Help Preserve the MRR Archive! Pt. 3

29 07 2014

Welcome to the third installment of the epic MRR record reorg! Last week we told you a bit about the first phase of the project to improve our archive of 46,000 records, one of the largest punk and underground record collections in the world.

Now that all of our precious cargo has been placed into the boxes we purchased, we’re ready to get down to the nitty gritty. This means re-alphabetizing records, fixing old green tape, and giving each one a brand new plastic sleeve.

Alphabetizing is a long and tedious process. Over the years, many shitworkers and guests have accidentally misfiled records where they didn’t belong (a lesson for all you newbies: the NAPALM DEATH/ELECTRO HIPPIES split belongs under E for ELECTRO HIPPIES since it comes first in the alphabet). All of which means we have to look through every box and confirm that each recorded is in the correct spot. And if it’s not, time to put it where it belongs!

Next, we have to re-do any bad green taping. This is an ancient practice, developed by Tim Yo way back in the early days, to help identify records that are part of the MRR collection. Shitworkers are expected to green-tape their records after submitting their reviews. Over the years, however, some of the green tape has degraded or gotten smooshed from the cramped shelving system. This shelving system needs changing, also because tightly shelved records stick to each other, resulting in sometimes ripped covers or glue residue damage.

Finally, we’re placing each of the records in a protective plastic sleeve to keep them safe and keep them from sticking to one another.

Shitworkin'!

Shitworkin’!

This is the heavy lifting part of the project. And, as you know, this is all volunteer run, so again we’re asking for your help with funding. This is a massive and costly undertaking, but with your help, we’ll be able to pay for these supplies and afford an even more killer and functional MRR record collection.

To help us out, please click the button below to make a tax-deductible donation to MRR via our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, SFAAAMP.

You can also send your tax deductible donations by check or money order to:

San Francisco All Ages Art & Music Project Inc.
c/o John Downing
3657 20th Street, Ste. 4
San Francisco, CA 94110
USA

July 29th, 2014 by Lydiya


Help Preserve the MRR Archive! Pt. 2

28 06 2014

Dearest punks!

Last time around, we told you a bit about our ambitious goal to reorganize the Maximum Rocknroll vinyl archive, one of the largest punk and underground DIY record collections in the world.

Right now we have our records shelved like books, ut with this project we’re moving to a brand new system that will save us space and protect our records. The bright idea on how to solve this issue came one night during a MRR board meeting. We were discussing the lack of space when Mr. Robert Collins suggested, “Why not put them in 7-inch boxes like Amoeba does?” And hence our problem was solved.

mid-shelf

So, our first task is to take all of the records off the shelves and put them into our new 7” boxes. This process took a few days of heavy man- and lady-power.

begin-shelf1

We also devised a new system to organize the contents of each box. Each shelf has a color assigned to it and every row has a symbol (Minor Threat sheep, Void crosses, Anarchy “A”, etc.) Each box now houses about 110 records to ensure that there’s plenty of room to grow (on average we receive 75-85 new EPs every month, and 40-50 new LPs. If you do the math, you’ll easily find out how quickly our archive grown on a yearly basis).

BUT as mentioned earlier, the boxes (and the sleeves we’re about to put them in) cost money — and they ain’t cheap!

So consider this your call to action. With your generous donations (dig deep!), we’ll be able to pay for these supplies. Once we transfer them into boxes, we will make sure each box is alphabetized, each record is sleeved and all the misfiled records are re-filed correctly. This means a better organized and well-cared for collection for us all!

To help us out, just click the button below to make a tax-deductible donation to MRR via our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, SF AAAMP.

You can also send your tax deductible donations by check or money order to:

San Francisco All Ages Art & Music Project Inc.
c/o John Downing
3657 20th Street, Ste. 4
San Francisco, CA 94110
USA

June 28th, 2014 by Lydiya


Help Preserve the MRR Archive! Pt. 1

25 06 2014

Most punks know Maximum Rocknroll only as a zine, but we also curate an archive! Zines, books, and demo tapes, but the majority of our archive consists of over 46,000 vinyl records, which began in the ’60s as Tim Yohannan’s record collection and has turned into this ever-growing monster. Many punks have come by to check out the collection, and if any of you find yourselves in San Francisco, feel free to email or call us to set up a time to come over and check out this giant resource and legacy. You are also welcome to bring some cassettes and make a mix tape!

