The Fanzine Podcast

The Fanzine Podcast

Join Tony Fletcher as he interviews fanzine editors past and present, along with authors, curators and anyone else contributing to the prevalence and preservation of the home-spun DIY press. Tony Fletcher started Jamming! fanzine as a 13-year old schoolboy in 1977, and went on to publish 36 issues and take Jamming! monthly before folding it in 1986. He has since gone on to write many books about music, including biographies of Keith Moon, The Smiths, R.E.M., Wilson Pickett and others, plus a memoir, a novel and a Jamming! compendium: The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 was published by Omnibus Press in 2021 and comes complete with reproduced interviews, articles, photographs and cartoons, fresh recollections from those who were part of the Jamming! story, and a foreword by Billy Bragg. More information and online purchasing options available at: Omnibus Press TonyFletcher.net Signed copies direct from the author, ideal for readers based in the USA, are available from https://tonyfletcherauthor.bandcamp.com/merch Sign up for free at tonyfletcher.substack.com for weekly updates on this podcast, other fanzine news, music, reading and writing recommendations, and for a free long-read weekend article by Tony. 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved. The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast logo was designed by Greg Morton. The Best of Jamming! book cover was designed by Martin Stiff Tony Fletcher Socials: Facebook Instagram Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

September 20, 2023 68 mins

"No other youth culture or subculture centred on fashion or music, or both, has ever had as many fanzines dedicated to it as the mod revival."


So wrote Eddie Piller at the start of his 2918 book Mod Zines (with Steve Rowland) and he should know: as editor and publisher of Extraordinary Sensations, Piller saw his 'zine sell a phenomenal 15,000 copies at its peak in the mid-80s, as many as legendary punk zine Sniffin' Glue had ma...

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Ten years after she ceased publishing her 2000s rock’n’roll fanzine Bubblegum Slut due to the lifestyle it induced (i.e. drug addiction), Alison B. found herself producing a new zine about her old zine, the lifestyle it induced and the year she spent in limbo before getting clean. That zine is entitled Confessions of an Ex-Zine Editor and it is astonishingly original and entertaining. Partly a “trainwreck memoir” in zine format, it...

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(Sign up at tonyfletcher.substack.com to receive this podcast interview in unedited form.)


James Brown and Mark Hodkinson both hail from the Pennine District in Northern England. Both ran fanzines in the 1980s (Attack on Bzag and Untermensch). Both stayed in publishing. Both now have successful memoirs out about their lives in the world of words.


Beyond that, their paths have been different. James left Leeds for London, and a...

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In the mid-1980s, before she became known for fronting the band Lush, Miki Berenyi put out five issues of Alphabet Soup fanzine (“It may be crap but it’s only 5p”) alongside her then-bestie and future band-mate, Emma Anderson. Meantime, before she started Sarah Records, Clare Wadd put out multiple issues of Kvatch fanzine. This podcast, hosted by former Jamming! editor Tony Fletcher, marks the first time ANY of the three have ever ...

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Mike Diboll founded, produced and published the leading anarcho-punk fanzine TOXIC GRAFITY, producing six issues between 1978-82 "with various spin-offs." Never your typical band-interview-record-review zine, Toxic Grafity set about "to capture and express the ethos, attitude, aesthetics and politics of anarcho-punk using found images, collages, logos, slogans, ‘rant’, prose, prose-poetry, free verse, and essays." Issue 5 carried w...

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March 16, 2023 80 mins

Tony D. – Tony Drayton to his parents - was founder, publisher and editor of the archetypal, seminal, influential punk fanzine, Ripped & Torn, which ran from 1976-79. Tony F. – who prefers to go by his full name, Tony Fletcher – was founder, publisher and editor of Jamming, which ran from 1977-86. Remarkably, and despite both being so prominent in the London fanzine scene, the pair had never spoken before setting up this p...

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February 16, 2023 57 mins

Back in 1980, Alan Rider started a fanzine in Coventry called Adventures in Reality. Over in Southend-on-Sea, Graham Burnett started his own fanzine called New Crimes. Forty years later, independently, without knowing each other, Alan and Graham both felt compelled to document their home city's thriving scene zine - Alan, with Tales from the Ghost Town: The Coventry Punk Fanzine Revolution 1979-1985 - and Graham, with Southend-on-Z...

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January 20, 2023 58 mins

THE JAMMING! FANZINE PODCAST is back after a year in exile, now as a Podcast for and about all Fanzines, though still hosted by former Jamming! editor/publisher Tony Fletcher. For this first episode of a new series/season, Tony interviews the authors of the excellent new hardbook book, WE PEAKED AT PAPER: AN ORAL HISTORY OF BRITISH ZINES, namely Gavin Hogg and Hamish Ironside. Before, after and when they could, even during t...

