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The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast

Conversations around The Fanzine That Grew Up, 1977-86.

Welcome to the Jamming! Fanzine podcast. In late 1977, as a schoolkid in South London inspired by the DIY culture of punk, I started a music ‘zine. Over the following decade, Jamming! would grow to become a major fanzine
Latest Episode12/2/2021

Ep. 6: Morrissey, Frankie, Natalie & Bronski

Ep. 6
Chris Heath is a writer for The Atlantic, GQ and Vanity Fair, and author of several books. Russell Young is a visual artist with a background in music photography, sleeve design and video directing. Both got their professional start with Jamming! in the early 1980s.Thirty-five years after its demise, Russell and Chris joined Jamming!’s former publisher/editor Tony Fletcher in New York City, where all three have lived at one time or another, for a long-overdue reunion. The trio sat down with the new book, The Best of Jamming!, and various back issues, to discuss their favorite articles and photo sessions, exchange anecdotes, and consider what they learned in the scrappy fanzine days of Jamming! that helped them hone their craft as professionals.Topics covered include:Photographing the Genius That Is MorrisseyChris on the infamous Frankie Goes To Hollywood incidentGeorge Best the BullfighterNatalie Merchant's all-in personalityBronski Beat's pioneering sexual personaThe camaraderie at Jamming!How shooting covers for Lloyd Cole & Cocteau Twins led Russell Young to George Michael & the Faith album coverChris on the 'normality' of visiting George Michael's house for teaInterviewing/photographing Virginia Astley, Inca Babies, Andy White, UB40, Everything But The Girl and more.Why Russell, Tony & Chris all moved to the USA.EVENTSTony Fletcher will be appearing to discuss The Best of Jamming!: Selections & Stories From the Fanzine that Grew Up 1977-86 at the following events:Saturday Dec 11th, 2pm, The Golden Notebook presents at Maria’s in Bearsville/Woodstock NYIn conversation with author and Chronogram Arts Editor, Peter Aaron.Tuesday January 18th, 6pm, Bowery Electric, Manhattan.In conversation with WNYC Soundcheck’s John Schaefer.Wednesday February 23rd, 7:30pm, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Club at the Dublin Castle, London.In conversation with RNR Book Club’s Tony Gleed.Friday February 25th, 7.30pm, the Electric Palace, Hastings.Featuring a screening of Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed and a conversation with Wendy May.For more on these events visithttps://tonyfletcher.net/book/the-best-of-jamming/https://www.facebook.com/theTonyFletcher/eventsThe Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus PressTonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Editing assistance and art by Greg Morton.https://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcast
12/2/2021

Ep. 6: Morrissey, Frankie, Natalie & Bronski

Ep. 6
Chris Heath is a writer for The Atlantic, GQ and Vanity Fair, and author of several books. Russell Young is a visual artist with a background in music photography, sleeve design and video directing. Both got their professional start with Jamming! in the early 1980s.Thirty-five years after its demise, Russell and Chris joined Jamming!’s former publisher/editor Tony Fletcher in New York City, where all three have lived at one time or another, for a long-overdue reunion. The trio sat down with the new book, The Best of Jamming!, and various back issues, to discuss their favorite articles and photo sessions, exchange anecdotes, and consider what they learned in the scrappy fanzine days of Jamming! that helped them hone their craft as professionals.Topics covered include:Photographing the Genius That Is MorrisseyChris on the infamous Frankie Goes To Hollywood incidentGeorge Best the BullfighterNatalie Merchant's all-in personalityBronski Beat's pioneering sexual personaThe camaraderie at Jamming!How shooting covers for Lloyd Cole & Cocteau Twins led Russell Young to George Michael & the Faith album coverChris on the 'normality' of visiting George Michael's house for teaInterviewing/photographing Virginia Astley, Inca Babies, Andy White, UB40, Everything But The Girl and more.Why Russell, Tony & Chris all moved to the USA.EVENTSTony Fletcher will be appearing to discuss The Best of Jamming!: Selections & Stories From the Fanzine that Grew Up 1977-86 at the following events:Saturday Dec 11th, 2pm, The Golden Notebook presents at Maria’s in Bearsville/Woodstock NYIn conversation with author and Chronogram Arts Editor, Peter Aaron.Tuesday January 18th, 6pm, Bowery Electric, Manhattan.In conversation with WNYC Soundcheck’s John Schaefer.Wednesday February 23rd, 7:30pm, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Club at the Dublin Castle, London.In conversation with RNR Book Club’s Tony Gleed.Friday February 25th, 7.30pm, the Electric Palace, Hastings.Featuring a screening of Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed and a conversation with Wendy May.For more on these events visithttps://tonyfletcher.net/book/the-best-of-jamming/https://www.facebook.com/theTonyFletcher/eventsThe Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus PressTonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Editing assistance and art by Greg Morton.https://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcast
11/18/2021