Over time we’ve run very low on room here at the compound and some of the records have been damaged. In addition to the space issue, our decaying brick walls that have contributed to a great deal of damage, particularly to the 7”s. We have now begun the process of protecting and reorganizing the record collection.

mid-shelf1 

We have started moving the 7”s into boxes. Each shelf has a color assigned to it and every row has a symbol. We have also begun to poly-bag each 7” and pull all of the misfiled records. This is a huge undertaking and we could only do this with the help of out loyal shitworkers, Mike Keskinidis, Jason Halal, Matt Badenhop, Heidi Booth, Greg Harvester, Martin Sorrondeguy, Kat Smith, Jeremy Meier, Jason Ryan, and Dan Gudgel!

begin-shelf

This archive is treated as a resource for punks all over the globe. You can visit the compound, make mix tapes, search for that release you only saw once in your life, check if you band’s record is in there. But to facilitate this, we need to ensure the longevity and quality of the record collection archive!

While the great punks generously volunteer the labor, we still need to cover the cost of materials. MRR is hand to mouth. What we have coming in covers each month’s expenses, but we never turn a profit. So we are asking for your help to raise funds for materials to finish this project! We are trying to raise $4,000 for boxes, sleeves, markers, dividers, green tape and a few unforeseeable supplies needed to repair various records, including archive materials like acid-free backing and more.

To help us out, please click the button below to make a tax-deductible donation to MRR via our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, SFAAAMP.

You can also send your tax deductible donations by check or money order to:

San Francisco All Ages Art & Music Project Inc.
c/o John Downing
3657 20th Street, Ste. 4
San Francisco, CA 94110
USA

June 25th, 2014 by Lydiya


MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll & TRUST present Welcome to Cruise Country photozine • 1986

13 12 2012

Continuing with our MRR Archives series in celebration of our 30th Anniversary, here is the complete download of our second photozine, a special All-European issue produced in collaboration with Germany’s TRUST fanzine, Welcome to Cruise Country (see below for link). For this archive post, we sent some questions to our friends Dolf Hermannstädter and Jan Roehlk at the still-thriving TRUST fanzine HQ about the photozine and the current state of punk zinery. Danke schön, Jan und Dolf!

Click image to download Welcome to Cruise Country!

How did you first learn about Maximum Rocknroll?

Dolf: It was back in 1983. Dave Dictor of MDC sent me an issue after I wrote him a letter. He also included a copy of Ripper. If I remember correctly I was more turned on by Ripper. ;-)

Jan: I got to know MRR through a review in a local fanzine in the beginning of the ’90s. I had a subscription, then canceled it and only read it once in a while because I was a little overtired about the millionth crust band interview (sorry!) but renewed a subscription again and this time kept it.

Was MRR an inspiration for starting TRUST?

Dolf: Yes, definitely, we were much impressed by MRR, Ripper and Flipside! I have to say that I don’t really like the open submission concept concerning the interviews. I like it more when a core writer staff conducts the interviews, and it is not only to avoid people sending in faked interviews or made-up scene reports. Like with all open source medias it is the same problem: It is cool that all can submit, but who controls it? Maybe it is just a matter of taste, some people like it, some not, and hey, it works for MRR clearly…so, all good! :)

Painajainen (photo by J.P. Inkinen)

Jan: German Wikipedia writes about TRUST: “Taking the American MRR fanzine as a role model, the first issue of TRUST was published in 1986 by the founding members Thomasso Schultze, Mitch Alber, Armin Hofman, Dolf Hermannstädter and Anne Ullrich. Just like MRR was connecting the worldwide punk scene, TRUST started with the aim to connect the German punk and hardcore scene through a regular published print fanzine, a totally new thing for punk fanzines back then.” (Some zines came out only locally, once a year or so and were kind of harder to find.)

