Thursday, June 19, 2008

South London Punk Zines

In the first wave of punk (1976-78), the best known fanzine was the legendary Sniffin’ Glue, published from 24 Rochfort House, Grove Street, Deptford by Mark Perry. Fellow Deptford boy Danny Baker also contributed, going on to write for New Musical Express and later to become a radio DJ (currently on BBC London). Issue 10, June 1977, featured Baker (left) and Perry (centre) on the cover, with the headline ‘Sniffin’ Glue and other Rock'n'Roll Habits for Deptford Yobs’. Perry went on to form the great band Alternative TV, releasing their first single, 'Love Lies Limp' in 1977, followed by two albums: ‘The Image has cracked’ and ‘Vibing Up the Senile Man’.

Another, more obscure, locally-published zine from 1977 was called 'South London Stinks'. I only know about it because it was featured in Destroy, an exhibition of punk graphic design held at the Festival Hall way back in 1998. One page read 'South Circular Tours - nothing else to do but pass through. Miles of glorious road. Get away from it all'. It also included a spoof article about the Horniman Museum suggesting that its treasures had been collected by a Mr Kurtz-like character called Trader Horn who had set himself up as some kind of sex-crazed tribal demigod and written an autobiography called 'Butterflies for Sperm'!

Somebody out there knows the full story of this zine, seemingly published in the Forest Hill area. Eventually they will google to see if anyone remembers it and come across this post. When they do, hopefully they will leave a comment to tell us more.

5 comments:

Dave Henderson said...

Hello
As predicted someone looking for South London Stinks read your blog.I screen printed it with several mates, three of suffered from asphixiation as a result. I'd done screen printing at Camberwell and was in a dodgy band - Disco Zombies, who I later screen printed a sleeve for. The guy on the cover was Lloyd, the Members' roadie who lived in Forest Hill. We lived on Waldram Crescent. my girlfriend later screen printed the clothes for Boy George (sorry). Johnny Chandler (who writes for MOJO) wrote the Horniman Museum piece, Connie Jude did some illustrations and Nichola Bruce (now doing films for Warp) and Mike Coulson (now doing Francis Bacon's website) were the other people involved. I don't have a copy, if you have a jpeg of the cover that would be ace.

Dave Henderson, MOJO CD compiler

Transpontine said...

Excellent - are you the same Dave H. that used to write for Sounds? Sorry I don't have a copy of S.London Stinks, if anybody does, scan it in and I will put it up. All tales of South London sub-cultural goings on gratefully received as ever. I know the Only Ones and Don Letts were also Forest Hill based, was there any kind of local scene or was it just people commuting into town? The Horniman piece in the zine might not have been so wide of the mark, given the museum's connection with the Golden Dawn...

Dave Henderson said...

Indeed, same Dave H who went on to Sounds. I was in the Disco Zombies with Andy Ross (later of Food Recs). He ran Counterpoint Records in F Hill and then worked at the bookies that was next door. Next to that was an Indian Restaurant where we'd always see Rat Scabies from The damned who lived around there somewhere.I remeber the Only Ones too, they used to go to a pub that was around the corner going away from Lewisham, can't remember its name.

Transpontine said...

That's great, funny I've just been reading the biography of Alex James (Blur), so there's a nice South East London link there from Andy Ross through to Blur - good section in Bit of a Blur about living in New X in late 80s - when Blur signed to Food Records - which I will post about soon.

Monkeyboy said...

Ah, you've read it too. I'm currently at work, reading loads of rubbish emails, drinking bad coffee from the machine and about to go to a meeting for reasons that are unclear.

Wish I was a rock star, think there's a line in there where he describes his birthday "I only stopped having sex so I could take more drugs" Sigh.... It's not big or clever but sounds kind off fun.

Got to go, the boss has arrived....