Ep. 5: The Birth of Creation with Alan McGee

Ep. 5
This episode is a co-production with the Fifty Years of Fun podcast.In Jamming! 13, published in the spring of 1982, a 17-yr old Tony Fletcher wrote an editorial called ‘A Statement.’ Among those to read it was Alan McGee, new to London from Glasgow at the time, who was inspired to start a fanzine and a club night and a label all of his own. That label was Creation Records, home to The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream and Oasis, to name but four. Along the way Alan would become a figurehead of the 1990s British music scene, and was recently the subject matter of a movie named for his autobiography, Creation Stories, produced by Danny Boyle, directed by Nick Moran, and co-written by Irvine Welsh.Tony Fletcher interviewed Alan McGee for The Best of Jamming!, and you will hear their conversation in this episode.Before that, courtesy of the podcast Fifty Years of Fun, which is producing an episode for each of the first 50 singles released on Creation, you will hear 'A Statement' read by Californian singer-songwriter Rose Melberg. Rose is a former member of the bands Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor and an established artist in her own right.And, following the interview with McGee, you will hear Matt Roberts and Scott Miller, from Fifty Years of Fun, interview Tony Fletcher about 'A Statement', its influence on McGee, and about the story of Jamming! and the culture of those times.Thanks to Fifty Years Of Fun for permission to use their material. You can find the full interview with Tony Fletcher on Episode 1 and all other episodes at https://anchor.fm/fiftyyearsoffun. Their Instagram feed is https://www.instagram.com/fiftyyearsoffun/Alan McGee is at https://www.instagram.com/alanmcgee93/The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available from Sep 23 '21 in the UK/EU; Dec 2 in the rest of the world.TonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Editing assistance and art by Greg Morton.https://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcast
11/4/2021

Ep. 4: The Politics of Fanzines

Ep. 4
Tony Fletcher hosts a conversation with three fellow former fanzine editors and Jamming! contributors, Tim Kelly (Revolutionary Suicide/Fanzine of Noise), Janine Booth (Blaze) and Richard Edwards (Cool Notes). Janine and Richard were also active in the 'Ranting Poetry' scene of the 1980s, while Tim toured with D.I.R.T., and played in Flux of Pink Indians and was part of the One Little Indian label that emerged from that band.Their discussion about 1980s alternative culture, conducted across three continents, covers:politics and poetry,fanzines and football,soul music and sexism,animal rights and anarchy,rock, racism, reggae and Red Wedge. In other words, very much like the contents of a mid-80s issue of Jamming!Some specific highlights:Tim Kelly talks about touring Northern Ireland at the height of the 'Troubles' with Crass and D.I.R.T.,Janine talks about being one of the few female fanzine editors of the era, the dark side of which she recounts in the poem 'Lighting Rigged',Richard Edwards talks about confronting Steel Pulse's anti-gay sentiments in an interview for Jamming!, noting that diversity does not always come with equality.And, all four discuss how the values they acquired in the 1980s have stayed throughout their adulthood - and how, despite occasional major setbacks, we have witnessed considerable social progress in our time.Janine Booth is at:www.janinebooth.comwww.youtube.com/janineboothRichard Edwards contributes regularly to:https://www.soul-source.co.uk/Tim Kelly is at https://www.facebook.com/tim.kelly.7330Tony Fletcher's One Step Beyond podcast on Equal Playing Field:https://shows.acast.com/onestepbeyond/episodes/ep-28-equal-playing-field-first-halfhttps://shows.acast.com/onestepbeyond/episodes/ep-29-equal-playing-field-second-halfThe Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available as of Sep 23 '21 in the UK/EU; Dec 2 in the rest of the world.TonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Editing assistance and art by Greg Morton.https://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcast
10/21/2021