So, yes, MRR was a really huge influence. And for me it will remain an inspiration for continuing with my writings for TRUST. MRR offers a real good worldwide view of the punk scene, and it is (still) great to have all the news, columns, record/movie/book reviews and shit collected every month on paper, at least for me.

For a while, Flipside matched my musical taste more, but really, I like(d) both a lot. By the way, here is an interview I recently did for TRUST with Hudley Flipside. There is a nice part about MRR and Tim Yo in her answer after question six.

I always like to do something for/with the people of MRR. TRUST asked MRR years ago if we could support each other by exchanging ads and we do so to this day… And it always felt good to contribute (did two scene reports in 2004 and 2010).

One special thing about MRR which blew me away twice and still keeps me inspired when I think of it is the spirit of the coordinators and their serious dedication to the labor of love for the DIY-punk scene and the mag. I twice met different coordinators for an interview for TRUST and they were like, “MRR gave us so much when we were young, so I give it now back with my MRR involvement.” I did two interviews in San Francisco at the MRR compound in 2004 and 2008. Both times it felt really good to meet the coordinators in person and see how it all works in the house.

How did the idea come about for the TRUST/MRR photozine?

Jan: Helge Schreiber had the idea. He also stayed for some months at MRR and pulled it together. His involvement in this issue came from his writings for MRR from 1983 to 1994 about European bands.

Dolf: We just thought it would be a great project and that it would help the global scene to connect.

Who decided which photos to use?

Dolf: As far as I remember, it was a co-op of people from TRUST (Anne Ullrich, Thomasso Schulze..) and Helge Schreiber was also heavily involved.

Tu Do Hospital (by Helge Schreiber)

Was all of the production for Welcome to Cruise Country done at MRR? Did any of you actually come to MRR to work on this? If so, what was it like to meet Tim Yo in person?

Jan: In the beginning of 1987 Helge finished his civil service and with the transfer money he flew out to San Francisco. Together with MRR he put together the zine. He collected all the photos out of the sources of a lot of photographers from over Europe. Later the same year, the special photo issue between MRR and TRUST called Welcome to Cruise Country with photos only by European bands was released. Since the street date it has ten million copies. No, it is for sure sold out.

Dolf: Yes, it was all done there. It was great to meet Tim, he was a fun guy to hang around and had a lot of life experience and good ideas and arguments. What impressed me the most (this was in 1987) was that there was a older guy who was still cool. Since most of our peers where our age, or usually older people become adults and Tim was still cool. I liked that since I hardy knew any other older people who where like him.

Were there separate European and U.S. printings of the photo-zine?

Dolf: Yes, the US version was on shitty newsprint [hence the kinda crappy quality of the PDF here —ed.] and the Euro version was offset. They where otherwise identically, only the cover was a bit different. The names of the zines where in different order.

Do you want to explain the title for our younger American readers? How big was the cruise missile issue, and was it seen as a uniting political issue for European punks?

Some older punks dissed the new breed as Stirnbandwixxer (“bandana jerks”) and the younger dissed the old punks as Nietenkaiser (“spike emperor”). —Jan

Dolf: The historic-political background concerning the title of the photo issue had to do with Cold War times and politics. In 1980 NATO planned to react to the deployment of Russian intermediate-range missiles with the deployment of American cruise missiles and Pershing II intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Parallel to that, NATO wanted to make an disarmament offer directed to the Soviets. That double-strategic plan — install weapons while talking about disarmament — was called the NATO Double-Track Decision. This decision was the reenforcing point of a whole bunch of anti-war protests in Europe, and a lot of people in the punk scene were against the Double-Track Decision. All of that emerged later in the title of the photo issue. Uniting political issue for European punks? Hard to answer…

Jan: I’d like to add one more thing may need some explaining — the very origin of the name TRUST. Sometimes people don’t understand or just don’t know what the original intention was. One of the founders of TRUST, in 1986, had the idea for the name. It has nothing to do with the 7Seconds song title, and also not with the French band by the same name. It was intended to be a play on words: “trust” is an old expression for “huge monopolistic corporations cartel which dominates the market.” Besides the obvious (trust) that was the intention, to claim in an ironic way, like “Trust us, obey us cause we rule.”

