Gus #2

Gus #2.
Zine: Gus
Issue: 2
Created by: Duncan Scott Davidson
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Fremont, CA
When: 1989

When Gus showed up in my mailbox, it blew my mind. Any preconceived notion about what a zine was supposed to be, or how it was supposed to look, or how THICK it could be, was blown away. With a heavy pink cover? Damn. Davidson must have had some dough to put this thing out. Letters in this issue from Jenkins and Swank confirm, the Swami's stapled and xeroxed paper was on fire. Plenty of subversive content, a good amount of art and prose, a lot of skateboarding and freestyle. Be patient with the PDF on this one. Clocking in at 66 pages, It's going to take a few moments to load.

Notes: Yes, Swami, we were all in love with Krys Dauchy too. 

Dan and Jay's Zeen #1

Dan and Jay's Zeen #1.
Zine: Dan and Jay's Zeen 
Issue: 1
Created by: Dan Ferrell, Jason Stecher
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Emporia, KS
When: 1988

Friends Dan and Jay put out this zine about the same time that Eric Heins and I were making Monkey Meets the Blowtorch, so there was a bit of friendly rivalry. Imagine it, two zines coming out of little, inconsequential, no-skate-scene Emporia, Kansas. EMPORIA, KANSAS! Come on! This issue has a couple of great interviews with Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen and legendary influencer/provoker Steve Rocco. Two photos of Scott Sorenson who left Emporia for SoCal and made us all proud by getting sponsored and returning occasionally to get us stoked on new tricks and gear. Extensive/exclusive use of a dot-matrix printer and handwriting for text. Art-wise, there's a very cool Mike Vallely pointillist drawing by Tony Love and Arnie Anderson's "The Last Adventures of Gruesome Freddy Fox" comic is brilliant. Dan and Jay's Zeen was far more subversive than anything Eric and I did in MMTB, and I love it for that. 

Notes: Jason Stecher and Joe Jack Talcum had a lengthy correspondence through the late 80s. The 1993 Dead Milkmen song "Jason's Head" is loosely-based on some of that correspondence, or so the story goes. Stecher is responsible for our taking Joe Jack Talcum to pizza before a show in Lawrence, Kansas, which was certainly a highlight of our young lives. In the story about Allyn the hippie vampire, Corvette and Rodney are originally referenced in MMTB issue 1, and Dan and Jay's follow-up story about the homely pair is hilarious. The cover of this zine is also the mailer, so the "to" and "from" addresses are actually the front cover. The cover image above is technically from the back of the zine, but it's more visually interesting than the front.

Trend Bike Source Christmas card

Trend Bike Source Christmas card, 1989.
What: Trend Bike Source Christmas card
Created by: Greg Neal, Gregg Hansen
Where: Austin, TX
When: 1989

This one is not a zine at all, but still an important part of my collection of ephemera. I have a few letters from Greg Neal when Eric and I did MMTB zine, and Trend was pretty much the Rockville BMX of the midwest. It was cool to get a Christmas card in the mail from, in my estimation, one of the best bike shops in the world. 

Notes: Trend Bike Source became Empire BMX, and I rock an Empire sticker on both of my old-school freestyle bikes. I wish I still had my Trend Bike Source t-shirt. 

S.A.D. 'Zine (Skaters Against Disco)

S.A.D. 'Zine (Skaters Against Disco).
Zine: S.A.D. 'Zine (Skaters Against Disco)
Issue: unknown
Created by: Bruce
Format: 8 1/2" x 11" 
Where: San Jose, CA
When: 1990

This issue of Skaters Against Disco is mostly ramp skating, with Ray Barbee going ollie to tail at Mark's ramp in San Jose on the cover. There's a cool July 4 Buena Vista backyard pool contest that sounded like one helluva time, and a NorCal warehouse/ skatepark filled with ramps run by guys named Corey and Kendall... maybe Corey O'Brien and Jeff Kendall? The timeline and internet searches seem to confirm.

Notes: The contents page has text at the bottom that indicates Bruce is leaving soon. I still don't know who Bruce is. Someone help me out.

