The first issue of Rock Scene magazine hit the stands before I'd blown out a single birthday candle. Thirty something years later, I still hadn't thumbed through an issue. A long overdue introduction finally got underway thanks to a deep dig through a delightfully jam-packed Los Angeles garage. Being far more interested in punk fanzines than commercial rock mags, I probably would've ignored Rock Scene had the Ramones not graced a couple covers. What elevated Rock Scene above other 70's rock rags (Hit Parader, Creem, Circus) was their wholehearted embrace of punk in its earliest formations. Every issue was packed full of non-stop photography from the likes of Richard Creamer, Bob Gruen, Leee Black Childers, Roberta Bayley and Stephanie Chernikowski. Truth be told though, it was the appearances by ridiculously obscure groups (O. Rex, Max Load, Freestone, Zolar X) in the "New Bands" section that really hooked me all these years later. Mix in a serious childhood KISS obsession, and my collecting of Rock Scene issues quickly reached fever pitch. I had to have 'em all!
RockScenester is an extreme labor of love. The amount of time I've spent putting the site together should become obvious once you've flipped through a few issues below. My hope is that RockScenester will serve as a resource for fans and collectors and people looking for new ways to procrastinate or plunge work productivity to new lows. I figure now is also a fine time to introduce Rock Scene to a whole new crowd and to give the "remember when" crowd another ride on the wayback machine while I'm at it. The accolades garnered by my Star magazine site earlier this year definitely inspired me to saddle up and tackle this one, an undertaking literally ten times the scale: 54 issues! Every single issue from 1973 through 1982 has been scanned cover to cover and made available here. Out-of-pocket expenses for creating RockScenester ran nearly $1500, dwarfing the not-insignificant outlay for Star1973. Soliciting donations or accepting advertising or even making the site subscription-based all seemed like reasonable propositions. Still, I've managed to avoid such pitfalls with all my other sites so starting now seemed like a drag.
If you can dig it (I knew that you could), please show some appreciation by hyping RockScenester elsewhere online. Facebook, Twitter and Google widgets can be found below. If you really wanna show some love, kick some referrals my way! I'm a rabid collector of 70's and early 80's punk rock records, fliers, fanzines and photos. If you know someone selling their collection, please send 'em to my want list page and encourage 'em to e-mail me. I'm also after all things Rock Scene related... original shirts, decals, stationery, whatever.
And finally a few THANKS are in order. Thanks to my friend Allison for spending hours meticulously recreating the original hand-drawn Rock Scene logo. Thanks to Minnie at CSS Bakery for the elegant grid coding below. A particularly big thanks to Jacqueline for helping this johnny-come-lately complete his Rock Scene collection in record time.
Richard Robinson (RIP November 2018)... Lisa Robinson... I'd love to hear from y'all sometime!
A post-script about the watermarked pages... sometimes extracting a li'l common courtesy online can be difficult. Some web denizens don't even bother tipping their hats — not so much as a link — to sources of copied content and so watermarks become necessary. Hell, I even discovered one dirtbag selling CD-R's on eBay comprised entirely of images downloaded from my paperback sites! Don't get me wrong, I'm down with re-blogging and sharing. I just want a little credit for my efforts.
And in a PS to the PS, I'd like to emphasize that my Rock Scene archive has absolutely zero association with the later hair metal rag of the same name and has nothing to do with its unholy rockscene.com reincarnation dreamed up by photographer Mark Weiss. In 2008, Weiss and cohort Tara Barrett fraudulently registered the original Rock Scene logo as their own. With no opposition at the time (the magazine's founder and original logo artist Pat Masulli passed away in 1998), the USPTO allowed the trademark. Weiss then registered the domain name and began representing himself as the "proud owner of Rock Scene magazine" on his website and Facebook and YouTube. Pay no attention to that man behind the
curtain camera! Barrett began touting herself as the founder of a global marketing and licensing firm called
— you guessed it — Rock Scene Brands: "Andy Hilfiger, Tara Barrett and Mark Weiss asked whether the magazine, Rock Scene, popular among rockers of the early '80s might find relevance in the form of a fashion and fragrance line meant for today?" This duo need look no further than their own résumés or the nearest cow pasture for inspiration on that first fragrance!