Here’s another edition of SUPERDOPE, a print fanzine that I made from 1991 until 1998, in various sizes and formats and varying degrees of quality.
This issue, SUPERDOPE #6, was not only the one with the largest print run and the widest distribution, I’d have to argue it was the one that I think came out the best, all things considered. Outside of the then-modern computer I’d use at the very patient and gracious Kimberly MacInnis’s house, who very much helped with the design structure (like, teaching me how to make columns), it was completely and totally hand-made, up to and including the bold lines that separate one article from the next. I actually would type those lines out by hitting the “dash” button multiple times in a large font, then cut the long strip of paper out, then glue it down onto my cardstock proof sheet (or whatever the thing is called that you’d send to the printer). Just look at this absurd cover here and you’ll see what I mean.
Considering its size, this one came together in record time, too. I had just come off of a 2-month pseudo-gig in April/May 1993 as “road manager” for then-active rock band Claw Hammer, and had even kept a quote-unquote tour diary that I’d intended to use in this issue, which came out in August 1993. When I gave the band of whiff of this idea, the sour looks of disapproval and reproach that I received were most telling. What happens in Wichita and Boise stays in Wichita and Boise.
So I set about to doing a few interviews, banged out a ton of record reviews, wrote up the first piece on film I’d ever done, and solicited some great contributions from the likes of Tom Lax (“Gregg Bereth”), Doug Pearson and Grady Runyan, as well as multiple gig photos from Sherri Scott, who took on the “chief photographer” role for the fanzine and who was also my roommate. It ended up in a print run of around 2,500 copies, and my inventory-keeping skills were so bad that I now have a mere 2 of them left.
A few notes on this one, in case you’re interested in downloading and reading it:
- It’s a pretty big download, 248MB. Previous issues I scanned were well less than half of that, so it might take a few minutes to get to you.
- The interviews I did with Don Howland and Jeff Evans from THE GIBSON BROS were both on the phone, fully recorded and fully transcribed. I’d never done that before, and somehow it ended up working very well. The interviews with COME, DADAMAH and HIGH RISE were either done via mail (the High Rise interview, which is a piece of lost-in-translation weirdness I’m very proud of) or on cassette tape, with the band reading my questions aloud and then verbally answering into a tape recorder.
- Naturally, with the passage of 23 years, there’s a lot that looks silly now. There are bands I can’t even imagine listening to again that I make sound like godz and geniuses here. The Dead C are a band that I still sort of like, but not to the extent I did then. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a band that only a drunken 25-year-old could worship. Rocket From The Crypt. Please.
- I really like Doug Pearson‘s piece on 60s/70s heavy psych private-press records. The title I gave it, “I’m Going To Punch You In The Face, Hippie”, was not Mr. Pearson’s idea, nor was the photo of “him” that I used to accompany the article. He was kind enough to take it in good spirit back then, and I thank him for it. I would have probably flown off the handle.
- The photo of World of Pooh used to accompany my review of them was actually given to me by guitarist Brandan Kearney to use. He didn’t want Barbara Manning to know he’d loaned it to me, for some reason, so the credit went to Nicole Penegor, Superdope’s former “staff photographer”. Thanks, Nicole! (It was used once again 23 years later in a World of Pooh oral history that I put together for Dynamite Hemorrhage #3).
- Superdope #6 was the last large-format magazine I ever did under that brand. The following year I published a mini digest-sized edition, and then one more four years later, and that was it. I’ll post those here shortly.
In case you missed them: