Omnibus Press/ www.omnibuspress.com
The first issue of Sniffin’ Glue came out exactly 10 years before # 1 of Trust was published – July 1976. It was the first punk fanzine from London (and the first one in Europe). In the beginning it had a small print run (that went up pretty fast!) and only lasted for 12 issues – one year. It was started by Mark Perry, who also played in Alternative TV, ran Step Forward Records and is known for his “big quote” – “Punk died the day The Clash signed to CBS”. I have never seen an issue of Sniffin’ Glue before (and missed out on the first editon of this book in 2000 with a different cover) so I was strained to find out about what was going on back then and how Punk really started.
Lets start here with the facts: The book is a paperback with a bit over 200 pages, a little bigger than A4. Is b/w with an introduction by the author, followed by some music tips from Mark – “The Roots of Punk” (pre 1975), “Punk” (1975 – 1977), “Post-Punk” (1978 – 1980) and then all the Sniffin’ Glue Fanzines are reprinted in Facsimile. Yeah!
Anyone who was not “there” back then, but wants to speak about where Punk came from, what it was all about, how it started and so on needs to read this book, it is a must. While people unknown to Fanzines might find the “layout” strange or outstandig it looks pretty standard Punk like zines have been produced back then, typewriter, paper, scissors, glue I found the “editorial” writing of Mark the most interesting, followed by the “news/gossip”, but of course all the interviews and reviews of records and live concerts also have a lot of relevant content.
Check out the interviews/ articles with Damned, Clash, Saints, Subway Sect, Sex Pistols, Generation X, Eater, Adverts, Jam, Models, Cortinas, Chelsea, Panic Button, Buzzcocks. you can learn so much about the birth of Punk, what went wrong, what it was not about, the antagonism it is all there. You also learn a lot about the “actors” from back then. It is a great read for anyone interested in Punk-Rock. And, I tell you the lot back then had some funny slang going on. I let a few quotes speak for themselves:
We believe Rock’N’Roll, and especially’ Punk Rock, is about enjoyment and nothing else – leave the concepts to the likes of Yes, Mike Oldfield
(SG # 1)
It’s just stupid, that’s what it is, to blow up the violence on punk-rock and so badly distort the truth! (SG # 4)
Writing about “punk-rock” is the thing to do at the moment. I hope the “fashion” soon dies out, then you’ll find out who really believed in the bands!
(SG # 5)
I’m really fed up with the punters on the “scene” at the moment. At the Clash gig in Harlesden there were lots of stupid kids who kept on acting childish by pogoing in front of the stage. They were going completely over the top by punching and kicking’ each other. It was like being at a fuckin’ football match.
(SG # 8)
So a big FUCKOFF to NF, Lablicon, Commies, Socialist fuckin’ workers, the head in sand brigade, the lot.
(SG # 10)
The book is a good proof that punk did start in New York and that punk never had any concept to begin with – apart from a few people intended to have some fun, doing some music/art and some others trying to make money, and some others doing whatever they did (dolf)
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