Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

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Maximum'R'Roll Issue #30

Maximum Rock'N'Roll is one of the most widely distributed zines in the world. It's a monthly fanzine dedicated to supporting and reporting on the underground punk rock scene.

Maximum Rock'N'Roll began as a radio show in 1977 on San Francisco's public radio station KPFA. It was a punk rock show hosted by DJs Tim Yohannan and Jeff Bale. Besides playing music, Yohannan and Bale invited punk musicians and fans into the studio, regulars on the show included Ruth Schwartz (owner of Mordam distribution) and Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys).

Maximum Rock'N'Roll zine first appeared in 1982 as the newsprint booklet included in the "Not So Quiet on the Western Front" compilation LP, released on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles. The format of MRR was modeled to some extent after Tim Tonooka's Ripper zine. The zine included band interviews, columns, reviews, and scene reports from around the U.S. With Yohannan at the helm as editor/zine coordinator, MRR blossomed into a thick monthly newsprint zine with wide distribution (due in no small part because of it's distribution through Mordam). Throughout the 1980's and until the Internet took off in the 1990's, MRR was the essential networking, gossip and news zine for punk musicians, fans, zine publishers, bookers, promoters, and independent labels. As publisher, Yohannan espoused DIY ethics and anarchist politics and used the zine to promote not only underground music, but his personal philosophy.

When Yohannan died of cancer in 1998, Jeff Bale, who was at odds with the political direction the zine was going in, left to start Hit List with a few other writers. Jen Angel (Clamor and Fucktooth) took over as coordinator after being hand-picked by Yohannan while he was ill. Through the years that followed, a number of different people served as zine coordinator, including Arwen Curry, Mark Murrmann (Sty Zine), Mike Thorn, Andrew Scott, Paul Curran and Golnar Nikpour.

Today MRR has published over 285 issues. While not "the punk bible" it once was (the punk community now has countless zines and Web resources), MRR still features a wealth of punk band interviews, news, music and zine reviews, columns, and scene reports each month. Current columnists include Mykel Board, Slug & Lettuce editor Chris Boarts, musician George Tabb, Cat Case, Al Quint (Suburban Voice), Arwen Curry, Bill Florio, Lefty Hooligan, Ted Rall, Bruce Roehrs, and hardcore singer Felix Von Havoc.

Notable zinesters who have written for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

Jen Angel, Anonymous Boy (Homopunk World), Jeff Bale, Mike BS (Bullshit Monthly), Mike Taylor (Scenery), Matt Wobensmith (Outpunk), Al Quint, and Ben Weasel (Panic Button).

Notable writers for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll

Reverend Norb, George Tabb, Jennifer Blowdryer, Ted Rall, Bruce Roehrs, Larry Livermore, Mel Cheplowitz, Lily Burana, and Mike LaVella.

External Links