I actually wrote the liner notes for this reissue; tomorrow tickets go on sale for their June show in San Francisco. One of the 50 greatest records of all time.
SUPERDOPE was a print fanzine that I made from 1991 until 1998, in various sizes and formats and varying degrees of quality. This issue, SUPERDOPE #6, was not only the one with the largest print run and the widest distribution, I’d have to argue it was the one that I think came out the best of the 8 issues, all things considered. Outside of the then-modern computer I’d use at the very patient and gracious Kimberly MacInnis’s house, who very much helped with the design structure (like, teaching me how to make columns), it was completely and totally hand-made, up to and including the bold lines that separate one article from the next. I actually would type those lines out by hitting the “dash” button multiple times in a big font, then cut the long strip of paper out, then glue it down onto my cardstock proof sheet (or whatever the thing is called that you send to the printer). Just look at this cover here and you’ll see what I mean.
Considering its size, this one came together in record time, too. I had just come off of a 2-month pseudo-gig in April/May 1993 as “road manager” for then-active rock band Claw Hammer, and had even kept a quote-unquote tour diary that I’d intended to use in this issue, which came out in August 1993, I believe. When I gave the band of whiff of this idea, the sour looks of disapproval and reproach that I received were most telling. What happens in Wichita and Boise stays in Wichita and Boise.
So I set about to doing a few interviews, banged out a ton of record reviews, wrote up the first piece on film I’d ever done, and solicited some great contributions from the likes of Tom Lax (“Gregg Bereth”), Doug Pearson and Grady Runyan, as well as multiple gig photos from Sherri Scott, who took on the “chief photographer” role for the fanzine and who was also my roommate. It ended up in a print run of around 2,500 copies, and my inventory-keeping skills were so bad that I now have a mere 2 of them left.
A few notes on this one, in case you’re interested in downloading and reading it:
– It’s a pretty big download, 248MB. Previous issues I scanned were well less than half of that, so it might take a few minutes to get to you.
– The interviews I did with Don Howland and Jeff Evans from THE GIBSON BROS were both on the phone, fully recorded and fully transcribed. I’d never done that before, and somehow it ended up working very well. The interviews with COME, DADAMAH and HIGH RISE were either done via mail (the High Rise interview, which is a piece of lost-in-translation weirdness I’m very proud of) or on cassette tape, with the band reading my questions aloud and then verbally answering into a tape recorder.
– Naturally, with the passage of 20 years, there’s a lot that looks silly now. There are bands I can’t even imagine listening to again that I make sound like godz and geniuses here. The Dead C, for one. Give me a break. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a band that only a drunken 25-year-old could worship. Rocket From The Crypt. Please.
– I really like Doug Pearson’s piece on 60s/70s heavy psych private-press records. The title I gave it, “I’m Going To Punch You In The Face, Hippie”, was not Mr. Pearson’s idea, nor was the photo of “him” that I used to accompany the article. He was kind enough to take it in good spirit back then, and I thank him for it. I would have probably flown off the handle.
– The photo of World of Pooh used to accompany my review of them was actually given to me by guitarist Brandan Kearney to use. He didn’t want Barbara Manning to know he’d loaned it to me, for some reason, so the credit went to Nicole Penegor, Superdope’s former “staff photographer”. Thanks, Nicole!
– Superdope #6 was the last large-format magazine I ever did. The following year I published a mini digest-sized edition, and then one more four years later, and that was it. I’ll try and get those scanned soon in case anyone wants to take a look at ‘em. I promise not to wait two years to do so.
DOWNLOAD SUPERDOPE #6
In case you missed them, the first 5 issues are available on The Hedonist Jive site as well:
I’ve been fortunate to have been asked to pen some liner notes for the upcoming 20th-anniversary reissue of COME’s masterful “Eleven: Eleven” LP from ‘92. I was sent this scan by the band, from my fanzine Superdope from the following year, to jog my memory. Tempting to do a little cut-n-paste and call it day, but I’ll see what I can come up with in the next hour or two.
Come live in SF 1993 on Flickr.
COME, playing at the Kennel Club in San Francisco in April 1993. One of the best live shows I ever saw. Photo taken by Nicole Penegor. The 25th anniversary release of “11:11” is set for launch later this year.