I grew up with MaximumRockNRoll. Whilst far too often wallowing in identity politic nihilism, it was a priceless resource for alt.culture in the pre-internet stone age. It kept many of us sane, providing endless resources to other folks like us cruelly separated by the tyranny of distance. The premier issue was July 1982 – which makes us scumfucs that remember pushing 50 and beyond. The age that we used to hate with a fearsome passion.
Central to MRR’s appeal was knowing you were not alone. That there were others on the planet that held the same contempt for what passed as pop culture of the time. For me personally, rock bottom was reached here, also in 1982 – ABC and Look of Love [masochists can click here]. I cannot articulate the despair that was evoked by this nothingness that was everywhere – every music teevee show, every commercial radio channel, every shopping mall, pub and club. Noxious, spotty teenagers pumping dimes in jukeboxes playing the same non-music, bubblegum garbage everywhere. There was no escape. But there was MRR – and it was a lifeline.
The most wonderful feature of MRR, and similar zines such as Metal Forces for the headbangers, was the personals section where folks would post real addresses for correspondence and, most importantly, cassette tape trading of music – very much the Napster of its day. (more…)