Ep. 3: Image as Virus with Joly of Better Badges

Ep. 3
Between 1976-82, Joly MacFie printed some 40,000,000 badges (pins, in the USA) related to music culture. Along the way his company Better Badges grew from one-man garage operation to a sizeable small business that also printed and distributed dozens of fanzines. That connection started in spring of 1979 when Tony Fletcher stopped hoping for an ad for the 7th issue of Jamming. Joly, having just acquired a brand new table-top litho machine, offered to print Jamming at cost as 'guinea pig'. Joly and Tony's relationship flourished almost all the way to when Better Badges imploded, due to the usual cash flow problems brought on by a rapidly expanding business. Since the late 1980s, Joly and Tony have both lived in New York State, and in September 2021, they reconnected in the Catskill mountains. Tony brought Joly a copy of The Best of Jamming! book and the two sat down to relive the story of Better Badges. The edited conversation includes:the role of hippies like Joly in the punk movementthe free festival scene and influence of the Pink Faeries and HawkwindJoly's conversion to punk alongside Joe Strummerthe appeal of the button badge and Joly's slogan: Image as VirusWhy 2-Tone pushed Better Badges towards fanzinesHow Joly Division manager Rob Gretton convinced Better Badges to not pay royaltiesthe six issues of Jamming printed at BB's Portobello Road headquartersthe end of Jamming! and the demise of Better BadgesJoly’s exploits in the States as concert promoter with Golden Voice, TV producer with Snub TV, PunkCast video documentarian, and, again, pin printer.Joly MacFie can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/joly.macfieHis work can be found at http://punkcast.com/The Old Punk Rock Badges Fanatics Facebook group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/37808373885An article by Joly MacFie about Better Badges is at https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/521/429 The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available from all good book shops in the UK/EU; Dec 2 in the rest of the world.More info and online purchasing options at:TonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved.Editing assistance and logo by Greg Morton.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast website can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcastSocial media atInstagram.com/LeagleAlientwitter.com/TonyFletcher
10/7/2021

Ep. 2: Mods and Sods with Mark Bedford, Guy Pratt and Buddy Ascott

Ep. 2
For this episode, we spin back to 1979, for a lively and laughter-filled conversation with two famous bass players and a drummer: Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford of Madness, Guy Pratt (then of Speedball) and Brett ‘Buddy’ Ascott (then of The Chords). Together they discuss:the fashion forces that inspired that year’s mod and skinhead revivals;why the former musical movement fizzled out but the latter one gave us the lasting music of 2-Tone Recordsthe influence of punk and the freedom it inspiredwhy the music you listened to in that era defined the clothes that you wore and why gig-going was so dangerousgetting into and playing in pub venues under agethe role of fanzines in that tribal eraMark Bedford becoming a pop star at 17 and the Madness biographical movie Take It Or Leave Itmemories of meeting what was then a 15-year old fanzine scribe and why it mattered to get coverage in Jamming! Guy Pratt's memoir 'My Bass And Other Animals' and Tony Fletcher's memoir 'Boy About Town'Mark Bedford's The Near Jazz Experience can be found at https://thenje.bandcamp.com/His social is https://twitter.com/I_be_MarkBGuy Pratt will be touring soon with Saucerful of Secrets https://www.thesaucerfulofsecrets.com/Guy Pratt co-hosts the Rockonteurs podcast with Gary Kemp which can be found at https://www.rockonteurs.com/His official Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/guy.pratt.officialBuddy Ascott is currently on tour with The 1979ers and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brett.b.ascott. The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available now from all good book shops in the UK/EU, and Dec 2 in the rest of the world.More information and online purchasing options at:TonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved.The logo is by Greg Morton, who also assisted with editing.The Best of Jamming! book cover was designed by Martin Stiff.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast website can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcastSocial media updates atInstagram.com/LeagleAlientwitter.com/TonyFletcher
9/23/2021