S.A.D. 'Zine (Skaters Against Disco)

Skaters Against Disco. 
Zine: Skaters Against Disco
Issue: unknown
Created by: Bruce
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: San Jose, CA
When: 1990

I really don't know much about this zine. It was done by a guy named Bruce, but there's no hint of his last name. He mentions John Kopke (Grocery Meat), Chris Johanson (Karmaboarder), Nancy (Nancy's Magazine), Ron Corral (Corn Beef is Lord), Louis (The Harsh Realm), Matt A. (No Way Jose), Bill Keaggy (ACC), Rick Schlueter (TNR Zine), Rob (Robzine), Luke Strahota (JOD) and Dave D'Andrea (Stuntwood) in this issue. If you know Bruce, hit the comments and fill in some details.

This issue has quite a bit of ditch skating, which I dig. The centerfold is a couple of chunky, contrasty skate photos but it's the accompanying text that I really enjoyed. It asks why people give skate spots such stupid and obvious names, and I had to laugh at all of the spots in Emporia that, in retrospect, were painfully obvious in their monikers. Dolly Madison ditch, Rec Center banks, the mall curbs. The only ones that might be a bit more inconspicuous were Shit Ditch (because the sides were six feet tall and at a 60-degree angle, and it was pretty shitty to skate it) and Chellsea Track (originally a ditch called Hell Track because one side was super steep like the drop-in to the bmx track in the movie Rad... someone spray painted Hell Track on the slope but it was grafitti'd with additional letters to spell out "Chellsea" for some reason). It didn't really matter. We weren't trying to hide anything because there were less than a dozen kids that skated in Emporia anyway. There was no "Locals Only" attitude because there were hardly any locals to begin with.

Notes: Commonwealth LA had a 1980s zine retrospective called "No Shitty Ads" last year, and Skaters Against Disco was one of the zines that popped up in the L.A. Taco coverage of the event. 

Cold Turkey #2

Cold Turkey #2.
Zine: Cold Turkey
Issue: 2
Created by: Dave D'Andrea
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Bristol, CT
When: 1990

The second issue of Cold Turkey from Dave D'Andrea is more of an art piece than the previous installment. No skateboarding, no bmx, no music reviews. Issue two is straight-up prose and art under the pseudonym "blue." Reading between the lines, I imagine this was a breakup issue. Hey, we've all been there, and sometimes that lost love manifests itself as copier toner, all over the paper.

Notes: The cover of this issue is one of my favorites. Simple, graphic, great copy machine texture, great photograph.

Cold Turkey #1

Cold Turkey #1.
Zine: Cold Turkey
Issue: 1
Created by: Dave D'Andrea
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Bristol, CT
When: 1990

Zine from a cool cat in Connecticut, Dave D'Andrea. He did a number of zines (Cold Turkey, Stuntwood, Sudden Impact), but maybe it was all just the same zine with different names. They did change up quite a bit, but the Dave style was always the same D'Andrea.

Notes: This had to be from fall 1990 to possibly early spring 1991. The "thanks to" on page 4 references "my main man from Kansas and college man #2 Ryan." I was at University of Kansas at the time. Not 100% sure this is the same Dave, but internets searches seem to confirm the backstory somewhat. Please let me know if otherwise.

Amputees and such...

Amputees and such...
Zine: Amputees and such...
Issue: unknown
Created by: Duncan Scott Davidson
Format: 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"
Where: Fremont, CA
When: 1989

Amputees is a quick art blast from Nor-Cal Swami Duncan Scott Davidson. Diminutive in size, but packed with prose (Mung the Merciless) and art/photos (Mel Bend), it's a nice follow-up to The Swami's other pint-size zine one-off Zipper Full of Scrotum. 

Notes: Quite a few zine makers used alternate monikers for print – Mung the Merciless and Mel Bend are such examples. 