Everything Falls Apart (photos by Anne Ullrich)

As you look through the photo zine now, is there anything that surprises you, makes you laugh, makes you embarrassed, etc.?

Jan: Fuck you big time, you old punks over forty. I am jealous. Seriously, this remains amazing on several levels. First thing that comes into my mind: Great cover shot. And how young all these bands were. So enthusiastic. So serious and joyful and powerful and full of good fun. A few of my favorite shots include NEGAZIONE and the crowd shots in Italy. And the LÄRM guys who seemed to have lost contact to Earth: how high can you jump with a bass in the hands?! Guess they took that from SNFU, I assume… Look at that TU DO HOSPITAL pic. No barriers between band and audience and these happy faces. On the pic of EVERYTHING FALLS APART you can see the singer, Thomasso, back then one of the main driving forces for TRUST Fanzine.

For today’s 16-year-old kids, this issue must look like an artifact from a long gone civilization. Does that all mean that the past was better than today? Fuck no. It was just…different.

But the Cruise Country issue is also an interesting document to understand the transformation of the European scene. Most of the people on these photos were punks before US Hardcore landed in Europe. They then combined the new sound with British anarcho-punk values and that was the new “movement” of European hardcore back then. Some older punks dissed that new breed as Stirnbandwixxer (that means “bandana jerks”) and the younger, of course, dissed the old punks as Nietenkaiser (“spike emperor”).

And, fuck, then there are those old ads I love looking at so much. The one from Alternative Tentacles announcing the Give Me Convenience DEAD KENNEDYS collection (one of the first punk records I bought, but only in 1991, haha) and saying that Sex Mad by NO MEANS NO is soon to be released. Alchemy Records stating that something from RKL is coming soon, which surely meant the great Rock’n’Roll Nightmare record. Man, Starving Missile Records are also inside. Taang! announces Hate Your Friends by LEMONHEADS.

…Maybe a reprint on good paper quality would also make sense? Read the rest of this entry »

December 13th, 2012 by MRR


MRR archives: Maximum Rocknroll #8 • Sept 1983

19 09 2012

Huzzah! Our MRR Archives series chugs right along, celebrating the magazine’s 30 year anniversary. Here for your enjoyment is a complete download of Maximum Rocknroll issue #8 (see below for link). Our guest introduction for this issue comes from the one and only John Marr, who you may know from his own legendary zine Murder Can Be Fun. On a personal note, John is most near and dear to my heart for he is the person who first got me involved as a MRR shitworker some 29 years ago, and I can attest that his behind-the-scenes account of the OG MRR HQ is 100% true. Read and destroy!   — Paul

Click image to download MRR #8!

 The first thing to realize in looking back at these early issues of MRR is the unbelievable crude production methods we used. This was when the hot new Apple product was the IIe computer with dual 5¼” floppy drives and desktop publishing but a mad software engineer’s dream. We had no scanners, no computers, no laser printers. We did have an electric typewriter that could, in a jaw dropping display of 1983 technology, print out a justified column of copy. Tim had a friend with a graphic arts camera to make halftones of photos. And we had a full complement of steel rulers, Xacto knives, hand waxers, Letraset lettering, and layout tape. Early issues of MRR were handcrafted, albeit unlovingly.

The focus of our labors was Tim and Jeff’s nice little rented Arts & Crafts bungalow in the then affordable Temescal district of Oakland. (Real estate tip: buy near MRR house, wait 10 years.) During the week, a steady stream of volunteers pounded in every letter, every scene report, every interview into that damn typewriter. (And you wonder why there are so many typos! Spell-check too was on the to-be-invented list.) I did a little of the typing and copy editing; I recall one particularly pleasant hatchet job that turned one prominent punk’s 3,000 words of turgid bombast into a thousand words on how to have punk pen pals. But my main involvement was the big Sunday Afternoon Layout meeting.