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We close out the first Series/Season of the Jamming! Fanzine Podcast with an interview conducted by James Endeacott, for Soho Radio's Morning Glory show, with Jamming! founder Tony Fletcher. The conversation traces the full story of the fanzine that grew up, from schoolboy beginnings to corporate break up. Between them, they discuss The Clash, The Jam, the DIY Records Scene, fanzines, regionalism, Crass, reggae, Smiley Culture, the...

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In the middle of 1981, Jamming! expanded from fanzine to record label. Between that summer and the end of 1982, Jamming! Records released five singles, all of them independent chart hits: two from the band Rudi, three from Zeitgeist, and one by Apocalypse. For this episode of the Jamming! Fanzine Podcast, we have one member from each of those groups: Brian Young from Rudi, Peter “Jaffo” Jervis from Zeitgeist, and Tony Fletcher from...

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January 13, 2022 65 mins

Tony Fletcher reunites with Bruce Dessau, Ross Fortune and Paul Davies, each of whom wrote extensively for Jamming! during its commercial heyday, 1984-85, and each of whom went on to further careers in journalism. As much as this is a talk specific to Jamming! magazine, it is very much a conversation about the music and media culture of the time - about how easy it once was to access the artists, about a time when publicists were f...

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December 16, 2021 59 mins

Tony Fletcher reunites with musician/composer Jim ‘JG’ Thirlwell, DJ Wendy May, and Dimple Records boss Brian O’Neill, all of whom he first met in the late 1970s when they bought copies of Jamming! off him while they were working behind the counter at the Virgin shops in Oxford Walk, Notting Hill Gate, and Marble Arch respectively. During that thriving post-punk period the entire Virgin chain served as a needed middle ground betwee...

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Chris Heath is a writer for The Atlantic, GQ and Vanity Fair, and author of several books. Russell Young is a visual artist with a background in music photography, sleeve design and video directing. Both got their professional start with Jamming! in the early 1980s.


Thirty-five years after its demise, Russell and Chris joined Jamming!’s former publisher/editor Tony Fletcher in New York City, where all three have lived at one tim...

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This episode is a co-production with the Fifty Years of Fun podcast.


In Jamming! 13, published in the spring of 1982, a 17-yr old Tony Fletcher wrote an editorial called ‘A Statement.’ Among those to read it was Alan McGee, new to London from Glasgow at the time, who was inspired to start a fanzine and a club night and a label all of his own. That label was Creation Records, home to The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine,...

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November 4, 2021 57 mins

Tony Fletcher hosts a conversation with three fellow former fanzine editors and Jamming! contributors, Tim Kelly (Revolutionary Suicide/Fanzine of Noise), Janine Booth (Blaze) and Richard Edwards (Cool Notes). Janine and Richard were also active in the 'Ranting Poetry' scene of the 1980s, while Tim toured with D.I.R.T., and played in Flux of Pink Indians and was part of the One Little Indian label that emerged from that band.


Th...

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Between 1976-82, Joly MacFie printed some 40,000,000 badges (pins, in the USA) related to music culture. Along the way his company Better Badges grew from one-man garage operation to a sizeable small business that also printed and distributed dozens of fanzines. That connection started in spring of 1979 when Tony Fletcher stopped hoping for an ad for the 7th issue of Jamming. Joly, having just acquired a brand new table-top litho m...

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For this episode, we spin back to 1979, for a lively and laughter-filled conversation with two famous bass players and a drummer: Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford of Madness, Guy Pratt (then of Speedball) and Brett ‘Buddy’ Ascott (then of The Chords). Together they discuss:

  • the fashion forces that inspired that year’s mod and skinhead revivals;
  • why the former musical movement fizzled out but the latter one gave us the lasting music of 2-To...
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September 23, 2021 55 mins

For this debut episode of The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast, Tony Fletcher connects with three old friends who all played an important part in the Jamming! school days, and each of whom wrote an introductory piece for The Best of Jamming! book. They are Richard Heard, Jeni de Haart and John Matthews, and over the course of a lively group call, they discuss

  • the onset of punk,
  • the birth of Jamming and why John Matthews declined a role
  • fi...
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September 15, 2021 2 mins

Welcome to the Jamming! Fanzine podcast hosted by Tony Fletcher. In late 1977, as a schoolkid in South London inspired by the DIY culture of punk, I started a music ‘zine. I had no long-term plan, and certainly no idea that over the next decade, Jamming! would grow to become a national, even international, monthly magazine. And I certainly couldn’t have imagined that in 2021, there would be a full-colour book collecting together wh...

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