An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
A while ago MRR printed a cover with the pictures of THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO, and RINGO STAR on it. Emblazoned across that cover was They're Here! Dinosaurs Attack! When I saw it, I laughed so hard snot came out of my nose. I bet Gerard Cosloy and Byron Coley laughed even harder. It's like Pat Boone calling Richard Simmons "white." Most of the fanzine world considers Maximum Rock'n'Roll, as well as hardcore and punkrock, to be a dinosaur. An oblivious editorial crew-- mostly in their forties-- compounds the irony.
Not only are the magazine and its staff dinosaurs, but the format (all newsprint, black and white, no glossy cover), the politics, and the morality associated with it are dinosaurs. Well, maybe not dinosaurs, but at least living fossils....
So we've reached issue one hundred-- the combined age of any two columnists. Finally, we can defecate our petty and not-so-petty MRR complaints into easily smudgable ink on cheap newsprint. What an opportunity!
It's gonna be one that I pretty much pass by. Sure all my friends have "outgrown" MRR. They subscribe to Forced Exposure now. Sure this zine is boring, too PC, and as open minded as a lesbian separatist. Sure it's a fossil. We need fossils. Fossils tell us history. They record information we can't get anywhere else. They preserve moments that otherwise would be lost-- sometimes great moments. A fossil can be a pearl, as well as a piece of shell stuck in a rock.
The only things you read are the letters and my column-- maybe the record reviews, to see if your record is there. But sometimes there are other things.
You just bought your first guitar. "Let's see, if the first dot is Doe and the second is Rae. If I move my index finger down and to the left, I hit Mi... OK, it's time to take this band on the road."
You pick up MRR and read the scene reports to see where to play. Or at least "book your own fucking tour." You travel around and see a poster. "Hey, I heard of those guys..."Where?...In MRR!
There're more important things. You live in a small town in Montana. Everybody around you is either a Christian or a cowboy-- often both. You think you're the only one in the whole world who feels the way you do. If only there were someone else, someplace. Then you find MRR.
Punks in Thailand? If it weren't for the genius of MRR's Luk Haas, who would've known? Noam Chomsky? Sounds like the capital of an obscure state. Or it would to a lot of people if it weren't for these pages.
Although I hate the anonymous unsigned nature of the "news" section, I've read some great things there. The article on Japan bashing was smart as a kick in the balls. I just hope you read it.
MRR won't whore for the majors. It remains one of the few "alternative" publications who won't take their ads. Even old stand-bys like Sound Choice and Factsheet Five now genuflect before the cross of major-label money. This kind of integrity isn't fashionable in the 90s. But if you want what's fashionable, read Forced Exposure.
It's limited. If MRR is the only thing you read, you'll be as open minded as a lesbian separatist. But as a fossil, as a piece of culture, we need it.
There've been mistakes. Next to the firing of Ace Backwords, the worst was dropping cassette reviews. Cassettes are the ultimate spirit of DIYness, something that MRR usually excels in supporting. You've progressed. You now know a D chord. You run to the basement with your punk band. You turn on the cassette deck. You record. Forget it! Not a chance. You gotta have a thousand bucks. You gotta have studio connections and make a record before you get in these pages.
Still, there are more good things about MRR than bad things. I'm sure the other columnists will tell you the bad. As for me... I want to tell you about the other columnists. Since you never read them, you don't know their style, their concerns, their feelings. As a public service, I've written a one paragraph column by everyone else. That way, you'll know right where they stand.
INSTANT COLUMNS BY EVERYBODY ELSE:
Well, buckaroos, that's it for now. This month's endnotes'll be in the second part of this 100 issue. If you see any of the other columnists, tell 'em I'll be in Mongolia for the next few years. I can't wait to see their columns next issue.
back to "You're Wrong Index"