a guy from indie label Caroline. There are lots on interviewees, from Thurston & Kim to Keith Morris to the Claw Hammer guys to Soundgarden & Pearl Jam and so on.
Someone needs to explain to me what happened to Sub Pop founder Jonathan Poneman. This once-hyperactive sales machine is nearly narcotized during his interviews. Then again, there are loads of veterans of the scene wars in this one, and most have served their cause admirably. Check it out if you’ve got 100 minutes to spare soon.
Remember when we were talking about Chris D.’s STONE BY STONE the other day? Check out this June 24th, 1989 show in LA, and the band order. I moved out of Southern California back to San Francisco the week before this, where I continue to live to this day, but you best believe I would have been at this show had it been two weeks earlier.
Later that summer I saw Nirvana third on a bill, before Vomit Launch and Mudhoney, in San Jose. As it turned out, posterity will record the best band on this LA bill as being Claw Hammer, totally at their peak in mid-year ‘89.
(Flyer photo courtesy Chris Bagarozzi of Claw Hammer)