Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The original MY RULES Photozine ... part of the story

I shared this on my instagram yesterday in three parts, here's the whole deal here:

In November of 1982 i published this "photozine" myself, they call it D.I.Y. now, but truth is thats the only choice we had then, and in the end we are all much better for it. We had to teach ourselves how to do things and make things happen on our own. None of the lazy ass slacker, type it in google to figure it out bull shit (not that that can't be put to good use, because of course it can, but its so damn easy, and any neuroscientist will tell you, easy shit doesn't stimulate the brain the way difficult things do... Jus sayin'). By actually talking to people not texting or speaking on message boards, by socializing FACE TO FACE motherfuckers, making phone calls and having conversations in REAL TIME WHEN SPOKEN TO not at your leisure when you feel like it or have the time to think of something witty to say, i think of it as LIVING IN REAL TIME, getting shit done, takin' care of business, workin' your hustle... No one had printers in their homes, NO ONE, you'd have to create pages on graph paper (thats an actual sheet of paper with lines preprinted on it), make "half-tones" of photographs and art, paste them on a page, titles would been hand glued or waxed onto a page one letter at a time, text would be taken from a typewriter or sent out to a typesetter who would let you pick one of a few fonts for a price, and if you wanted "different" fonts you'd pay a lot more and have to find a type house that did it even... Luckily for printing i was able to call on my bro's at Thrasher who i figured owed me a favor or two, bringing them some credibility coming from "SkateBoarder" after "Action Now" folded... Anyway, i got ad's from a few friends who had record companies to help pay for the printing, Thrasher got thier ad in trade for letting me use their facilities up in the San Fransisco ship yard where they operated from all the years i worked with them. SST didnt pay for theirs in cash, Black Flag's Van is what travelled with me and roadie Davo over 500 miles to bring the 10,000 zines back to my room at my moms house just south of Olympic blvd., stacked more than six feet high they filled up most of my room in boxes of 200 copies.

Before i went to print i told everyone that this would be "The One and Only Issue". Flipside said they were printing around 4000 at the time, and Maximum Rock'N'Roll said they were printing between 2,500 and 3,500 at the time (they were by far the biggest Punk Fanzines at the time), Thrasher, which at that moment was the ONLY national skateboard magazine (but only B&W photos) told me they were doing 20,000... So i figured, being a one time thing, it'd be cool if i did 10,000, i had confidence the national & worldwide punk scene (there were pockets of punks all over the globe in major cities) would be into it. It wasn't until we were at the bindery, getting the zines all cut, trimmed, collated, & stapled together, that i found out the truth regarding Thrashers numbers by accident... The binder, whom Thrasher put me on to, asked me, "how many copies total you got here?" I said "half of what Thrasher does" he said "this looks like a lot more than that!" And then he told me they usually printed only around 6,000 copies a month, HAAAAA! I couldn't believe it, and here i am with 10,000, more than they ever did! Oh well... It cost me about .30¢ each to print, i wholesaled them for $1.00 to record distributors and magazine stands and record stores, the cover price was $2.00 the ads paid for about half the printing and the other $1500. was outa my own savings account, (no fucking kickstarter bullshit, its DIY!) i shipped them via UPS & USPO as well as drove many to distributors & record stores myself, and made all the calls to sell & collect myself. Every dot on every page i put there on purpose or by accident, myself or by Kevin Thatcher (Thrasher original Editor who gave me invaluable assistance in creating & cutting & pasting all my photos & ideas onto the page. My first solo homemade publication! Sold 8,000 copies in the first two years all over the country and mail orders came to me from over a dozen countries world wide, Yugoslavia and Chile being two of the farthest and most impressive to me, the currency sent in envelops from all over, much of it i would never trade in (some i still have & put in the collage in the MY RULES book endsheets)..

The last two thousand trickled out over the following 8 years or so, and nowadays some of my last few N.O.S. go for over $300 a pop, on eBay you can find them at different times for as little as $30 and as much as $399 just depends on the timing... Anyway, there's my presidents day off sermon, hope you liked it ✌🏾️

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