Loft #4

Loft #4.
Zine: Loft
Issue: 4
Created by: Club Homeboy
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Torrance, CA
When: 1988

Another great issue of Loft from Jenkins, Jonze and Lewman. This one boasted a full-color supply section centerfold. I have two copies of this issue, though one is missing the centerfold, so I can only assume that I must have ordered something. 

Notes: Loft #4 showed up recently as a "reissue" printed on yellow paper on Amazon for $20 plus $9 shipping. Curious...

Loft #2

Loft #2.
Zine: Loft
Issue: 2
Created by: Club Homeboy
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Torrance, CA
When: 1988

Loft was the official zine of Club Homeboy, what would now be called a "lifestyle brand" but back then was just another way to see what coolness the Freestylin' magazine master cluster of Andy Jenkins, Mark Lewman and Spike Jonze were up to. You paid your membership dues and you got a t-shirt, wrist wrap, stickers and a laminated membership card/security badge. For those who care (or don't), my member number was 342. You also got a copy of Loft in the mail every once in a while. 

Notes: "Loft" was the name of the zine from issue two forward. I don't remember what issue one was called, because I don't have it. I learned a new word from this issue – habiliments. What I'd give now for a "Factory" t-shirt for 8 bucks. Also, Jive Handles grips were available for $8.75, which was a steal.


2-HIP promo catalog

2-HIP promotional catalog/zine
Zine: 2-HIP
Issue: Promotional catalog
Created by: 2-HIP Promotions
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Leucadia, CA
When: 1988

When zines started becoming a little less underground, skateboard and BMX companies began using the format as a way to get information to consumers/customers faster and cheaper than monthly magazine adverts could. Many of these zines were just thinly-veiled, long-form ads with little to no content at all. 

Ron Wilkerson's 2-HIP Promotions put together some of the best BMX vert and street contests coming out of the 80s, when the AFA was on its last legs. If you joined the 2-HIP Society, you got a limited-edition shirt, hat, stickers and a one year subscription to the quarterly 2-HIP zine, which was probably a lot cooler than this slapdash catalog. Still, it was a way to get information out there, and we didn't get a lot of information about anything in Emporia, Kansas. Ron was always generous and very cool about writing back to fans.

Notes: I wasn't a 2-HIP Society member, so I never did see any official 2-HIP zines. I did find a letter and autographed Haro sticker that Ron sent me, probably with this promo catalog. 


Letter from Ron Wilkerson.

Autographed Haro Air Wear sticker, 3 1/2" x 2 3/4".

Karma Nausea

Karma Nausea.
Zine: Karma Nausea
Issue: Mutiny Issue
Created by: unknown
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: New Ross, IN
When: 1987

Karma Nausea was the second zine I received in the mail. Ever. It is crudely photographed, crudely written, crudely laid out and crudely photocopied. It is perfect. I'm sure my parents did not approve. I'm sure the United States Postal Service did not approve. 

Notes: Calendar centerfold. Instructions for chemical fire bottle, most likely from The Anarchist Cookbook. I wrote for this zine after seeing it mentioned in Audible Blast #5. 

Torn Apart #2

Torn Apart #2.
Zine: Torn Apart
Issue: B
Created by: Ju
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Astley, Manchester
When: 1987?

Prototypical of what an old-school skate zine is, was, and should be both visually and content-wise. A nice mix of Interviews with Wolfie Retard and Tommy of The Stupids, vert photos of Gary Sanderson, Jim Thiebaud, John Grigley, Sergie Ventura and Eric Nash, a short interview with Mark Gonzales, a bloody long thesis on street skateboarding contests and contests in general, and some great music reviews. Good layout and nicely copied. 

Notes: Photocopied on 8 1/2" by 11" paper, but stapled at the far left side, this zine is intended to be read panorama-style. This is the only zine I ever received from the UK. 

Bent and Mutilated #1

Bent and Mutilated #1.
Issue: 1
Created by: Matt Bennett
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: Whitby, Ontario
When: 1988

Matt Bennett had a certain style when it came to making zines. Much like Nor-Cal Swami Scott Davidson and his myriad titles, you could always tell it was a Bennett product by the fisheye photos, the text stylings and the high-contrast layout. There are many toilets, bathroom stalls and a closing page urinal in this issue. There's Mel Bend, standing in a sink. It's all so... art school. And I love it.

