superdope

This 1992 issue of my self-published music fanzine is the first in the 8-issue series I can legitimately say that I’m more or less proud of. SUPERDOPE #3 came out about six months after I’d “threatened to quit” publishing (oooh!) for reasons I don’t really remember. I even went so far as to send back promo records on my own dime to certain labels I respected who’d sent me freebies, because I was embarrassed to keep them if I wasn’t going to, you know, review them. I remember meeting Mac from Merge Records the next year in Chapel Hill, and he was just bemusedly shaking his head that I’d bothered to do that. Rest assured, I gave up those ethical qualms later on. So after making a big to-do about being “too tired” to publish or whatever, I just said aw fuggedaboutit and put out this tiny, digest-sized, 16-page minizine.


SUPERDOPE #3 captures a bit of the (un)popular rise of the great garage punk bands of the 1990s, with the piece de resistance being this interview with THE GORIES. Though I had no idea at the time, the band would soon break up, and gave few other interviews during their career. I simply mailed them a list of dopey questions and let them record their answers on a cassette tape; as it turns out, it was my favorite interview I “did” outside of the DON HOWLAND one that made it into issue #6. That I never got to see the band play always stuck in my craw, a situation that was rectified when they hit my town on their reunion tour in 2010.

 A few other thoughts on this issue:
  • I wrote and edited this one completely solo, though, having just recently seen “Beyond The Valley of the Dolls” for the first time, I uncleverly appropriated the name “Lance Rock” for several items. This doesn’t wear as well in 2010, I concede.
  • My list of over-the-counter stimulants in my “Top 10” was nothing but bluster. It stemmed from an incident that year where I’d taken two (very much legal!) Ephedrine - the ingredient in No-Doz - pills to keep myself awake at a Thinking Fellers Union show, mixed it with a couple of pints of beer, and proceeded to suffer through one of the weirdest, malarial, hallucinatory nights of pseudo-sleep I’d ever had. Not sure I ever used one again – but it sure was fun pretendin’.
  • It is indeed true that the first CD I ever bought was MONSTER MAGNET’s horrific “Spine of God” – I proudly waived my “no bad reviews” policy especially for that one.
  • The “Late Reviews” consist of clipped reviews from other magazines like Maximum Rocknroll and Your Flesh, married to records that weren’t actually being reviewed (and in the case of “Ska Derr & The Rejectones” and “Cognitive Drought”, bands that didn’t ever form). I thought the Barbara Manning one was pretty funny; I’m pretty sure it was for the first LIQUOR BALL LP.

I’ve got five more issues to scan and post for you, and rest assured, before I shuffle off this mortal coil I shall do so.

DOWNLOAD SUPERDOPE #3 - 1992

8

((( MOUNTED BY THE GODS )))

"Baptized in the waters of their intentions, they have been consecrated by the hands of their mutuality.
Something got a hold of them…
Somewhere in between a rocket and a deep-soul-space the divination of male and female begins and the sacred course of wholeness reveals itself.

Together, they are neither young nor old; They are complete. Forever, they are neither male nor female; They are cosmic.
And at the end of their legacy lies a young lion flamed with the desire to spell their names with the stars of their choice.
They didn’t fall in love; “ THEY WERE MOUNTED BY THE GODS…”

Photo & Concept: Made by Airich | www.airich.nl
Text written by: Poet AF Black| www.ankhfyre.com
Models: AiRich & Poet AF Black

[2014]

This fanzine, SUPERDOPE #8, is one that I put out in 1998, and one of which I still have multiple copies left. I’m selling if you’re buying.

It’s a digest-sized ‘zine with a long piece on my then-favorite 45rpm singles, each individually reviewed and explained. You can get a sense from the cover of what kind of music we’re talking about here. The magazine also has reviews of then-au courant rocknroll acts as well.

Only $3 to US residents ($4 Canada, $7 rest of world), via Paypal, to jayhinman(at)hotmail(dotcom). Make sure you provide your address to me there and I’ll wing one out to you right away.

3

“…flat songwriting / structure (mononucleosis on 33) & a sense that if you’re not getting what the Urge is trying to lay on you then the joke’s on you, sucker. Did someone say sucker?…I’d be much happier if they’d gone speed metal.” 

SUPERDOPE #2 Summer 1991 (page 38)

URGE OVERKILL review by JAY HINMAN, Editor

4

SONIC’S RENDEZVOUS BAND article written by Steve Watson for Superdope #1, a fanzine I put out in 1991. Steve passed away yesterday, and it’s hit those who knew him pretty hard despite ample warning that his passing was coming.

Funny story about this one: Steve gave me his typewritten pages for the piece and I published it as is. I thought the ending was a little clunky, but good, and neither of us thought anything of it until we actually saw it in print. That’s when Steve realized he’d forgotten to give me the last couple of pages (!). We talked about putting “Part 2” in Superdope’s second issue, and somehow it never happened.

The flyers in the piece came from Steve’s personal collection; this was his favorite band while he was growing up in Michigan. Best wishes to him in the great beyond, and to all who knew him.