Ep. 1: From Classroom To Clubs

Ep. 1
For this debut episode of The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast, Tony Fletcher connects with three old friends who all played an important part in the Jamming! school days, and each of whom wrote an introductory piece for The Best of Jamming! book. They are Richard Heard, Jeni de Haart and John Matthews, and over the course of a lively group call, they discussthe onset of punk,the birth of Jamming and why John Matthews declined a rolefirst gigs at The Marquee on Wardour Streeta shared love of The JamJamming's eclectic tastes - including The Fall, Scritti Politti, Killing Joke and moreattending the Setting Sons recording sessionsApocalypseselling fanzines at gigsbeing taught 'Teenage Kicks' on guitar by The Undertonesthe violence surrounding the tribalism of the late 1970sthe influence of John Peelfave gig memoriesand why those years mattered so much and why they are all still friendsThe Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available from all good book shops.on Sep 23 in the UK/EU, and Dec 2 in the rest of the world.More information and online purchasing options available at:TonyFletcher.netOmnibusPress.com 'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast logo was designed by Greg Morton, who also assisted with editing.The Best of Jamming! book cover was designed by Martin Stiff.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast website can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcastInstagram.com/LeagleAlientwitter.com/TonyFletcherJohn Matthews maintains a regularly updated Spotify playlist entitled Latest ShitHis Instagram is @john_matthewsJeni de Haart can be found on social media as @jenifusion
9/15/2021

Introducing... The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast

Welcome to the Jamming! Fanzine podcast hosted by Tony Fletcher. In late 1977, as a schoolkid in South London inspired by the DIY culture of punk, I started a music ‘zine. I had no long-term plan, and certainly no idea that over the next decade, Jamming! would grow to become a national, even international, monthly magazine. And I certainly couldn’t have imagined that in 2021, there would be a full-colour book collecting together what we have called The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86.Its packed with reproduced interveiws, articles, photographs and cartoons, includes fresh recollections from those who were part of the Jamming! story, and comes complete with a foreword by Billy Bragg.For the Jamming! Fanzine podcast, I am hosting conversations with some of these former contributors, photographers, musicians, scenesters and schoolfriends, and seeing if we can’t, through the rose-tinted glasses of history, offer some sort of perspective on the heady days of that heavyweight decade. The Jamming ! Fanzine Podcast will drop every other Thursday from September 23, the book’s UK publication date, unless we are late to the proverbial printers or otherwise distracted. Hit subscribe now and we’ll see you on the podcast stand.The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press and available from all good book shops.on Sep 23 in the UK/EU, and Dec 2 in the rest of the world.More information and online purchasing options available at:https://tonyfletcher.net/book/the-best-of-jamming/https://omnibuspress.com/products/the-best-of-jamming-published-on-23rd-september-2021'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher. Copyright reserved.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast logo was designed by Greg Morton, who also assisted with editing.The Best of Jamming! book cover was designed by Martin Stiff.The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast website can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/the-jamming-fanzine-podcast/aboutInstagram.com/LeagleAlientwitter.com/TonyFletcher