Maximum Rock 'N' Roll
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, which Yohannan and MRR supported in early its years). Throughout the 1980s and until the internet took off in the 1990s, 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 radical politics and used the zine to promote not only underground music, but his personal philosophy.
Yohannan died of cancer in 1998. Jeff Bale, whose right-wing political turn was at odds with the long-time politics of the magazine, 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 (Ration), Mark Murrmann (Sty Zine), Andrew Scott, Mike Thorn, Paul Curran, Golnar Nikpour, and Chris Hubbard.
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 is still one of the foremost zines in the punk scene and still features a wealth of punk band interviews, articles, news, music and zine reviews, columns, and scene reports each month. Current columnists include Mykel Board, Slug & Lettuce editor Chris Boarts, musician George Tabb, Mattilda aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Al Quint (Suburban Voice), Arwen Curry, Bill Florio, Lefty Hooligan, Ted Rall, Golnar Nikpour, Bruce Roehrs, and hardcore singer Felix Von Havoc.
Notable zinesters who have written for Maximum Rock 'N' Roll
Jen Angel (Fucktooth), Anonymous Boy (Homopunk World), Jeff Bale, Mike BS (Bullshit Monthly), Aaron Cometbus, Eugene Chadbourne, Gordonzola, John Marr (Murder Can Be Fun),Sam McPheeters, Sean Sullivan, Mike Taylor (Scenery), Matt Wobensmith (Outpunk), Al Quint, and Ben Weasel (Panic Button).