2

"Stockton duo who’re creators of two of the last 700 days’ golden singles, possessing a rare mix of dapper fuzzed-pop skewedness and righteously tamppered-with form."  

Superdope #2 Summer 1991 (page 34) 

PAVEMENT review by JAY HINMAN, Editor

  • Superdopes  #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 + (for your pleasure)… 

To rehash the story told when I posted SUPERDOPE #1 yesterday: I self-published a music fanzine in the 1990s, and put out 7 issues from 1991-1994 before calling it quits, then ultimately resurfaced with an 8th and final issue in 1998. There are some people who believe this magazine to be one of the halfway-decent ones plumbing the depths of loud underground music to surface during the era, and sometimes I even agree - though perhaps mostly not on the evidence of these first two issues. I feel in looking through this mid-1991 issue that there was a great deal of needless in-jokism, and a lot of wasted effort put toward praising musical mediocrity. My world was too heavily dominated by my love of buying obscure records, going to live shows 2-4 times per week, and joking about all manner of music-related topics with my friends. Not that I regret it, of course.

SUPERDOPE #2 was the last issue that relied so heavily on the contributions of others. As with #1, which had big contributions from Steve Watson, Kim Cooper and Grady Runyan, this too devotes a huge chunk of its pages to interviews conducted by Kim Cooper, with other excellent (unpaid) contributions from Mr. Runyan and Doug Pearson (Rubin Fiberglass assisted with the BOYS FROM NOWHERE interview as well - I’d tried to heavily recruit that guy for some time into becoming a “staff writer”, but it never quite worked out).

After #2 came out in the late summer months of 1991 I petulantly took my ball and went home, quite literally, and published the next three almost totally by myself - save for all the fantastic photos taken by Nicole Penegor, who was our “staff photographer” during the six years she & I worked together at Monster Cable in South San Francisco. 

Here are a few thoughts on the making of this issue:

  • Kim - who went on to found the long-lived SCRAM magazine and now leads all sorts of tours of the seedy side of Los Angeles - got to do both of the main interviews because she knew some underground “rock stars” personally, and because she and I were friends. She was pals with Deniz Tek from RADIO BIRDMAN, a band I really dug at the time and whom I thought it was a real coup to do such a long interview with. Ironically, I can’t even listen to the Radio Birdman stuff anymore and find it to be fairly moronic bar-punk with cringe-worthy vocals. That’s what getting old(er) will do to you.
  • I wasn’t really a fan of RUDOLPH GREY's solo stuff, either - but Grady sure was, and he did a terrific interview that really holds up today.
  • The large section of live reviews should give you a pretty good idea of where my head was at in 1991 and where my time was being spent, most of it in the company of my ne’er-do-well friends and large quantities of beer. A girlfriend would likely have helped reduce the size of this section a bit. One ultimately arrived in due time. It was pretty fun going out all the time on my exceptionally small salary - and Superdope eventually even helped in that effort quite a bit, allowing me “pest list” status from time to time, since the magazine was sold in every record store in town.
  • And man did I start getting a ton of packages full of 45s and LPs after this time - in 1991, going to the mailbox was the second best part of every day, right after walking home from it with my arms full of records I now no longer own.I can’t even begin to scare up a memory of what some of the records I reviewed with gusto sounded like - Juan Carlos27 Devils JokingRake? Brief Weeds? Are you kidding me? At least I helped catapult Pavement to stardom.
  • I still feel bad about my critical evisceration of a LAZY COWGIRLS record in this issue; I know that the band saw it, and singer Pat Todd gave me a stern talking-to the next time I saw them play. I had pretty much followed that band around California in the late 80s whenever they played. Not that I think I was wrong in any way, but confound it, I just don’t like hurting good folks’ feelings. I more or less decided to focus on good records after this issue, and stopped expending energy on bad or mediocre ones (a position I’ve mostly continued with Dynamite Hemorrhage as well).

Lest I be too hard on myself, I will say that I printed over 2,000 issues of this issue, and thanks to widespread demand from all over the globe, I had to print it in two batches. Tower Records sold the bulk of them, including in their London and Tokyo stores, and as a result I got some incredible letters from those countries, South Africa and elsewhere. The other big distributors were See/Hear in New York, Subterranean in San Francisco, and a couple others who are most definitely not with us any longer.

I have SUPERDOPE #3 - THE GORIES issue and easily the hardest to find of my self-published ventures - scanned and ready to post shortly. Until then….

DOWNLOAD SUPERDOPE #2 (1991)

2

"Forget space, Earth’s calling & for once you oughta pick up." 

SUPERDOPE #5 1992 (no page #) Jay Hinman, Editor

JANDEK  review by SUPERDOPE contributor TOM LAX

  • That’s a nice fuckin’ record review.
  • If we compiled a zine of Tom Lax fuckin’ record reviews from Siltbreeze, Forced Exposure Superdope, Opprobrium, Wind-Up Butter Cow, etc,  would you buy it? We would. Of course, we would’ve put it out so we would not need to buy it. That would be silly. But you, would you?