Notes: Bennett also created Death of Bruce Lee and Style Zone. 

Atomic Circle of Chaos #10

Atomic Circle of Chaos #10.
Zine: Atomic Circle of Chaos
Issue: 10
Created by: Bill Keaggy, Bob Burbick, Adam Liber
Format: 8 1/2" x 11" (Issue 10 with opening two pages featuring legal format paper for extended foldout cover/opening page salvo.) Impressive
Where: Columbiana, OH
When: 1989

ACC issue 10 is fat. Packed with a ton of clean layouts, tiny type and chunky, contrasty photos, this one has coverage of 2-HIP Meet The Street in Oregon, Outlaw Freestyle Association Summer Series Finals and Championship, State of Being: Minnesota by Terry Nourse, interview with Todd Lyons and Lawan Cunningham, Berea Triangle contest, a retrospective on Keaggy's correspondence with Luke Strahota of Jargon of Delinquents zine, a John Byers interrogation and the "best of" ACC. Thick. THICK. 

Notes: This is the only issue of ACC I have. I wish I had more. The PDF layout for this one includes the extended foldout cover action.

Skew Zine

Skew Zine. 
Zine: Skew Zine
Issue: The Rude Issue
Created by: Andy Zalan
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: DC
Date: 1989?

Always a great combination of freestyle and skateboarding, excellent photos and art from some of the best. Contributions from Greg Neal, Bryan Wendzel, and Andy Jenkins with a Wrench Pilot centerfold. The zine review pages are a who's who of the greatest stapled and xeroxed paper at the time... Slime, Committed, Chariot of the Ninja, Disobedience, Whiplash, Bent and Mutilated.

Notes: The brief "fire distinguisher" story is one of my favorite things, ever.

Audible Blast #5

Audible Blast #5.
Zine: Audible Blast
Issue: 5
Created by: Eric Dufour, Ed Kohler, Paul Norwood, Travis Lacy
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: New Braunfels, TX
When: 1987

Strangely enough, this was the first skate zine I ever received. It was put out in 1987 by some guys in New Braunfels, Texas, and 30-some odd years later, I live not far from there. There's a write-up of a ditch contest in Pflugerville and the photo of John Gibson's 5-0 on a parking block is pure historical gold. When's the last time you saw a pro/am ditch contest? Same with the shot of Dan Wilkes rock-and-roll at the Bastrop pool. Legendary. 

Notes: The "I *heart* Hosoi" contest is certainly politically incorrect by any standards, but hilarious nevertheless. 

Gut Feel'n #2

Gut Feel'n #2
Zine: Gut Feel'n
Issue: 2
Created by: Phread Conrad, Jawhn Dettman
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: San Bernardino, CA
Date: 1987

The "Short Storys" issue. A great collection of prose (1 Week with a Beach Nut) and interview with Rob Orbison that introduced me to the power of 43 in all its incarnations. 

Notes: First mention I can recall – before Transworld, Thrasher or PowerEdge – of Neil Blender doing "frontside boneless ollie" over parking blocks, a trick Orb called "43" that would come to be known as the modern day "no-comply." 

Gut Feel'n #3

Gut Feel'n #3
Zine: Gut Feel'n
Issue: 3
Created by: Phread Conrad, Jawhn Dettman
Format: 8 1/2" x 11"
Where: San Bernardino, California
Date: 1987

Gut Feel'n was one of the first handful of zines I received in the mail. I probably wrote Phread with 50 cents and a stamp after seeing a "Zine Scene" feature in Thrasher Magazine. Heavy, two-color cover, with a Mike Taylor interview and photos by Tod Swank, Jawhn Dettman, Bryce Kanights, Kevin Thatcher.

Notes: Excellent art. Two instances with toilets, which somehow seemed to be a recurring artistic theme with skateboarder/artists at that time, myself included.