We would show up around 2:00 p.m. Tim would distribute the copy and halftones and we would get to work, waxing the copy and photos and madly cropping both to make everything fit. More than one mohawk went down before our Xacto knives! There was generally much hilarity in the air as we went about our layouts, rehashing who punched who at last night’s show or competing in the never ending contest to coin the most generic hardcore band name, some outrageous combination of youth, red, black, flag, and army. The battle raged on. And then those three-letter acronym bands—what did they stand for? More importantly, what should they stand for? I always thought it was sad that so little of this lightness and wit wound up on the printed page. People who bitched about MRR’s dourness would have been absolutely shocked.

This particular issue came out at an interesting time: when the more violent segments of the punk audience were getting identical haircuts and starting the American skinhead “scene.” The letters column was starting to fill with people whining about who-punched-who at the last CBGB matinee.  Perhaps the highlight of the issue is Tim’s interview (on the radio?) with SF Skin-to-be Bob Noxious, singer of the then notorious SF band THE FUCK-UPS. He’s an amazingly unselfconscious subject, almost a unwitting work of folk art with a title like “American Numbskull.” You gotta love an interviewee who says things like “I don’t even wear spikes hardly no more” and who rationalizes knocking out 45 GRAVE’s Dinah Cancer with “she didn’t really take offense to it.” The only thing missing is the interview ending with Bob taking a swing at Tim.

Most of the scene reports are forgettable for all save record collectors. Tim picked them for content. Literary or artistic merit were never considerations. If you could throw together a few hundred words that included plenty of band names and contact addresses and toss in a few photos to be shrunken down beyond recognition, you were in. The Boston report, however, does stick out for being penned by mogul-to-be Gerard Cosloy and as a fine example of “The Promoter’s Lament.” And I do believe I detect my own inept hand in the layout of the Philly scene report—the uneven corners and poor overall graphic sense are dead giveaways.

The band interviews, either you love ‘em or hate ‘em. I hate ‘em; I prefer to hear musicians, not read them. The special report on the then new “skate punk” thing is pretty good, especially the Jaks interview. Don’t feel bad about not grasping the concept of “Absolute music” unless you too just did a head plant off your skateboard after drinking a shoplifted 6-pack of generic beer.

As for the big gab fest between Dave (MDC), Vic (AOF), and Ian (MINOR THREAT), I am so overwhelmed by a sense of sorrow for the poor shitworker who had to transcribe and type the damn thing that I can’t bear to read it. I’m betting, though, that they all come out as unalterably opposed to Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Pushead’s self-interview is best viewed on the bottom of a 12-year-old’s skateboard, preferably at speed. The Mykel Board piece is kinda fun, although it is but a shadow of the column he would soon being to write. And can you believe an issue of MRR with only two columnists?

A few fun details for the keen eyed: buried in the UK scene report is a picture of GBH captioned “Great Big Haircuts? Or Go Back Home?” The shitworkers have their (very small) say! Buried in the record reviews are early works by GG ALLIN (“idiotic and poorly recorded”), the LYRES (“Now this is more like it!”) and FAITH NO MAN, soon to be re-christened FAITH NO MORE. Even if you don’t read the Dave/Vic/Ian piece, look at the pictures! Tim Y. is plainly visible in the front row of one (Hint: he’s the one that looks like a greasy little vampire.) But if you really want to flaunt your MRR old school credentials, spot (and explain!) the “Annie” on the front cover!

— John Marr, 2012

PDF download of MRR #8 HERE. Click here to find more of our MRR Archive downloads. We’ve done our best to clean up theses scans while keeping the “newsprint” look, and to keep the file size small while still being readable. If you have any trouble downloading or reading this file, please contact webzine {at} maximumrocknroll(.)com.

If you appreciate these free downloads, please consider donating a small amount — however much you think it’s worth — to help us pay some bills around here. Thanks… and enjoy!

September 19th, 2012 by MRR