bruce
#2

was a major milestone in the history of the zine. We actually broke the bank, went to the old East Ave Kinkos to do it and got severely gouged in the ankle by some rockabilly clerk. Don't realize he was listening to Ken Nordine's 1966 abstract Colors that night until years later. They came out high quality – recouped investment quickly, only to spend it again. If chins could kill, front cover guy is B-movie man Bruce Campbell. "CG the mexican is a friend of mine, we used to sit around the house watching Evil Dead.." It features half of the Obi Ajula Ugbomah (Coolie Ranx) & Toasters + Too Hectic interview sessions rec'd at Alfred University on or about 23 Mar 96 in centerfold. We learn how Mike Christianson had recommended Chuck Faulkner to sub for the Toasters' trombone – and his first gig was at Rochester's Club X / Bosco's / Purgatory back in October 1992. Given all the many past toast changes, Coolie deliberately ducks our question if he plans to stay with the band. He was fired the next day; Dan'll talk to him again afterward in Pilfers.

Apologies to Bill & Too Hectic, your tape was lost in the chaos. Good friends put us up for the weekend there at AU and we dressed sharp enough that the college guards assumed we were all with the band. It was fun going to Hornell's hostile hillbilly diners after the local bingo game let out with a mohawked Johnny in tow; we might've been shot at any moment. Such is life in the small gothic towns of NY's southern tier where you can cut the tension with a butterknife; it's palpable. Ever see Easy Rider?

Rent-a-Cop™ on a power trip
A focus this issue was toilets everywhere, their surrounding humor and importance. MCC's semi-sophisticated layout software was employed, and insight came in such opinionated articles as "Why Marilyn Manson is Lame", Yucky ka ka man returns , Eric's 2nd poj esso drawing, a memorable Bosch Hall car alarm note. Roc concert reviews (Rancid, Allstonians, Toasters) and corrupt donut-eating security guard fiasco inspired by Lieutenant Kronen made for a good laugh. Officer, you act like an animal you're out of control. ipods not invented yet, so the cassette marking this period is Let's Go opposite Mr Twist. Jesse from Skavoovie hosted ska radio on Vassar College's WVKR Poughkeepsie.

Calling Maxwell Murder: After a Rancid show some editors briefly met up with bassist Matt Freeman in the alley out back of Water St to discuss the lightweight Shotgun Jimmy & Fresno's Let's Go Bowling. Pie reviews from all-night dinahs by Denis "the Pietaster" Lepel, and 4 simple yet big reviews of ska releases.

April 25: Fifties typographer Saul Bass dies. Get the superb collection Max the Dog Says Do The Ska! 2LP compiled by Zoot, a famed international ska fanzine out of Scotland 1986. It was the first skinzine to call itself a skazine (Glasgow's third, along with Spy Kids and Bovver Boot, both started by Paul McGinnley). Now on CD from Dojo UK label and stocked by ever-lovely Jill over at Mt Hope Record Archive. Where is she now?

Fanmail page is 100% fabricated, replaced in issues #3–5 with legit ones. We introduce ourselves as the guilty parties here in backpage via Becky's monochrome and totemic tailgate portrait, accompanied by bios [a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker]. I tell you that girl. Wealthy folk wager on who can refine garbagemen, soitenly! Afterward someone clued us to an old classic Three Stooges short called what else but Hoi Polloi. It was T.L. Evans from Skaneateles NY.

May 25: Sublime lead Bradley Nowell heroin overdose in a SF hotel room, weeks before his hugest crossover CD is released on Gasoline/MCA and sells 2 million + units.

NUMBER CRUNCH 5 leaves = 20 pages. Initial print run: 100 copies. The return address stamp is carved out of a Staedtler eraser block and gets read in 16 states / 2 provinces. We send one to ska DJ Ben's protégé Lil' Davey at WITR 89.7 FM, but get no response. Pietasters' Strapped Live! released on Moon in June.
Took a few to sell when we made a big spontaneous overnight roadtrip to NYC to see local heroes the Miggedys at the Wetlands that July. Stole Rick's 1990 Nissan Sentra to get there (but don't tell him ok?). Destination known – 161 Hudson St, SoHo, 212-966-4225. A bonus is an impromptu but exhausting Toasters show w/ Jack Ruby Jr. at 7 Willow in Port Chester the night before. Sure was fun and allowed us to see complexity of Manhattan, pigeons, FAO Schwarz toys, other ska people and acquire new material for #3. Places like the first Moon store, Lower East Side, 99X's basement-level Kangol caps and soul food at the Bell Cafe. As I recall it was also the weekend of that bad TWA Flight 800 crash just off Long Island. Conspiracy theorists still claim it was shot down by a missile.
Summer 1996
"Wanted dead or alive"
This ain't no mecca man, this place's fucked – and New Jersey is the diner capital of the world. On the way home some guys inna Fairfield greasy spoon wanted to rumble, so after the cops left they followed us home in their IROC for several dark miles. Little did they know we'd be driving north for the next 8 hours. Wayne and Powder. This is the same place where they make Roll-A-Hose infomercials, Cachet notebooks and Folex overhead transparency film.

Yuzo Watanabe from Carnegie Mellon University interviewed the Miggedys for his e-zine Rimshot! that weekend. DK and Mearns plotted a sneak over the flimsy snow fence Warped Tour '96 in order to see DHC /Rancid with Andy 7/26. August was 2nd annual Powderhorn and the band shares bill with the likes of Toasters, Slackers, Insteps + at Irving Plaza too. Noah still hadn't learned to spell the band's name & a record deal is offered (MR103). HP! didn't drive down for that one though, summer job is both a poorly-ventilated suit factory and paint store that week.

Oversimplification and misrepresentation of the genre is infectious and rampant. Even weakly Time Magazine was guilty: "California, home to Rancid and Sublime, is the hottest region for ska. There it neatly commingles with skateboarding culture (skateboards are to ska what flannel was to grunge)." – C. J. Farley, 8/12/96

It makes you wonder what else they publish is inaccurate because that guy was born in Kingston JA and graduated from local Brockport High 1984. Newsstands everywhere sell "Rudeboy Awakening: SPIN's Guide to the History of Ska" which oddly manages to completely omit the Toasters. We attempt to fix such blatant ska ignorance with our rag.

When Spiro Agnew died in September, he had been out of public life for 23 years. NPR's Fresh Air ran a segment on Sixties Jamaican innovators The Skatalites. Jazz trumpeter Nathan Breedlove talks and my brother called to let me know.

This page is Pantone® 123 with text in PMS 485 (Kodak red).


Golden age: the mind-melding, Dub 56-era Toasterspublicity still
Photo by Johnnie Miles
JUST WHO IN THE HELL IS SHOTGUN JIMMY? SEE THREE


"Be original – if you're gonna do it, be the only one.
Or be near to the only one"
– Coolie Ranx


issue #2 REVIEWS

Skavoovie & The Epitones – Fat Footin’ (Moon) by Jav
Let’s Go Bowling – Mr. Twist (Moon) by Dan
Laurel Aitken – Jamaican Ska: The Bluebeat Years (Moon) by Eric
Al Beaman Band – The Happy Itch (cassette) by Dan
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