WRITING ABOUT MUSIC


Elmer Perdue at the piano, Vernell 'Mac'
Glenn, Servando 'Bud' Cervantes de
Ayala

Graham Charnock
circa NEW
WORLDS FAIR

John F. Burke, Dave McIlwain, unknown non-fan

Since the subject matter of fannish SF fanzines has always been whatever the editor felt like writing about it was inevitable that on occasion some of them would write about their appreciation of music, be it in the form of record and book reviews, artist profiles, concert reports, or tales of personal encounters. This section collects together and links to some of those pieces and fanzines. More will be added.

From the mid 1950s, SF fans began to publish whole fanzines devoted to music. The earliest I'm aware of was John Brunner's NOISE LEVEL (10 issues, 1954 - 1958), which he ran through OMPA, the UK's first APA. Devoted to folk and blues for its first nine issues, the tenth - coinciding with his becoming after London correspondent for CARAVAN - covered the first Aldermaston march.

(Brunner wrote the CND marching song, and more on his activities with them can be found here. Also, there's a photo of fans getting ready to leave the 1959 Eastercon to join the second one on this page, and of fans taking time out from the 1960 Eastercon - held that year in London - to greet the marchers arriving from Aldermaston here.)

Michael Moorcock came out with JAZZ FAN in 1956 and Lee Hoffman with her folkzine CARAVAN in 1957. A decade later, in 1966, Paul Williams launched CRAWDADDY and Greg Shaw came out with MOJO NAVIGATOR, the first fanzines devoted to rock music. Shaw's fannish fanzine METANOIA apparently also sometimes carried music pieces. Shaw started up WHO PUT THE BOMP? in 1970 when he moved to LA, the Fall 1973 number of which was a 'British Invasion' issue that inspired Brian Hogg of Dunbar in Scotland to launch his fanzine BAM BALAM (14 issues, 1975 - 1982). This in turn influenced Mark Perry to start up punkzine SNIFFIN' GLUE. Which is how the word 'fanzine' was transmitted, a piece of fannish terminology largely unknown to the general public in 1976. As Mark Plummer notes:

The Mick Farren/Susie Shaw-edited BOMP! collection from a few years back includes facsimiles of WHO PUT THE BOMP? and MOJO NAVIGATOR. The latter absolutely looked like 'our' fanzines, right down to the Rotsler illos and at one point a 'Who Sawed Courtney's Boat?' interlineation in the middle of a Country Joe and the Fish interview. There's a photo a very young and clean-cut Shaw, hand on a mimeo crank, ranks of GALAXYs and other SF mags behind him.

Another perhaps inevitable consequence of fannish interest in music was some fans becoming professional musicians themselves. Gene Klein was known in fandom primarily as a fan artist and contributed work to many fanzines in the 1960s. He also published the fanzine COSMOS - later renamed COSMOSTILETTO. These days he's better known as Gene Simmons of KISS. Then there's Lenny Kaye, who went on to play guitar with Patti Smith. He wrote for many SF fanzines in the 1960s and later published the "NY rock tabloid" CHANGES, which in 1970 included a comics-centred issue reviewed here. Alas, this and most of the other zines named above are not online so I can't link to them, but here's an early piece by Kaye.

(My thanks to Mark Plummer, Ted White, and Greg Pickersgill for research help.)

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Harry Warner Jr

Francis Towner Laney

Vernon L. McCain

Eric Bentcliffe and Sandy Sandfield

Lee Hoffman

Michael Moorcock

Ted White (see also his music reviews website Dr Progresso)

Britt Schweitzer

Bill Donaho

Christopher Priest

Jon Stopa

Hank Luttrell

Greg Shaw

Jonh Ingham

Pascal Thomas:

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